Saturday, May 16, 2015

Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being CreativeSteal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sum it up in a sentence (or two): This is the advice that Austin Kleon would give to his younger self, that nothing is original and we are mash-ups of everything in our lives (so use that mash-up). This applies to artists, yes, but also to any person looking to tap into their more creative side.

First thoughts: What an uplifting little book! This was a breath of fresh yet familiar air - I found myself nodding in agreement at each page, smiling at the illustrations, and remembering basic truths about humanity.

Favorite quotes:

"Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively. They only collect things they really love." p13, my new cleaning mantra.

"Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul." -Jim Jarmusch, p14

"Don't worry about doing research. Just search." -p20

"Ask anybody doing truly creative work, and they'll tell you the truth: They don't know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day." -p28, something that I've heard from pretty much all my creative role models. Show up. Do your thing. Done is better than good (there's no such thing as perfect).

"Whenever you're at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, what would make a better story?" -p47

"Don't throw any of yourself away. Don't worry about a grand scheme or unified vision for your work. Don't worry about unity - what unifies your work is the fact that you made it. One day, you'll look back and it will all make sense." -p72

"In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what's really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying." -p137

Recommended for: artists of all genres, creatives, thinkers, doers, humans, wonderers, people stuck in a rut, new graduates, and dreamers.

Final thoughts: Having been a fan and follower of Kleon's blog for a while now, I knew what to expect going in, and I was still pleasantly enlightened.

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