I’ve heard about “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon for several years now, and when it popped out at me in the local library, it had to come home. To begin with, the subtitle is “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” and that should give you a sense of where the book is headed.
The first reading took me less than an hour and I thought, “So what.” But then I started to think about what he’d written and I reread the book. (The book is very short with lots of pictures).
- Steal like an artist
- Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.
- Write the book you want to read.
- Use your hands.
- Side projects and hobbies are important
- The Secret: Do good work and share it with people
- Geography is no longer our master
- Be nice
- Be boring
- Creativity is subtraction.
I think the best way to sum up the book is to quote one paragraph.
“The Manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done”
It’s a bit like Chinese food. You can consume a lot very quickly, but you’re hungry again in an hour. You can read this book quickly, but then you want to go back and read specific sections. Even when writing this short report, I went back and browsed a few sections.
It’s the kind of book creative people – no matter what the area – will have on their bookshelf and pick up every now and then to refresh their thinking and attitude. It’s a lot less expensive than a therapist.
So yes, the copy on my desk came from the library. Free. But the copy that’s on my wish list on Amazon will be all mine.