Hanne's Reviews > Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
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Nov 19, 12

bookshelves: business, non-fiction
Read on November 19, 2012, read count: 1

Reading this book might be the fastest thing my bosses ever asked me to do.

This is a wonderful little book with advice on creativity that makes you think. I'm pretty sure i didn't grasp the whole thing right now. I think i'll take a few things out of it. And in a few months I might read it again (really only takes like 30 minutes) and take a few more things out of it.
It's nicely written, it's got some nice napkin-sketches in there so it stays a light read. And it also makes me very curious about the authors poetry book Newspaper Blackout. So aye, he's smart!

"Collect books, even if you don't plan on reading them right away. Filmmaker John Waters has said, "Nothing is more important than un unread library"."

Ouch. This one kind of hit home. Although i do always plan to read the books i buy (almost) straight away, it just never ends up that way. But it's true though, my library reminds me that the world is full of undiscovered territories and opportunities. I like that! Having bookshelves with only 'read' books would be quite boring, no?

"The computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it's really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it's not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key.
The computer brings out the uptight perfectionist in us - we start editing ideas before we have them (...) because once the computer is involved, things are on an inevitable path to being finished. Whereas in my sketchbook the possibilities are endless."

(that last bit is by Tom Gauld, it's hard to quote this book, because he already stole so many quotes himself)

I find this actually true. To be effective and productive i often immediately start working on my pc (whatever it is: ideas, presentations...) and at one point i'm typically stuck. I take a piece of paper and i start writing random ideas on there. Drawings things, with lots of arrows. And somehow the ones that went through the random paper process always end up being better, much better. I figure i'll immediately start on paper as of now.

"Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it's going to lead you."

See? this one is the best advice of all. And so true. I actually didn't need this book to tell me this, I already know. I never get good ideas when on a deadline or when I'm busy-busy-busy. The best work I do is when i think i'm just fiddling around.
And yet somehow my bosses insist on piling work on top of work on top of work.

Maybe i should tell them to read this book!
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11/19/2012 page 62

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Hanne i'm reading this one for work.
i hope that doesn't sound like my occupation is being a thief :)

Alan Caramatti Thanks for your review. I appreciate the excerpts from the book and your narrative of how they affected you.

For me, reading a book is an experience that has certain *qualities* to it. And it helps me to notice the qualities of experience. "How is this book-reading experience affecting me?"

So I don't just read to "get ideas."

Maybe that's why this book is affecting you in ways that are surprising - because it's more than just the ideas it contains?

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