Steal Like An Artist Summary

steal like an artist summary

This article contains Steal Like An Artist summary and actionable measures that you may do to develop your creative potential. Austin Kleon writes in a concise and easily accessible way. His message is clear: learn as much as you can and let your library of influences inspire you. His best advice to artists: get out of your own way.

This is nothing new, as history’s most successful artists and creators have known. Pablo Picasso said it best, “Art is theft.” Every innovator has built on the work of others, and originality doesn’t exist.

Everything is a mix of influences and other ideas, which means everything is a continuous process. If you’re an artist or looking to add creativity to your life, take inspiration from this list:

1. Steal Like An Artist

First, start by looking around for something worth stealing. Move on to something else if you can’t learn anything by stealing, modifying, or adapting it. Look at everything in the world with the question: “Is it worth stealing?”

Whether or not it helps you is all that matters. And it doesn’t even have to help you right now. Remember that the things you dismiss today may come in handy “tomorrow, a month, or a year from now.”

When you realize that your work will always draw from other sources, the guilt you feel about being influenced by others fades away. Your genetics and “genealogy of thoughts” make up who you are.

The artists you listen to, the music that moves you, the books that stimulate you, and the movies you watch can all shape your artistic identity. These influences are just a few various things that affect how your thoughts, emotions, and behavior are expressed.

You can’t expect to learn all of the history and heritage of a subject before you start creating-you’ll just get frustrated. Choose a thinker, writer, artist, activist, or role model that significantly impacts your life. You should then study this person and their influences. Also, identify the people who influenced them.

Establish who your creative ancestors are and honor them by trying to come up with new ideas while keeping in mind what they did. You should pick which traits these artists will teach you and focus on that.

Read all you can. Some may help you now, and some, much later. The more you read, the more likely you will find books that give you the right insights.

Always have a pen and paper to write down anything that comes to mind. Don’t worry about what others think; you’re improving your knowledge and understanding this way. Pay attention to the conversations happening around you as people walk by.

Copy the parts of the books that you like best. Take pictures of things that catch your attention. Keep a “swipe file,” whether a notebook, tape recorder, or even a cellphone, packed with the inspiration you’ve taken from other artists and the environment around you.

2. Don’t Wait Until You Know Who You Are to Get Started

Work now. Think Later!

You won’t know yourself if you’re just sitting around and thinking about who you are. You must act, and creative action is what unlocks that self-knowledge. The “good stuff” comes from doing your work and being present in the moment.

Fake It Until You Make It!

Developing your unique style requires adopting the habits of a writer, musician, or artist. Constant practice is the key to success. The best way to achieve originality is to take cues from others who have inspired you rather than blindly imitating their work.

Try to see what motivates your idols and see things from their point of view. This will give you a deeper understanding of creativity.

3. Write The Book You Want To Read

“Write what you know” is a bit of terrible advice when a writer is wondering what to do next. Don’t worry about writing about things you understand; instead, write the kinds of stories you wish existed. Create something that will make you happy whenever you read it.

Anything that inspires you to read and write more should be the focus of your writing. If you are looking for inspiration, try focusing on what will give you the most pleasure. This need not be the most difficult or meaningful option but the one that will get your creative juices flowing again. For instance:

  • Make a sequel to your favorite movies or books.
  • Make the next album for your favorite band.
  • Analyze the works of your creative heroes to see if there is anything you would change or add.

4. Use Your Hands

Computer-generated output is good, but it lacks concreteness. Using your hands is the only way to fully appreciate the benefits of the creative process.

You must figure out how to incorporate your body into your work, and your mind will learn more when you’re body is involved in the process.

You may try building a desk with a “digital” and an “analog” side. On the digital side, you have your computer and other electronic devices. The analog side encompasses everything you do with your hands, from drafting documents by hand to drawing cartoons. Your imagination will flourish if you maintain this separation.

5. Side Projects and Hobbies Are Important

Your most significant work will always be what you do when you’re avoiding what you think you should be doing. That’s why taking some time off from your main work every now and then is essential. You may find that the things you’re doing to pass the time is something you’ve wanted to do for a long time.

You shouldn’t put off pursuing your true interests. What you do and what you’re passionate about can combine to form something brand new. Don’t give up on things that make you happy, like hobbies. A hobby is something you do creatively that doesn’t have to do with making money or getting famous but does make you happy.

Your creative self is expressed through your interests, passions, and even procrastination. Don’t worry about how everything fits together; the fact that you made it brings it all together.

6. The Secret: Do Good Work and Share It with People

Many artists may work in obscurity for a period of their careers. However, the upside is that they can make all the mistakes privately. Practice makes perfect. Be patient, and you’ll be an expert someday. When that day comes, share your work with the world!

In the past, artists and writers needed to locate a venue to exhibit their work, perform, or publish their work. Now it’s easier: Post your content online. There are two simple steps if you want to share your work via the Internet:

  • Wonder about something
  • Invite others to wonder with you.

Reflect on what inspires you or what’s on your mind. Even if you have nothing to say, you may still discover topics to discuss by putting yourself out there online. We live in a time when the internet constantly expands our horizons and possibilities.

Yet, there is still some fear among people that being online will suck up all their creativity. But with everything we can do, learn and explore on the web, it’s more likely that it will inspire us to do great things.

Learn all the technical skills you need to use the web. Build your own presence online; get familiar with blogging and social networking. If you don’t want to share your entire concepts, offer some tips or links to help others.

7. Geography Is No Longer Our Master

There is no such thing as being too far away to be part of a community. Even if you live in the most remote location, there are online communities that you can participate in – and they’re likely just one click away.

You can also make your own world. Fill your space with things that make you feel complete, like art, movies, music, and books. You only need a place to work and some time to actually get things done.

And whether you’re prepared or not, you’ll need to strike out on your own. You need to get away from your comfort zone and spend time with those who have different perspectives than you have. Seeing the world and all its wonders forces your mind to stretch and grow.

If you’re wondering where you must go, consider this saying: “bad weather leads to better art.” You might consider relocating to a place with scorching and humid summers and very dark and frigid winters. Look for a gathering spot for writers, artists, and filmmakers.

Bonus points if the local cuisine is superb. After all, you must find a place that feeds you – creatively, socially, spiritually, and literally.

8. Be Nice

These days, good manners are more important than ever because of how interconnected the world has become. A person will quickly find out if you speak ill of them online. Crushing your online adversaries is as simple as acting like they don’t exist. A little act of kindness can go a long way toward making new internet friends.

Do not respond if someone provokes you. Use your anger as a motivating factor to do more creative work. Seek out those more experienced and knowledgeable than you are on the internet, and pay attention to what they have to say.

You’ll go through long stretches when no one pays attention. To get through those days, create a praise file. Save emails/tweets/notes that say nice things about your work in this file so you can look back on them when it feels like no one cares about what you do.

9. Be Boring

Pursuing the myth of the starving artist is taxing your creativity, and you will burn out at some point. Focus more on your art and let go of this harmful mindset.

Managing your own personal money is an integral part of self-care. Help yourself out by learning about money. Keep track of your spending. A job will keep you grounded and disciplined if you can’t support yourself through your art.

Take care of your financial obligations. You won’t ever have to choose between creativity and making ends meet. You are free to create whatever you want until the quality of your work allows you to support yourself financially.

But if you also have a job, how can you make time for your artistic endeavors? It may come as a surprise, but having a routine can increase productivity by allowing you to better manage the limited time available to pursue your interests.

10. Creativity Is Subtraction

In some cases, restrictions can make you more creative. In response to his editor’s challenge, author Dr. Seuss wrote the now-classic children’s book Green Eggs and Ham using only 50 different words.

Remove the fluff and focus on the gold in your work. You can make something using the resources you already have. You need to scale back some of your more ambitious ideas. It’s true what they say: less is more.

I hope you enjoyed these Steal Like An Artist lessons. It was enlightening for me personally to write this summary, and I’m excited to share it with you. I hope you’ll check out the book and let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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