I just finished reading this book this week. “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon is a small book full of quotes, suggestions and advice about how to be creative. Kleon talks about the importance of continuing to observe, learn, experiment, and network. The book begins by telling the reader that they should hit the ground running, don’t wait to figure out who you are, what kind of artist you are, what kind of work you want to make, just GO! All of those things will fall into place along the way.
The title suggests that all artists are thieves, but the book suggests that everyone is in a way. Kleon doesn’t suggest that you actually steal other people’s ideas or methods, more that you should observe what inspires you and use it all to create your own style. Don’t plagiarize from one source, rather use all the tools available to you to create something seemingly unique.
Kleon also emphasizes the importance of a constant stream of learning and absorbing the world around you. He suggests that you Google EVERYTHING, keep asking questions, read all of the time, watch movies, embrace hobbies, and explore. There is a whole section in the book on your environment. We have more access to the people and resources of the world with our connection to the internet. However, he explains that it is important to explore, travel, leave the city where you live, and LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE! If you don’t do these things you can become too familiar with yourself and surroundings that you could stop seeing the little details that make that place really interesting.
I won’t explain all of the little details of the book, I’ll let you read it yourself. I would recommend this for any artist looking for a little boost or inspiration. Pick it up ,carry it with you, share with your artist friends, share with your non-artist friends. Enjoy!