If you’re looking to chill out and pick up a good book to read, maybe open up your eyes a little bit and give you some inspiration, then I highly recommend, Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. Both writer and artist, has written a gem that should be read by anyone who considers themselves to be a creative. In Steal Like an Artist, you’re presented with ten principles Austin Kleon wished he’d heard when he first started out:

  1.      Steal like an artist
  2.     Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started creating
  3.     Write the book you want to read
  4.     Use your hands
  5.     Side projects and hobbies are important
  6.     The Secret: Do good work and share it with people
  7.     Geography is no longer our master
  8.     Be nice. (the world is a small town)
  9.     Be boring. (it’s the only way to get work done)
  10.     Creativity is subtraction

Key Takeaways

Nothing is original.

Everything we create has a history behind it. Our mothers used to tell us this but they phrased it differently, “Ain’t nothin new under the sun.” Other creatives inspire us all, we all have our heroes, and we all get inspired by the work of others. Let their work inspire you and apply those inspirations to your own work.

Be honest with yourself. 

Being honest with yourself can be incredibly hard, especially when you’re starting at square one, like many of us in the Blavity community are. If you work hard enough, your skills and abilities will inevitably improve. Many of us tend to be our harshest critics but we have to make sure we appreciate our small wins because they are signs improvements over time.

Being comfortable can hinder creativity.

Being comfortable can really be a crutch in some cases. Doing the same things repeatedly will only give you the same results. Putting yourself in uncomfortable, new situations may actually be the change you need to spark your creativity. Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Go to the weekend writers workshop you’ve always thought about, take that acting class you’ve been thinking about, sign up for the open mic you regularly attend, ask someone who’s work you admire if they’d be willing to critique your work or even collaborate with you. Making yourself uncomfortable could give you the exact boost you need breakthrough personal stagnation.

Steal Like an Artist serves as a guide for you to reference and (ironically) steal things from in hopes of applying it to your own creative endeavors. I’ve talked with multiple friends and colleagues about this book and each of us have walked away with something different, which is further proof that Kleon achieved his purpose of illustrating the many different paths people can take to kick start their creative endeavors. The book provides advice in a simplistic way to reinforce the idea that creating is simple. All we have to do is get out of our own way and let the ideas come. For more info on Austin Kleon and ideas on creativity, definitely check him out via Twitter and his blog.

[stag_divider style=”dashed”]

[stag_alert style=”grey]p.s. If you liked this post and want to see more content reviews from Blavity sign up for our email list here.[/stag_alert]