3 Big Ideas: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Posted in 10 Big Ideas, How-To

Austin Kleon’s latest book is aptly subtitled “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.”  Here are the three points that most resonated with me.

1. Nothing anyone does is original.  Knowing this takes the pressure off you.

To discover your own style, copy the styles of your heroes and the masters until you’ve internalized them.  Then stop copying.  The work that comes next will be uniquely your own.

2. It’s not analog versus digital.  It’s analog and digital.

Working digitally is great for some things.  It can also be a terrible distractor from the real work of creating.  Learn to cycle through both styles of working.

3. When you steal, steal everything and write it all down.

Collect ideas from as many different sources as you can: witty dialogue from a clever TV episode, favorite passage from a book, productivity tips from watching other pros work, conversation overheard at the coffee shop, photos and layouts from magazines, code snippet from a programming blog.  Write or paste them in a notebook.  Carry said notebook with you.  Always.