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The Artist's Journey
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Learn the key ideas of the book by Steven Pressfield

The Artist's Journey

The journey that will help you express your art

The Artist's Journey is a great little book, and a must-read for every aspiring artist. Starting with the theory of the Hero’s Journey, Steven Pressfield goes on to describe why the Artist’s Journey is the natural continuation of the process. Once the artist has discovered their talent, they continue on their journey of awareness through their art. This journey can last a lifetime, but it is not without its trials, challenges, and setbacks. These struggles are mostly internal, and involve taming our inner voice and overcoming resistance. An artist’s life is expressed by constantly going beyond invisible boundaries. Steven Pressfield’s take on the subject is essential reading for the many aspiring artists, who no longer want to put off until tomorrow what they should be doing today.

The Artist's Journey
Read in 10 min.
Listen in 12 min.

The evolution of every story is based on the theory of the hero’s journey

The hero’s journey theory is well known, and countless writers have applied it to their stories. It was first put forward by Joseph Campbell, and later developed by Jung and Chris Vogler, and incorporates many different cultures. It is a journey in which the character, who is also called the hero, leaves the ordinary world, and answers a call to enter an extraordinary realm. Here, the hero meets friends and foes, who will accompany them through various trials and challenges. At the end of the journey, the hero will be a completely new person, having drawn strength from the experience, which is as much physical as it is psychological and emotional. When the hero returns home, they bring back a gift, an elixir, which is useful both for themselves and the world around them.

The hero’s journey is a concept that has been widely used in many successful films and novels, because it mirrors the fundamental passages of human life. The most important moment of the journey is the ‘call’, the trigger that allows the hero to pass from the ordinary world to the extraordinary world, where they find untold experience and knowledge. The initial call leads to the trigger, and consequently to the development of the entire story.

Another important development in the hero’s journey is when all seems to be lost; this moment occurs at the farthest point from the beginning of the story, and is also called the point of death. It comes before the epiphany, the moment in which the hero discovers something hidden and important about who they are, which changes the course of history.

At the beginning of the story, the hero is stuck and lost in their ordinary world, and only after being forced by various circumstances, do they find the courage to answer the call. They then cross a threshold and meet the villain, entering an extraordinary world where they also encounter mentors and spiritual guides. The journey proceeds through increasingly unfamiliar territory, until the moment of death and resurrection. The hero’s journey is the basis of every story.


The key ideas of "The Artist's Journey"

The evolution of every story is based on the theory of the hero’s journey
The artist’s journey begins when the hero’s journey ends
The greatest challenge for an artist is to overcome resistance
Constant commitment allows artists to develop the unique skills necessary to make the journey
Art is the result of the artist’s journey, but it also represents the completion of the journey
Take-home message
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