Be Anything – a de-written book

In the spring of 2011 I was waiting for a flight and came across Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout poetry. I was immediately hooked. I took some felt pens to the inflight magazine and the results were fun. As soon as I got off the plane I went over to the closest bookstore and bought the first book that caught my eye. It was Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys To Transforming the Way We Work and Live by Tony Schwartz, Jean Gomes & Catherine McCarthy. Within minutes I was hard at work destroying the book to create something new.

The process was largely therapeutic. It was far more interesting to ‘write’ things than simply read the pre-existing book! Needless to say other passengers on the plane found it somewhat disturbing – some random guy blacking out passages in a brand new book, but I kept to myself and continued at it. The reduced cabin pressure onboard the aircraft caused the ink in some of my larger felt plens to gush out all over the book, and onto my pants. Live and learn.

Anyhow, after 3 weeks, 5 felt pens and 100 hours of work later, I eventually finished de-writing the entire 352 page book, which I’ve renamed “Be Anything.” I’d love to make some prints of this book – if anyone has any ideas on how to recreate this art piece, please get in touch.

As it stands, the original book is a completely unique one-off artifact consisting of more than 350 unique drawings and phrases.

It’s for sale on etsy for $345.67 – that’s less than $1 per drawing!

Be Anything, the finished de-written book:

Here’s some excerpts:







2 Comments on “Be Anything – a de-written book”

  1. Matthew Orr says:

    This is the worst thing ever.

  2. Yin says:

    Wow. I LOVE this!


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