Today on the blog, I’d be doing a book review. I’d be reviewing STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST by Austin Kleon. The first thing that comes to mind is, “Why steal? Why steal like an artist? What sort of title is this?” But this ten-chapter book promises to be a very interesting read. For more insight, the subtitle of this book is “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative”.
This book is a very short read and so will this review, it will be quite brief. I’d do the review one chapter after the other.
CHAPTER 1 – STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST.
The first thing to note is that nothing is original. Everything you have ever thought of doing, someone has thought of it and some have gone ahead to even do it in a better or worse from than you could have. Anything new and original is created by fools. To do something noteworthy is to be a fool. People love watching fools. They receive less support. But eventually, the world catches on. Christopher Columbus was criticized for claiming there was a world outside Europe. Eventually, Europe went on to conquer territories.
What is this telling you? You can both be a fool and start what you want to do. Then, be known as s the first. Or wait for someone else to live your dream and then does it better. Late entry is not a bad thing. I talked about late entry and acting on ideas late in one of my newsletters. (Remember to subscribe)
Also, when we say steal like an artist. It doesn’t mean you should pass someone’s work as yours. Give credit for the work you copied. When you don’t it is plagiarism and it is a crime.
Then, we are products of what we feed off. What we learn and what we see is eventually what we will produce.
It starts from the human form. We are copies of our parents. Copied a cell from mother and some from father and then, we have you. Father copied from his parents and so did mother.
CHAPTER 2 – DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE TO GET STARTED.
Start where you are and with what you have. You don’t have to be perfect or have everything.
The difference between where you are and where you want to be is a journey. The joy that you feel when you achieve your goals is the satisfaction that your efforts were not in vain. You are celebrating your hard work and not your wins.
You will never know unless you start. According to William Shakespeare,
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts”
Trick: don’t live off one person, find inspiration from many people.
CHAPTER 3 – WRITE THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ.
This chapter is simply saying you should create what you want to see existing. Experiment; create what you want to see. Build every one of your ideas no matter how silly they seem. Stop discarding your ideas.
CHAPTER 4 – USE YOUR HANDS
“We don’t know where we get our ideas from. What we do know is
that we do not get them from our laptops.”
Walk around with a journal. Write, don’t stare at screens always. Start your projects by writing before moving to your screens. Doing this gets your whole body involved in your work.
CHAPTER 5 – SIDE PROJECTS AND HOBBIES
Pay attention to your hobbies. They can feed you. Enjoy everything you do. Create a story out of everything. Practice productive procrastination. Don’t think of any part of you as unimportant. All of our skills are linked to each other.
CHAPTER 6 – DO GOOD WORK AND SHARE IT WITH PEOPLE
Austin Kleon in his book, “Steal Like an Artist”, says to Do things for fun. Having a lot of people follow your work comes with a lot of responsibilities and the struggle to impress. Enjoy your days or years of less popularity.
Share your work. Don’t hoard it, let people review it… Improve on what you hear. Tell people how you do it, why you do it, what you do. Learn to code. Figure out how to make a website. Figure out blogging. Also, Figure out Twitter and social media and all that other stuff. Find people on the Internet who love the same things as you and connect with them. Share things with them. You don’t have to share everything—in fact; sometimes it’s much better if you don’t. Show just a little bit of what you’re working on. Share a sketch or a doodle or a snippet. Share a little glimpse of your process. Think about what you have to share that could be of some value to people. Share a handy tip you’ve discovered while working. Or a link to an interesting article. Mention a good book you’re reading. You don’t have to share everything, share a part and let people get the lessons… Don’t reveal all. Have your secret recipe. “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” —Howard Aiken
CHAPTER 7 – GEOGRAPHY IS NO LONGER OUR MASTER.
This chapter is urger readers not to be limited by location. You can build your world. Franz Kafka wrote, “You don’t need to leave home. Sit at your desk and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t wait, be still and alone. The whole world will offer itself to you.” All you need is space and time. A place to work.
CHAPTER 8 – BE NICE. (THE WORLD IS A SMALL TOWN).
Make friends, meet new people, be close to people with talent. You are a product of what you consume. Who you move around with will determine what moves in your life? If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room. Stop complaining and start working. Also, learn to give yourself credit.
CHAPTER 9 – BE BORING. (IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO GET WORK DOWN).
Keep yourself in check. Manage your time properly. Marry well. Marry someone you can help and can help you. Keep things simple. Also, get a job that can fund your hobby till it brings profit.
CHAPTER 10 – CREATIVITY IS A SUBTRACTION.
This chapter keeps things short and simple. That’s why it is important to write your ideas as they come, crude. Then, you refine it and get the best-finished product.
Thank you for reading through. I hope this gives you a good summary or belief about the book. If you haven’t read it yet, you are in for a treat that will spin your creative life around. Stay tuned for my review of the spinoff of this book, “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon. Until I come your way again, a drop of honey for your day.
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