Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon (Book Summary)

Steal Like an Artist

There is nothing absolutely original in the world. Even the great creators looked around a lot and integrated ideas into their work.

Do not pretend to be someone else’s, but take ideas and improve them. It is not a fact that everyone has heard about these ideas, so repeating will never hurt. It’s important to keep track of what ideas you collect. Garbage at the entrance – garbage at the exit.

In order not to die, trying to figure out your discipline, try to find out everything about one thinker, then about three people who he liked, etc.

Be curious and constantly learn. See the meanings of unfamiliar words, google your dreams and problems. Do not ask others until you google. Read it constantly.

Austin suggests keeping stealing. Always carry a notebook or phone with you and write down everything interesting.

When you need inspiration, open and start reading.

This book is available as:

 eBook | Print

Do Not Wait Until You Understand Yourself, Get Down to Business

So you save time, you can quickly understand yourself and learn. You are ready. And do not be afraid of the “impostor syndrome”, everyone feels it.

Play creativity until you start creating.

Start copying – everyone is learning that way. You cannot make an exact copy simply because you are a different person. You need to practice. But do not steal the style, otherwise, your work will remain just fakes. Borrow a way of thinking, learn to think and see how your heroes are.

Switch from copying to imitation, and then start creating yourself. It is impossible to make an exact copy, and you will be forced to modify the techniques for yourself. Transform the work of your heroes into something unique to you.

This is how evolution happens. What you give to the world is valuable, and only you can give it to it.

Analyze why something is not working out for you and how you are different, and turn it into advantages.

  • Bad thief: unworthy, takes off the cream, steals from one, plagiarizes, imitates, robs.
  • Good thief: worthy, learns, steals from many, pays tribute, transforms, arranges in a new way.

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Write a Book That You Would Like to Read Yourself

Do not write about what you know – this is how mediocrity is usually born. Write about what you like. Think about how your idols, great writers, would write, and do the same.

  • What did they miss?
  • What could do better?

This also applies to personal life, career, etc. Just ask yourself which story would be better than this.

Draw the picture you would like to see.

Start a business you would like to manage.

Write a book you would like to read. Make the goods you would like to use.

Do the work that you would like to see done.

Try to Do Everything With Your Hands

Computers deprive us of the feeling that we are really doing something, provoke alienation, and kill you and your work. We just press the buttons and click the mouse. The result cannot be touched until you print it.

Work whose source is in the head cannot be good. Feelings are needed in everything – in music, performances, etc. People need to move, feel what it is like to create something with their own hands.

Find a way to connect your body to work, start doing something with your hands. The body tells the brain no less than the brain tells the body.

The movement will push the brain to think.

The computer is very helpful in editing ideas and preparing for publication. But he is not an assistant in generating ideas. The temptation is too great to press delete and begin to correct ideas before they are finally formulated.

Try to create several work areas – one completely analog, the other digital. There should be no electronics in the analog zone as if the time of goose feathers had returned.

Write, tear what is written and combine the torn again.

Work while standing.

You can embody the idea that has appeared on the computer in the digital zone, but if things get stuck, go back to play.

Recognize the Importance of Hobbies and Side Projects

Often, only side projects — those that you do for fun, are truly successful.

This is exactly what you do well. And then the real magic begins.

Do not limit yourself to one project. It is better to have several, switch between them and use productive procrastination. Even if you try to give up what you really like, phantom pains torment you, and you will still return to your favorite business. Moreover, different projects complement each other, new unexpected relationships are created in the brain.

Do not spare time for idleness. When you are busy, you are dumb. Creative people find it helpful to sit back. It focuses the mind. It is at this time that the best thoughts come to mind. It is also good to walk, do physical work.

It is very important to have a hobby. It is not necessary that it brings money. It should just bring joy. A hobby is what gives but does not take. It revives.

Appreciate all aspects of your soul. No need to try to do everything according to some single scheme, try to connect all your hobbies. Just do it. And then you look around and see that everything makes sense.

Do Your Job Well and Share It With People

Many are interested in how to achieve fame. This can be difficult because people are busy and they don’t care. In fact, you need to use the fact that you are still unknown. There are no obligations, image and everything else. You can do anything you like – experiment, do what you like, learn. It is better to attract attention after you have achieved something.

The “secret” formula of fame is that you need to do your job well and share it with people. Really doing your job well may not be that easy, and there are no short cuts. Work hard every day. Make a mistake, this is inevitable. Correct the errors and continue. And sharing the results these days is easier than ever using the Internet.

Another way is to be surprised at something, to pay attention to something unusual. Invite others to be surprised with you, tell them something useful and interesting. People love it when you share your secrets with them. You can even learn from them in the process.

The Internet is not only a means of conveying your ideas but also their source. Start a blog or website, understand how social networks work, communicate, learn new things, learn.

Of course, it is not always necessary to lay out your ideas and work it as a whole. You can lay out a sketch or sketch, share something valuable, discuss, give a hint. Don’t worry that your ideas will be stolen. Even if they are really good, you have to shove them in the head of people.

Forget About Geography – It No Longer Has Power Over You

With the help of the Internet, we can always be in touch with the whole world, but you can do without it. Kafka also said: “It is not necessary to leave the house.

Sit at the table and listen.

Do not even listen – wait.

Do not even wait, just sit quietly alone.

And the whole world will offer itself to you. ” Periods of voluntary isolation and brief loneliness are very important.

Get out of the house. It’s even better to move from time to time to a place where people live a completely different life. In a familiar environment, the brain feels too comfortable. You need to shake yourself, bring him out of the usual state of equilibrium.

Be Good (the Whole World is a Big Village)

Make friends, ignore enemies, talk about people well. Stay close to people who are more talented and smarter than you, who are doing something really interesting. Keep track of what they are doing, what they are talking about, and what they are doing.

Do not seek approval. It often seems that good work did not require any effort from the creator. But this is a false impression. No one knows how much time and effort is behind this. Not everyone will appreciate your work. And someone may even offend you. Learn to feel comfortable in this situation or just be too busy and not notice it.

Gather praise. In moments of loneliness, disappointment and rejection, read a couple and see how the forces return. But everything is temporary. Do not allow yourself to rest on your laurels.

Be Boring – the Only Way You Can Do Your Job

Creativity requires a huge amount of energy, so take care of yourself, eat right, walk a lot, sleep.

Wasting energy on rubbish, you will not leave anything for creativity.

Do not borrow.

And try to spend as little as possible. Set aside instead. This will allow you not to worry about the thought of money.

Do not quit your main job.

If your work does not bring money yet, the main work will allow you to receive it. And freedom from financial pressure means freedom of expression. In addition, you can be among people, learn from them.

You will also have a work schedule.

Availability and adherence to a schedule can be even more important than a large amount of free time. Inaction kills creativity. It is important not to stray from the working rhythm. Therefore, try to find a job that will be adequately paid and leave enough strength for creativity in your free time.

Get yourself a calendar.

Break all the planned work into daily runs. After finishing work every day, put a cross in the corresponding square. This will allow you not to be afraid of big tasks and move forward.

Keep a logbook.

Past events are no less important than future ones. Just briefly describe at the end of the day what happened – what you worked on, what you ate, what movie you watched, and so on. This is much easier than keeping a detailed diary. But these little things will help you remember many important things.

Strive for a good marriage – this is the most important decision.

This person will always be there, will become a business partner, best friend. And creative partners are doubly difficult.

Think of Creativity as an Ability to Subtract

In our age of abundance, those who understand what they need to get rid of in order to concentrate on the really important win. Nothing paralyzes as much as the idea of ​​unlimited possibilities. A work of art is characterized not only by what was invested in it, but also by what was left behind.

To overcome creative stupor is simple – just limit yourself.

Paradoxically, limitation, in this case, means freedom.

Write a song during lunch.

Draw a picture in one color.

Write a book using only 50 words.

Create things using the resources that you have right now.

Do not make excuses for not working.

Time to Act

  • Go for a walk.
  • Get a folder for “stolen”.
  • Sign up to the library.
  • Buy a notebook and use it.
  • Make yourself a calendar.
  • Start keeping a logbook.
  • Give this book to someone.
  • Start a blog.
  • Have a good night’s sleep.

Why You Should Read “Steal Like an Artist”

  • To become much more creative
  • To stop procrastinating
  • To earn by doing what you want

This book is available as:

 eBook | Print

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