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Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

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You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

160 pages, Paperback

First published February 28, 2012

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About the author

Austin Kleon

20 books5,748 followers
I’m a writer who draws. I make art with words and books with pictures. Author of Steal Like An Artist and other bestsellers. Visit my website: http://austinkleon.com/

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,545 reviews
Profile Image for Peter Derk.
Author 25 books353 followers
March 1, 2013
These kind of books are like candy. They make me feel better in the moment, but ultimately don't do much towards building a full picture of happiness.

The inherent problem in any book that's a how-to for something artistic, whether it be writing or painting or making music or the artistry in tailoring a custom Voltron costume, the problem with the how-to book is that when you're reading the how-to book you're not doing the actual thing you're being taught to do. In other words, a book ABOUT writing is probably less helpful to a writer than a book that's just plain good. A how-to book about painting is probably of less use than a book of paintings you enjoy.

I'm not saying there's no place for these types of books, and this one is smart because it's a quick read and it sticks pretty well to the motivational side of things as opposed to the nuts and bolts. It's good to read motivational stuff, especially because creating art can be a pretty lonely process. It's just hard to pack away the awareness that while you're reading about creating art, you could spend that time creating art.
Profile Image for Wil Wheaton.
Author 89 books204k followers
July 24, 2017
Steal Like an Artist is essential and required reading for all artists, regardless of the type of art you create.

It's a quick read that you can finish in one sitting, but the ideas and advice it contains will stay with you long after you've put it down. Some of Austin's suggestions will validate what you're already doing, some will challenge you to fundamentally change a creative practice, others will inspire you to grab a notebook and get to work immediately.

Because it's such a small and accessible book, you'll want to go back to it from time to time. Just like Stephen King's On Writing, as you change and grow as an artist, it reveals new ideas and inspirations to you that you may have missed on a previous read.

This is a fantastic addition to your library, and a wonderful gift for any creative person in your life.
Profile Image for El.
1,355 reviews502 followers
March 5, 2014
(This review is longer than the book itself.)

Here are the Top Ten Points that the author makes in this teeny book:

1. Steal like an artist
2. Don't wait until you know who you are to get started
3. Write the book you want to read
4. Use your hands
5. Side projects and hobbies are important
6. Do good work and share it with people
7. Geography is no longer our master
8. Be nice (the world is a small town)
9. Be boring (it's the only way to get work done)
10. Creativity is subtraction

It's all very good advice. It's all great reminders.

But that's what these are - reminders.

The beef I have with self-help or how-to books is that the information inside the covers is stuff you already know. You just haven't thought about it before. This isn't to say that these books aren't helpful for many - but for people who are too busy (or, in extreme cases, too lazy) to think for themselves. They can read the books and their third eye can open and they can think they've just broke new ground... and then they don't go off to do what it is they were learning how-to do.

What is good about Kleon's book is that he acknowledges almost immediately that there is no such thing as originality. Had he not written that very early on I'd be calling him a hypocrite right now for trying to pass any of this off as original. But that wasn't his intention - he saw a market for his advice and he went with it, so I give him props for that. It's just that I'm such a cynical person anyway, I'm wary of these sorts of "guides". I'd much rather a person just muddle through on their own based on their own experiences, learning from all the good and the bad that happens, and creating something out of all of that. This is a Hot Topic sort of creativity - mass marketed, polished, packaged.

So why did I read it? Great question, because this is not at all my thing. I was curious, primarily. I came across his name because I came across someone's blog where the author was writing about her journal, which led to her discussion of Kleon's log books, and I was curious to see what he could possibly say about creativity. That's One. Two: I'm fascinated by the creative process. What works for me and my creativity is going to be completely different from my boyfriend's creative process, or my best friend's creative process, or the stranger down the street. I like reading about the daily process that my favorite writers/musicians/artists/people to get into their creative groove because it's fascinating, not because I want to copy them (though Kleon recommends a lot of copying; and this isn't to say there's anything wrong with it, per se, but it's not my motivation).

The information here isn't just necessary for the stuff people generally consider "creative" - some of stuff is helpful just in your daily life. People think a 9-to-5 job is energy-sapping and you can't be creative in your boring white-collar job, and those people sit back and do... well, very little of anything... and judge the rest of us who have to work for what we want and say we're not creative. I am creative in my job as much as possible and on paper it's not a very creative position. I have to be creative to find ways of being creative. And when it works, it works well, and it comes up in my annual reviews regularly, so I'm occasionally doing something right. This book is a good reminder for people in those positions too, who think they aren't in any position to be creative. Don't get all stuck on what you or are not doing, don't compare yourself to other people. (That's not even a part of Kleon's advice. That one comes from me. And a bunch of other people.)

The part I like the best is #5. Hobbies are important. I always have a side project of some sort, but I have yet to figure out how to consistently have energy after my stupid 9-to-5 job (actually it's a 7-something-to-4-something job, but that's beside the point). I was hoping for some insight from Kleon on that, but it wasn't really there. He basically just said "Hey, you can do this!" which, yeah, okay, thanks, I tell myself that every day, but I'm still tired and sapped. Probably from all that creativity I do at work - coming up with ways not to kill people or worry about backstabbing takes a crapload of energy and creativity.

So, again, great reminders here, and really great for Millennials and Gen Y and whatever generation comes after those kids (have they been named yet??). It's a fast read, hopefully inspiring, even if for just the moment. But don't get bogged down by it. Read it because it's fast and easy, feel good for a few, and then go on and do your thing. Do you. That's all you can answer to regularly anyway.

The other thing I fully 100-bajillion% agree with Kleon about - keep a journal. Do whatever you want in those pages, but keep something. If you want to be creative in any way, that's going to be your rock. I fill mine with everything. EVERYTHING. You could flip through them, but you'd think I am a serial killer. I mean it's all very insane in these journals. (And I would have to kill you after you flipped through them, so.) But that's what works for me. Figure out what works for you and do that. You'll appreciate it later.

A little heavy-handed with all the quotes, but again, feels more geared towards younger readers anyway, and hopefully many readers will want to know more about those quoted people which is certainly Kleon's point.

And on that note (I can quote too!), I'll share one of my favorites from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest:
Be a Student of the Game. Like most cliches of sport, this is profound. You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard. Peers who fizzle or blow up or fall down, run away, disappear from the monthly rankings, drop off the circuit.
Profile Image for Natalie.
567 reviews3,196 followers
June 5, 2020

This was such a phenomenal and much needed read for me. Steal Like an Artist gives ideas that apply to anyone who’s trying to inject some creativity into their life and their work. It really inspired me and I can’t wait for what’s next.

Also, can I just quote everything? Because I really need and want to:

“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.”

“School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.”

“Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find your self.”
—Yohji Yamamoto

“Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.”

“We learn to write by copying down the alphabet. Musicians learn to play by practicing scales. Painters learn to paint by reproducing masterpieces.”

“You don’t put yourself online only because you have something to say—you can put yourself online to find something to say. The Internet can be more than just a resting place to publish your finished ideas—it can also be an incubator for ideas that aren’t fully formed, a birthing center for developing work that you haven’t started yet.”

“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”

“garbage in, garbage out”

(Those were some of my personal favorites.)

And this book also included pictures within, which I thoroughly enjoyed.


It's a very quick and honest read. I highly recommend it!

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Steal Like an Artist, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
May 5, 2015
I read this after reading "Show Your Work!" which is the opposite order of publication, and while I definitely preferred the latter, this was also really great. Sometimes it just has to be one idea, one quote, one line, that can make a book for you. This book was solidly consistently good, but for me it was the push to start using a notebook that really made a change for me.**

So personally I liked the other one more, but I've heard a solid chunk of people that like this one more.. certain ideas will click more with different people. I recommend reading both .. I read them very close together and they feel like one project.

** (I wrote a blog post about it, check it out: http://arielbissett.com/notebook-expe...)
Profile Image for Nancy.
557 reviews786 followers
February 10, 2016
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

This eye-catching little book was wedged into the corner of one of the couches in the student lounge where I work. I was there for a cup of coffee, and since it was a rather slow day, I decided to pick up the book and read.

There’s a lot of common sense stuff in here for all types of creative people. You don’t have to be an artist or writer to benefit from these inspirational bits. They can help those who want to be more creative at work, or find room in one’s life for a hobby when time is in short supply. There are other tips for managing one’s life in order to be able to spend the time doing creative and fulfilling work.

I really like this advice:

"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."

It’s a short, fun book, and not a bad way to spend 30 minutes. Perfect to read in the student lounge, on the bus, or on the toilet.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews605 followers
April 25, 2017
Austin Kleon's "Steal Like An Artist" is a fun little book. Given that I'm not an artist -
I wasn't seeking 'words- of -wisdom'. This book just landed in my hands - and I couldn't resist reading it.

Austin says "every artist gets asked the question, "where do you get your ideas?"
Austin says....'The honest artist answers', "I steal them"......
............as in RIPS THEM OFF? Perhaps a more 'kind' way to answer the question --- is an artist draws inspiration from others. But what do I know. I'm not an artist.

This little book is filled with fun engaging anecdotes.....with a list of 10 things to do to unlock our creativity. #9 is BE BORING!!! I've got that one down!!! I'm a master of boring!!!......but creative? I have my doubts!

He recommended 10 books we should read: I've only read 1 on his list. "Bird by Bird". By Anne Lamott. -- Proof: I AM NOT CREATIVE?/!

Austin listed THINGS WE MUST DO:
Take a walk --- works for me!!!
Start your swipe file --- What the hell is a swipe file?
Go to the library --- I DO!
Buy a notebook and use it ----Done!
Get yourself a Calendar ----Done!
Start your logbook---For what?
Give a copy of this book away-----More sales for Austin Kleon - ok - I'm willing!
Start a blog --- You've got to be kidding: Goodreads takes enough time.
Take a nap!!!!!!! ---- Favorite advice in the book!!!

This is a great book to read 'while' being lazy - boring - sleepy - in your pj's -when you need something 'little & lightweight' to hold in your hands!

Profile Image for Matt.
34 reviews46 followers
April 22, 2019
I recently went to an artist lecture at the Phoenix Art Museum. The audience was a mix of young artists trying to make their way, fans of the artist, and amateur art enthusiasts just there for the experience. While offering words of wisdom to the young artists in the crowd, he said: “every day you have to wake up in the morning and tell yourself a story, even if it’s bullshit.” He was referring to the dark voice that talks to artists who haven’t made it big yet. Writers and musicians have that dark voice also. It’s that dark voice that whispers into your ear at night and tells you that your work isn’t good enough. That dark voice that tells you someone has already made something like this before. That dark voice that tells you, you’re a fraud. That dark voice that tells you that you can’t be like your favorite author. That dark voice that tells you that you’d rather be watching Netflix than writing. That dark voice that whispers “no one wants to read this shit”.

This book is for writers, artists, and musicians. This book is the “bullshit” you have to tell yourself. This book is the middle finger to that dark voice that creeps into your subconscious.
Profile Image for Martyn.
373 reviews35 followers
January 11, 2013
The sub-title of this book is '10 things nobody told you about being creative'. Yeah, probably because they thought you already knew them.

This book is packed to the brim with platitudes such as: try to do good work, there are lots of different things to consider when choosing a place to live, it's important to be careful who you marry, money is really important, try to find a day job that you like and, my favorite, take $10 to the stationers and buy some stuff - then you can write your ideas down. Genius.

The contradictions here are irritating also. He says that computers are soul suckers and time wasters and then says that it's great to create blogs and that it's important to have an online community of friends, he says ignore your critics and then recommends keeping a praise file to use at times of insecurity. It's all a little weird.

It's not that I disagree with the guy, although he has a few ideas that seem strange to me, it's just that everything here is so bland that I wonder what the purpose of this book is, except that it might have something to do with 'money being really important' to the author. Maybe the main title of the book should read 'Steal Like An Artist...from gullible readers'.
Profile Image for Kathryn Patterson.
Author 4 books6 followers
August 30, 2012
I find it difficult to review "Steal Like an Artist" because the book is an amalgamation of advice, anecdotes, and uncommon sense. Austin Kleon writes in an easy-to-follow style, instructing readers about how to be creative without talking down to anyone. In fact while I read the book, I felt like I was part of some secret creators club, with this book as the secret club manual.

The book focuses on 10 rules for people to follow in order to be creative. Rule number one is "Steal like an artist." The other nine are printed on the back of the book, but simply knowing the rules does not give you an edge in creativity. You need the explanations, the stories, the logic behind the rules that Mr. Kleon provides to get that tingly feeling (figuratively speaking, of course).

I recommend this book for anyone over the age of 10, anyone who loves to create but feels stifled in today's world, anyone who loves to think, and anyone doing anything at all creative.
Profile Image for Carmen Sisson.
39 reviews32 followers
June 13, 2012
I'm undecided on this book. While I appreciate the premise — draw inspiration from people you admire and surround yourself with good role models — I'm uneasy with the "steal" concept.

The title grabs attention, but I think it overshadows the actual point, which is not to become a replica of someone else but to create more authentic work by creating work you love.

It's a bit overly simplistic, and definitely a short, fast read. For those who stand on the precipice, afraid to answer the call of creative spirit, it will serve as a "soft entry" to better books, like Anne Lammott's "Bird by Bird," Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones," and Julia Cameron's "The Sound of Paper."

For tired, disillusioned creatives, it may also reinvigorate. Those in the thick of creating will probably want something meatier.

Reading Kleon's book, I can see some of his influences, particularly a heavy nod toward bloggers-cum-authors like Seth Godin and Hugh MacLeod.

I also drink the Kool-Aid offered by Godin, MacLeod, Johnny B. Truant, Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity, and others. I like them all and find inspiration often in their words. But if you're young and impressionable, if you are on the edge of your art and not fully-formed, it's easy to miss the deeper points they make. It's easy to miss the parts where they say it's hard and often sucks and sometimes seems pointless and sometimes is a colossal failure.

Their passion for what they do is so charismatic that it's easy to get swept away, missing the part where they learned — through trial, error, mentors or schooling — how to market themselves effectively, how to manage money, how to lose the "romance" of being an artist and still find pleasure when the passion grows cool.

It's not enough to love what you do. Perhaps that sounds harsh, perhaps it's a cynical, jaded worldview. It's tempered by experience.

Loving your craft is fine if you want it to be a hobby. But if you want to keep a roof over your head with the work you produce, if you want to make a living at it until the end of your days, love will not keep you alive.

I worry for the writers, journalists and photographers who load up on humanities courses in college, the ones who believe suffering for your craft is noble — or eventually successful.

Please, please, creative types ... take a few business classes. Maintain a broad skill set. Don't tangle your identity up in your art or your profession, because if anything takes those away, you will be left rootless, drifting, and the road to recovery will be very, very hard.

I know I sound jaded and bitter. I'm not at all. I'm still passionate about what I do. But that passion is tempered by the pesky "reality thing" I always preferred to ignore. I never wanted to be bothered by the "boring" things like money, accounting, contracts, marketing. But these are the things that provide the income to keep DOING your art.

If you're going to steal like an artist, steal the business sense they bring to the table as well. I promise, you will never regret the time you spend learning the mechanics behind the career. With any luck, it will enable you until the end of your days to create wonderful things only you can bring to the world.

Starving artists living in garrets can produce great work. But smart artists will find the road so much easier and equally as fulfilling.

Profile Image for Hamad.
1,048 reviews1,382 followers
November 16, 2020
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

I love how after I finished Kleon’s other book, I wanted to check out more of his works, and then found out that this book is his most famous work! I also like the fact that his book titles sound like a click bait but after reading them you will realize that they are accurate.

The book does not encourage stealing or plagiarism and I found out that I have been stealing like an artist for a long period of time, the point is that most things have been done or said so you take a bit from everywhere, add your own touch and voila, you are a new artist now! The book had many great quotes from many different people! I have been applying this in medicine, in school, in reviews and in almost everything I do.

The book is easy to read, uses drawings and bullet points which makes it fun! This is the author’s style in this series of books and I recommend reading them if you have an extra hour of time that you would like to kill!
September 18, 2019
Not sure what I think about it. Many things are just rehashed stuff from elsewhere.

And steal? Like an artist? Yeah, there are lots of controvercies and the plagiaristic hearings are among the most unclear and pointless ones, I say. Still, ouch.

And steal?? Some of us steal inspiration from sun, rehash Picasso, get the energy to do wonderful staff brom bipolar disorder and technique from schisophrenia, and yeah, it's totally all right to do any of that. Some don't. Many don't. Still, it's all right to flip through someone else's work to try and get new things done, things that haven't yet been done. Just don't steal literally, it's not nice.

A lot of inspiration to go around.

If you ever find that you're the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room. (c)

Profile Image for Carlos De Eguiluz.
226 reviews192 followers
April 24, 2017
Bien dijo George Orwell en "1984": "Los mejores libros son los que nos dicen lo que ya sabemos".

Fue bastante agradable comprender que no estoy solo en esto de la escritura, que todos tenemos problemas, y que al final, lo que importa es hacer las cosas bien, aunque a veces no haya inspiración o lo que más amas se torne aburrido y tedioso.

Austin nos regala una serie de consejos que nos permiten desarrollar nuestro proceso y no morir en el intento.

¿Quien dijo que robar era malo? (Léan el libro para entender, por favor).
Profile Image for Erin Bowman.
Author 15 books1,936 followers
April 1, 2012
About a year ago, I was at the day job (web design), when a link to a blog post made it’s way around the office via AIM.

The post was basically one man’s manifesto when it came to creativity. He listed out ten things he wished he knew when he was starting out as a writer and artist. I remember the simplicity of his statements — practical, to the point — but also incredibly insightful. Small things we often forget when we are knee-deep in The Creating or overwhelmed by The Doubts.

I remember nodding my head in agreement to nearly everything in that blog post, and then just the other day, while I was at B&N, I saw his book on the shelf. That blog post (by Austin Kleon) has been turned into a lovely little book: Steal Like an Artist.

I bought it, took it home, read it in under an hour, and experienced the euphoria I had reading the original blog post all over again. I wanted to jump up and shout, “Yes! This! Exactly this!”

This book is a little piece of genius and I think that Every. Single. Person. leading a creative life ought to read it. Or at least flip through a couple pages.


Let me give you a sampling.

The book opens with a quote from Pablo Picasso –”Art is theft.” — and then goes on to discuss how nothing is truly original. How every idea is simply a re-imagining of previous works. Kleon says:

“Some people find this idea depressing, but it fills me with hope…If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.”

Oh my goodness, yes! Nothing is new. Everything is borrowed and expanded upon. From here, the idea of “stealing” is introduced. And not stealing as in plagiarizing. That is bad. BAD! Plagiarizing is trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own. Kleon instead talks about “copying” as a method of practice, as a way of finding yourself.

“Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.”

He talks about surrounding yourself with the work of the artists you love, and the work of the artists those artists love, and studying everything. Embrace those artists. Emulate them. Try to create not only as they create, but to see as they see. Get inside their minds. The goal of copying is to see the ways in which you can’t be those artists because they are them and you are you. Kleon says this much better than me:

“Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your own work.”

And then Kleon gives the most basic advice: Start making stuff. Just start! He talks about how ���imposter syndrome” often holds people back. (I know for a fact that I struggle with this daily.) So what is “imposter syndrome?”

“The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

Guess what: None of us do. Ask anybody doing truly creative work and they’ll tell you the truth: They don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.”

YES! It’s like he’s in my head. I do feel like a phony, a hack, a sad excuse for a writer. I don’t know what I’m doing, and that’s OK. No one does. Every writer face doubts and fears. They sit down and create without knowing the answers — from the NYT Bestselling author, to the child picking up a pencil to draft their very first story.

The rest of the book became a sort of surreal reading experience for me, where I felt like Kleon was sitting in my office, speaking directly to me. Everything I need to hear when I’m lost in revisions or slogging through a first draft or swimming in the Vortex of Self-Doubt and Loathing for any number of reasons was in this book.

Sometimes these words of encouragement were written:

“There are no shortcuts. Make stuff every day. Know you’re going to suck for awhile. Fail. Get better.”

“We’re drawn to certain kinds of work because we’re inspired by people doing that work. All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction. The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like…write the story you want to read.”

“Don’t worry about a grand scheme or unified vision for your work…What unifies your work is the fact that you made it.”

“You can’t go looking for validation from external sources. Once you put your work into the world, you have no control over the way people will react to it…Not everybody will get it. People will misinterpret you and what you do. They might even call you names. So get comfortable with being misunderstood, disparaged, or ignored–the trick is to be too busy doing your work to care.”

And then there were the doodles — you can see a bunch more here — interspersed between all the brilliance:

While I’ve summarized the book in this post, it’s nothing like the actual experience of reading it. Between the simple statements, sketched visuals, and conversational tone, it’s almost as if Kleon is speaking directly to you. This book is honest. And beautiful. And real. And it’s just good advice. For a creative life, but for life in general.

But of course, as Kleon points out on the very last page:

“Some advice can be a vice. Feel free to take what you can use, and leave the rest. There are no rules.”

Isn’t that the truth?

Originally reviewed here.
Profile Image for sAmAnE.
583 reviews87 followers
September 20, 2021
جالب این‌جاست که کارهای خیلی خوب اغلب خیلی ساده به نظر می‌آیند. مردم می‌گویند: « چرا این به فکر من نرسیده بود؟» آن‌ها سال‌های رنج و زحمت و عرق ریختن را نمی‌بینند. البته همه این را درک نمی‌کنند. مردم تو و کارت را به غلط تفسیر خواهند کرد. ممکن است حتی به تو لقب‌های زشت بدهند. پس بهتر است به سوء تعبیر شدن‌ها، تحقیر شدن‌ها و یا نادیده گرفته شدن‌ها عادت کنی. رمز موفقیت این است که تو آنچنان سرگرم و مشغول کار خود باشی که زمانی برای اهمیت دادن پیدا نکنی.
این کتاب برای توست. مهم نیست که چه کسی هستی و چه کاری انجام می دهی.
این کتاب خیلی دوست داشتم و خیلی نکات خوبی داشت؛ جدا از اینکه چه شغلی داریم و مشغول به چه کاری هستیم این کتاب می‌تواند دید شما را باز کند نسبت به داشتن خلاقیت و رشد، همین که مخاطب را هنرمندی در این زمینه معرفی می‌کند، نشاندهنده‌ی کششی است که مخاطب می‌تواند به کتاب پیدا کند.
کتاب ده فصل دارد که عنوان فصل اول مثل یک هنرمند بدزد، است.
کتاب دید روشن و جالبی به تقلید و خلاقیت و چگونگی پرورش آن دارد.
Profile Image for Alan.
470 reviews212 followers
June 29, 2022
I have heard a lot of complaints about this book from all around that it doesn’t actually tell you how to do something, specifically. Really?! What were you expecting? Do you want the author to write you your new novel, grant application, play? Should he wipe your ass too, while he is at it? Get to it. Stop complaining. This isn’t a technical manual or a blueprint for your idea.

This book does, in my opinion, exactly what it claims to do – no more, no less. Inspirational, a good reminder that the walls we put up around ourselves in the creative domain can be torn down and erected at will.

A couple of my favourite quotes:

“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”

“Quit picking fights and go make something.”

“Validation is for parking.”

“Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t”
Profile Image for Celo.
163 reviews6 followers
April 29, 2022
I expected:
Manual that teaches how one should look for, analyse, copy, rethink, redesign and come up with new, IDEAS.
What I've got:
Probably outdated 100th iteration on how to live great life by unfocused, average person reconstructed from numerous stick-it notes around his desk. Still not sure how 90% of the text was relevant to the idea on the cover.
Even thinking about the title of the book will give you more relevant ideas than those contained within it.
Don't buy it.
And definitely steal something else.
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
January 26, 2020
4.5/Hay libros que inevitablemente tienes que leer. Es como si el universo se confabulara a tu favor y te abriera los ojos y dijera: "Oye, yo lo intento. Intento que veas que tienes que leer este libro, pero tú no haces más que mirar hacia otro lado. ¿Vas a leerlo o nos quedamos así por toda la eternidad?". Y, bueno, lo he leído y me ha encantado. Si eres artista, escritor, no te olvides de leerlo; quizás después se lo agradezcas a tu propio universo ;)
Profile Image for Roya.
192 reviews376 followers
October 4, 2017
I usually don't go for self-help, but this seemed like it would be different. No disappointments here! This is a great book for you creative folk out there. Personally I think everyone can benefit from what this book has to offer.

Profile Image for Darren.
393 reviews9 followers
October 30, 2013
I don't often go the 1-star route. But this is such a blatant attempt at brand-building that I could feel the "speaker's fees" right there between every page. Read Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" instead for a true creative boost.
Profile Image for Hanne.
224 reviews318 followers
November 19, 2012

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!
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
August 14, 2017
The advice is so generic that it ends up being nothing more than empty blanket statements. It's forgettable, shallow, and serves no great purpose. The book is more of the author's art project to further build his personal brand -- still, you would think the project could be a little more original or valuable.
Profile Image for Anaïs.
110 reviews28 followers
March 2, 2012
In an age where even in art there seems to be a focus on the final product or end result, Kleon's manifesto on creativity is refreshing. At a slim 100-something pages, it is a fast engaging read, filled with doodles and quotes and functioning the way zines your internet friend would send you. I say this because it is the equivalent of a whole body approach to creativity as opposed to the spot treatment of fixing one specific area of your art, whatever your medium may be; to put it simply, it's seeing the forest for the trees. Kleon encourages living a creative life in which you make and play while allowing yourself opportunity to work and grow at your own pace. Creativity is less about what you make than the process it took to get you there. You might not even end up making what you intended when you began but you will make something and you will find yourself in the process. Highly recommended for the overly stimulated, easily hopeless creative minds.
Profile Image for Close Enough.
302 reviews72 followers
August 11, 2018
📚6th Book


This book is addressed to people who are seeking creativity in their work and their lifestyle, and this magical concept (creativity) is a result of being a wise and intelligent thief!; literally a perfect one who steals thoughts and ideas from several successful folks, random conversations, Tv shows, scientists, inspiring books, and even ordinary people.

I really like his style of writing and his motivated thoughts and the drawings as well. Reading this book brought me the same feeling as enjoying a delicious piece of chocolate cake; it is brief, simple, deep and amusing!
But what I like the most about this book is its writer's creativity and his boundless imagination, this is the kind of books that breaks the stereotypes and replace them by originative ideas.

I took some useful notes instead of rereading the book:

💡You are not bound to create  something original because the word original literally doesn't exist ,so free yourself from the burden of being original and embrace influence  instead of running from it.

💡Just as you have a familial genealogy , you also have a genealogy of ideas.

💡The books we read and people we are surrounded with and friends we pick determine our vision and the quality of our ideas because we are a mashup of what we opt in our life.

💡Be aware of the ideas you collect and the people you deal with because we will be influenced by them indirectly.

💡Be curious about anything and everything and get your own education don't wait for school to teach you.

💡 Be a genuine nerd, google everything; you may find the answer to your question or you will get a better question.

💡Jot any thought comes to your mind, and copy useful quotes from the books you read and even record overheard conversation! then collect them in a "swipe file".

💡Making things paves the way to explore yourself and your capacities but the reverse is incorrect.

💡 Glenn o'Brien said: "start out as a phony and became real"
thats means pretend you are a successful person until you can achieve it , or fake that you are doing something you want until you can really make it.

💡Observe successful people and start to mimic their style of thinking and doing things, don't just emulate theirs looks from outside but their way of looking at the world.

💡In any field you are intrested in do your work the way you want to see it done .

💡Find a way to bring your body into your work; use your hands intead of just staying in front of your computer; share your hands in the work of your brain.

💡Be an expert of the productive procrastination by doing more than one project at once , move from one to another when you fell broed until you finish them all.

💡Having a hobby is really helpful for your career and your spirit.

💡Share a little glimpse of your process with people.

💡Get rid of social media for a while, isolate yourself from people, pick up a book and enjoy your own company .

💡Be nice to everybody and ignore your enemies to vanquish them.

💡Surround yourself with positive people , and pay attention to the ideas and the quality of thoughts you are influenced by in the social media.

💡Make friendships and be helpful to talented people .

💡Whatever your work is, keeping a file of praise that you heard or read from people who appreciate your work is a wonderful boost when you need the lift.

💡Save your energy and your money as much as you can .

💡You really need a calender to organize your work and a logbook to tackle your progress.

💡Creativity should be restricted or related by limitations or less potentials to be revealed.

In the end he adds some suggestions of useful books as Egnore Everybody by Hugh Macleod, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud and Make a World by Ed Emberley. The book is pretty easy to read and very enjoyable. I recommend it to everyone :).
Profile Image for Sandra.
155 reviews70 followers
January 12, 2019
Frazė "genialumas slypi paprastume", rodos, jau yra įgijusi banalumo atspalvį, bet kad ir kaip bepurkštautume, frazės esmė ir frazės grožis čia niekada nesikeičia ir išlieka tas pats. Naujų metų pradžiai norėjosi kažko labai simboliško, įkvepiančio ir paprasto. Tokios man yra Kleon'o Austin'o knygelės, tinkančios bet kurios meno (ir ne meno) srities kuriantiems žmonėms, kartais pametantiems kūrybiškumo siūlo galą ir siekiantiems vėl jį čiuptelti už ausų. Kaskart skaitydama ją po ilgesnio laiko randu kažką naujo, o tai labai džiugina, įkvepia, skatina plačiau atsimerkti, išbandyti naujas spalvas dažų paletėje.
Profile Image for Lydia.
6 reviews5 followers
August 21, 2014
This book is all recycled advice and quotes from people who know more than the author. I think the worst advice is on page 19:

"Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don't ask a question before you Google it. You'll either find the answer or you'll come up with a better question."

And on the next page:

"Collect books, even if you don't plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library."

Maybe it's just me, but this rubbed me the wrong way. Google is not the answer to everything. This is why kids don't read encyclopedias or dictionaries anymore: laziness. Or according the author, you should collect real reference books just for the bragging rights of owning them. Apparently they aren't worth reading anymore.
Profile Image for Mabê.
Author 1 book577 followers
April 11, 2021
Fiquei entre nota 5 e nota 1. 5 pq no fim ele entrega o que propõe que é absolutamente nada.
Profile Image for Greg.
69 reviews46 followers
November 16, 2012
Oh fooey. Wrote something, then accidentally clicked and lost it. Let's get this over with:

-Loved it. Was awesome. Will reread, often.
-Too much quoting. Isn't the whole point, reappropriate, don't rip off? Excessive quoting seems to go against that.
-Figures=awesome and funny. Add anything? Sadly, I don't think so.
-Good direct voice.
-Moves well, but chunks are so small that they feel slight. It is a manifesto that outlines main points, rather than a substantive work that discusses things.

Still, awesome.
Oh yeah, loved title, but that's like, duh.
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