Stealing is bad, taking things that don’t belong to you is wrong unless you learn to steal like an artist. This book includes 10 things nobody told you about being creative. Check out our review of Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon does not support plagiarism, let’s get that straight from the start. It’s more about unlocking your creativity, and getting into the minds of the artists you admire by understanding why and how they did what they did.
This small square 140 page book was published in 2012 and is a New York Times best seller, and for good reason it’s a fantastic book!
This book is packed full of great things and not tips on how to make you a better thief or pickpocket, but more like how to ideate, and create things and to have the confidence to go out and do that.
Austin Kleon also outlines where to find inspiration, unlocking your creativity, and stealing like an artist.
What does it mean to steal like an artist? The author Austin explains it like this:
There’s a good kind of stealing and a bad kind of stealing and the truth is everybody steals because nobody’s original like it says in Ecclesiastes. “There’s nothing new Under the Sun.”
A good way of copying or good way of Stealing Like an Artist would be to find something that you like, find a designer, artist or poet or whatever it is, and figure out who inspires them.
Then after that find those people and figure out who inspires them and then take all of that inspiration and piece it together.
By doing this you’re looking past the actual work itself into the thinking of, why did these people make these creative decisions?
This is where the thinking begins, you start thinking like them, you put all of that creative thought process into your thought bowl, Stir It up and this is stealing like an artist.
The creative output of what you’re going to do, the thing that you’re going to produce is going to be more from your perspective.
A large portion of this book is gaining the confidence to start doing things right now, whether you’re a graphic designer, poet or artist is to not wait around, until you think something is perfect or you think you’re ready, but to start producing and creating things right now in their imperfection.
It’s these imperfections that help us to find what we like and don’t like, and create our own unique personal style.
What I like about this book is its overall message of just start, and get the work done!
It aims to encourage you to find the confidence and start, put in the time and not think that good creativity comes from nowhere, and it should be easy.
Good creativity takes countless hours of research honing your skills and craft.
Maybe you have to be bored so to speak, stay at home in your comfy clothes and just nail down and get the work done.
I think this message is great as we live in a culture that’s all about likes and popularity, and you need to be visible and fancy with your approach and work.
People these days are driven by their popularity and how often their posts on social media have been seen, how big their followings are. I think this is nonsense, maybe you just need to be boring and focus on creating good ideas and getting the work done.
It’s a great book that’s short and easy to read yet very insightful. Once you have finished reading the book at the very end, there is a section of the book named “What’s Next?” giving you some action steps to do, such as take a walk, start a swipe file, which is explained within the book, go to the library, buy a notebook, get yourself a calendar, start sharing stuff, it has some great recommendations on where to go next and I think that’s a unique end to the book.
It feels much more like an actionable blog article that you can get through, and have it influence your day and life versus a long winded book that’s challenging to read.
Who is this book for?
I honestly think this book is for any individual that is a creative or an aspiring creative in any industry, whether you’re a graphic designer, web developer, artist, musician, copywriter, maybe even somebody who creates things like craft items or wants to create something from nothing and is looking for how to get started. I think it’s a great book for you and I highly recommend it, not only is it thought provoking but it’s also an eye opening book.
I also think it’s a great book for those of us who have been designing or been doing creative things for a while, there are some things in here that maybe nobody’s told you about being creative.
For instance you may have thought you were supposed to be all fancy and popular versus, put your head down and just do the work, or you thought that everyone that your work was supposed to just generate out of nowhere, and you’re supposed to be a creative machine versus somebody who’s looking around to find that inspiration.
Maybe you and I who have been doing this for some time, need to be reminded that it’s no easy task and we can be encouraged to look around a little bit and be inspired.
Check out our book review section that includes more creative books we love!