Steal Like An Artist Book Review
Austin Kleon’s ‘Steal Like An Artist’ is a book I’ve been recommended numerous times over the last couple of years – having finally got my hands on a copy I wish I did so sooner!
Regardless of whether you’re a manager, artist, freelance writer, personal trainer or blue collar business owner you’ll find the lessons on creativity in this book invaluable (along with the quirky illustrations!).
“SJ, what’s the big deal about creativity?”
Creativity is everything.
One big idea can change the direction of your life…
One big idea can add an extra 7, 8 or 9 figures to the end of your bank account balance…
One big idea can change the lives of countless others…
In order to conjure up these ideas you must harness your creative side!
How To Steal Like An Artist (Actionable Advice)
You Can Choose ANY Mentor!
Learn from the work of those before you. If you’re a bodybuilder this could be Frank Zane, Arnold, Ronnie Coleman… if you’re an entrepreneur this could be Steve Jobs, John D. Rockerfellar or perhaps the founder of McDonald’s… Ray Kroc.
None of these men can refuse you as an apprentice!
You’re not going to be working 1 on 1 with them, you’re going to be learning from the work they’ve submitted to the world.
Read their biographies, study their mindsets, look at the techniques, thought processes and ideologies they adopted to get where they did.
Their lessons are all in their work, right in front of us!
Hell, hang pictures of them in your office or home gym if need be for the added inspiration – Austin Kleon describes the portraits he keeps in his office as ‘friendly ghosts’.
Google Everything, Read Everything, Go Deep
To get your own ideas you must explore many, many existing ideas!
Don’t rely on one source. Use as many as possible!
This means you’re going to need to get on the internet as well as peruse the oldest books in your local library.
Great ideas come from a multitude of sources… never just one.
Keep A Swipe File
Your swipe file could be a notepad document on your phone or it could be a physical notepad you carry around in your top pocket! That’s up to you.
Regardless of the format you choose its purpose will remain the same…
To store great ideas, quotes and objects you come across!
These swipe files are often referred to as a ‘morgue file’ as it contains dead things we can re-animate at a later date!
Dress For Success
Fake it ’till you make it baby!
Dress and act as if you were… well and truly before you are.
Don’t Fall Victim To ‘Impostor Syndrome’
We never feel like we’re ready to start.
We never feel as if we’re qualified for that job, or to pursue that business idea.
We have a tendency of failing to internalize our abilities and past accomplishments…
Now that you know this it’s time to get started!
Delay no longer. Get creating.
There’s A Difference Between Plagiarism & Copying… Know This
Copying is the act of reverse engineering… it’s the mechanic taking apart an engine to learn and study its inner workings.
Work In Analog
Constantly working digitally can dumb down your ideas… make time to work in an ‘analog only’ state.
This means no computers, no phones, no electronics of any kind!
Just you, some books and your notepad.
You Must Distance Yourself From Home
With distance and difference our mind begins to change.
We’re not talking about permanently picking up and leaving your home town, we’re talking a vacation, a change of scenery.
When you return your surroundings may look the same, but your mind will have changed.
You’ll come back with newfound insight.
Insight to carry into your creative endeavours!
Live A Regular Life
You must live a regular, boring life to allow yourself the energy and ability to be creative and violent in your work.
10 Steal Like An Artist Quotes On Creativity
“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”
“Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.”
“You don’t get to pick your family, but you can pick your teachers and you can pick your friends and you can pick the music you listen to and you can pick the books you read and you can pick the movies you see. You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences.”
“The artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively. They only collect things that they really love.”
“Go deeper than anybody else–that’s how you’ll get ahead.”
“Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.”
“Always be reading. Go to the library. There’s magic in being surrounded by books. Get lost in the stacks. Read bibliographies. It’s not the book you start with, it’s the book that book leads you to. Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away.”
“Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.”
“Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.”
“when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.”