What, we don’t do original work?
Not according to Austin Kleon, artist and author, in his New York Times Bestseller Steal Like An Artist, 2012.
In the book Kleon gives us 10 simple ideas to create and live by and supports each with meaningful quotes and examples:
Idea # 1: Steal Like an Artist, is that we cannot help but be influenced by those who have come before us but we do get to choose who we surround ourselves with and what we do with it. “The basketball star Kobe Bryant has admitted that all of his moves on the court were stolen from watching tapes of his heroes. But initially when Bryant stole a lot of those moves, he realized he couldn’t completely pull them off because he didn’t have the same body type as the guys he was thieving from. He had to adapt the moves to make them his own.”
Idea #3 (my favorite part of the book): Write the Book You Want to Read, in which Kleon gives us the oh so logical manifesto to “draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
Idea #4: Use your hands – the true meaning of the “digital age”!
Idea # 8 – Be nice (the world is a small town). “One time I was up late on my laptop and my wife yelled at me, “Quit picking fights on Twitter and go make something!” This one had me laughing out loud.
It’s a brash, bold, simple read for creative thinkers, which if you think about it, is all of us! Austin Kleon brings it all to light in a twenty first century way balancing appreciation for the benefits and limitations of a technical age with the rewards and challenges of working with one’s hands.
For those old enough to remember life before Facebook, this book reminded me of the classic All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum (1988), but with the decided influence of a 2012 Twitter, Facebook, iPhone world.
It won’t take you long to read Steal Like and Artist, you’ll return to it again, and you’ll find yourself quoting him to your friends and giving the book as a gift.
Couple this with another classic in creativity, Ish by Peter Reynolds (2004). Ish is one of those children’s books that adults love too.
As an artist, a writer, a cook, a parent, a human being, I treasure these encouraging words. They free me to give my gifts without flinching. Both books are easy reads that will inspire you to new worlds of creative freedom.
~ Judy #2