- Title: Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (Amazon) (Goodreads)
- Author: Austin Kleon
- Publication: Workman Publishing Company (February 28, 2012)
- Genre: General
- Pages: 160
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Library
- Rating: 4/5 stars
Before Show Your Work, Austin Kleon published Steal Like an Artist. The stealing Kleon refers to is combining ideas and shaping them into your piece of work.
One time, Kleon wrote Jurassic Park fanfiction after watching the first movie. That’s an artist stealing. Now, finding someone’s art and claiming it as your own is an absolute no-no. You’re stealing the wrong way.
Steal Like an Artist is short and insightful. You can finish the book in a day. Creative suggestions listed in this book include:
- Gathering ideas all the time
- Working every day (also mentioned in Show Your Work)
- Making time for your hobbies
- Showing bits of your creations
- Writing about what you like (besides what you know)
There’s no secret formula or mystic mantra to manifest art. You just do it.
The Deleted Scenes
In the end of Steal Like An Artist, there are pages dedicated to “Deleted Scenes” that didn’t make Kleon’s top 10 list:
Always Be Reading
Reading works for me all the time especially when my writing fuel is low. My brain bursts with ideas when I read books, scripts, and fanfiction. It’s like a harmonic cycle:
The Reading/Writing Pyramid order:
- Reading –> Ideas
- Ideas –> Writing
- Writing –> Reading
Steal from Yourself
You can inspire yourself through your dreams and memories. You can turn your wacky summer camp memories into a comedy. That weird dream you were hanging out with Salvador Dali and a yeti in the Outback? You can transmute into a surreal painting.
I’m surprised this self-inspiration tip didn’t make the top 10. We tend to search far and wide for ideas first before we search within ourselves.
Do Things You Want to Do Every Day
If you want to do interpretative dance, wildlife photography, or songwriting every day, then do it. Make time for it. You’ll never know what grand opportunities it may lead you.
Steal Like an Artist breaks the illusion that the artists’ life is exceedingly difficult. Sure, it can be hard, but it’s not impossible. I had my fair share of obstacles and achievements as a writer.
Reading Steal Like an Artist is a deep sigh of relief. When you feel like all hope’s lost, reading this book puts you back on your feet. It invokes you to create more art than you already do.
Have you read Steal Like an Artist?
Related book reviews:
- Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
- The Art of Doing by Camille Sweeney & Josh Gosfield
- Mastery by Robert Greene
(Book pic source: Amazon)
(Gif Sources: Giphy)