Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like An Artist is written based on the assumption or the idea that nothing is new or original and that everyone steals ideas or concepts and builds on them to make something that becomes their own. No man is an island kind of thing.
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.
The book is small and thin, and the information is presented in a creative way – large type in some places, images, lists, drawings, quotes etc. There is definitely a lot going on to keep you visually entertained.
The book has 10 chapters:
- Steal Like An Artist
- Don’t Wait Until You Know Who You Are to Get Started
- Write the Book You Want to Read
- Use Your Hands
- Side Projects and Hobbies are Important
- The Secret: Do Good Work and Share It With People
- Geography Is No Longer Our Master
- Be Nice (The World is a Small Town)
- Be Boring (It’s the Only Way to Get Work Done)
- Creativity is Subtraction
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the creative process or being creative. I actually took some notes while reading this book, which isn’t something that I do too often when I read anyway (did it all of the time in school obviously), but I found that there was a lot of information jammed packed into this little book, and I didn’t want to miss anything. Also I found that by making my own notes as I went along, I boiled down the main idea or key concepts of what the author was saying and it stuck into my head better. For example – my main note for chapter 2 was simply “just start”. And I will admit that I at least don’t work on my writing mostly because I feel like I’m just me and what do I know about anything? But this chapter reminded me that everyone is just somebody, and writing is more so for me and telling the stories that I want to tell rather than caring about what other people want to hear. That thought process led directly into chapter 3.
If you’re interested in the creative process or need a metaphorical kick in the pants to get your creative process going than this is definitely a book for you. There are some very good points, and some great examples in here.