Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
I won’t try to write a review of this great book by Austin Kleon because there are a lot of good ones available. (For example, this one in Spanish, or this one in English.)
Steal Like an Artist takes out part of the mystique around creativity, and will teach you some very concrete ideas about creative work and how to approach it, in a direct, colloquial, and easy to read style. The basic idea is that no work is really original. We are all a mashup of ideas.
In Brainpicking’s Maria Popova words, Steal Like an Artist is “an intelligent and articulate manifesto for the era of combinatorial creativity and remix culture that’s part 344 Questions, part Everything is a Remix, part The Gift, at once borrowed and entirely original.”
A quote from T.S. Eliot, stolen from Kleon’s book:
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn.
For my self future-reference, here are the 10 points the author proposes:
- 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 substraction.