Steal Like An Artist is a book about things no one told you about being creative. The author, Austin Kleon, is a writer that draws.
The idea for the book came when a slide from a presentation he was giving went viral. Austin Kleon wished he had known about these earlier in his career. The book expands on these points.
Every great artist is a thief
The idea of original creative work is a myth. All art is a product of existing art. Which means that the greats steal good content.
This doesn’t mean that you can plagiarise though.
How do you steal good content?
Kleon comes up with an artistic family tree. Start with your favourite influencer and see who they were inspired by and so on. This will inspire your work and allow you to create something without the pressure of trying to do something no one has done before.
Where should you start?
Find someone who inspires you and does what you would like to do. Steal their ideas and copy them.
This process is very powerful because you will find that you can’t do certain things your idol does. And this is your niche.
This was probably the best part of the book for me and I can’t wait to try it out.
6 other important things to keep in mind
- Keep your hobbies – they will make you more creative and keep you happy
- Enjoy the obscurity – no one will know your work that well and this is the perfect time to find your style and make mistakes without being trolled
- When you’re ready to become well known, start sharing your work
- Your work space should inspire you but don’t be chained to your desk
- Get outside or travel to different places
- Value the praise you get and ignore the criticism
Read this book if…
You work in a creative industry, want to create better art (content) or get out of a rut. This book will inspire you and make you feel brand new (I was clearly listening to Alicia Keys’ New York when I wrote this). But seriously, one, if not all of these points, will resonate with you. Austin Kleon also gives practical advice that is very easy to implement. Plus its just a really cool book with awesome fonts and pretty diagrams.