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Design Assignment: Man in the Arena

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Minimize Your Philosophy: Pick your favorite quote OR make up your own phrase which describes a philosophy that you try to live by. It can be about love, friendship, family, education, culture, health, charity, etc. Design a minimalist poster depicting the concept.

Man In the Arena

Man In the Arena

Click to see it here on Flickr.

The quote is from a well-known part of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt. Although the entire speech is called “Citizenship in a Republic,” this famous portion is known as “The Man In the Arena.”

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

It’s a paragraph that has always given me chills, and its sentiments are things I’ve tried to live my life by. I’m a shy and anxious person by nature, and when I was younger I found myself missing opportunities because of it. When I heard this speech, I decided I would never let fear keep me from doing something I wanted. Whether my efforts ended with victory or defeat, at least I would have been in the arena.

I used Adobe Photoshop to manipulate one of the “Gladiator” posters, painstakingly erasing the littlest bits of the image I didn’t want. Then I used a filter to render the image as you see it (sorry, I forget which filter I used), and paintbucket’d the beige background color. I wanted a dirt-color, but not too dark so that it wouldn’t take away from the contrast of Crowe and the arena itself. Then it was a simple matter of putting the text in and adjusting it to the appropriate size.

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