The Weekend Read – Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon

A present from my brother in 2012, this is a small book with a big message that punches well above its weight. 

The concept behind Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is that we learn by copying.

The chapter titles are to the point and act as a great guide:

  1. Steal Like an Artist. (All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.)
  2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started. (Fake it ’til you make it.)
  3. Write the book you want to read. (Don’t write what you know, write what you like.)
  4. Use your hands. (Step away from the screen – your hands are your original digital devices.)
  5. Side projects and hobbies are important. (Don’t worry about unity from piece to piece, what unifies all your work is that you made it.)
  6. The Secret: Do good work and share it with people. (Put stuff on the internet)
  7. Geography is no longer our master. (You don’t have to live anywhere other than where you are to start connecting with the world you want to be in)
  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. (Choose what to leave out)

In respect to the book (and because I am short of time) I am quoting from the review on the excellent  Actionable Books – do yourself a favour, look them up & subscribe. Weekly reviews of  interesting business books. 

What completely resonated with me, as I pondered the notion that it all has been done before, is that this idea is actually very freeing. It removes the “burden of trying to be completely original.” No pressure. Can’t come up with that new product? Pulling your hair out to develop the next best viral sensation? Trying to figure out what to write about next? No pressure. It has already been done before. So, go look at the best of what has been done before and steal from it.

Available from The Book Depository

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