Jenn'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 24, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from November 23 to 24, 2012

This is a quick, funny how-to book that offers artists (the kind who paint, writers, filmmakers, etc.) tips on "stealing" other artists' art. Author Austin Kleon points out that no artist's work is ever completely original, and that trying to be completely original will daunt an artist and eventually smother her/his creativity. He suggests artists embrace the inevitability of influence, celebrate living outside of a vacuum, relax, and have fun with their art. Beyond that, he offers tips on how to stay focused, upbeat, and receptive to incoming inspiration.

True to its subject, this book features an abundance of quotes and tips from artists who aren't the author. I like that. Instead of this book feeling like one guy talking about what works for him, it seems more like a panel of successful artists sharing their processes (which also happen to work for the one guy).

Advice I like in particular:
- Every night, before going to sleep, think about one thing that made you happy that day.
- Jerry Seinfeld's calendar idea: keep a year-at-a-glance calendar, and every day that you do everything you were supposed to, mark an X on the calendar. See how long you can get a row of Xs.

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