Steal Like an Artist Summary By Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist Review

Short Summary

  • "It's perfectly acceptable to draw inspiration from your artistic idols while finding your own unique style. By staying focused on your craft and disregarding both praise and criticism, you can cultivate the ideal creative environment for yourself."

Chapter 1: Steal Like an Artist Summary

Pablo Picasso said:

” Good artists borrow, Great artists steal.”

Appreciating the thin line between stealing and borrowing is the takeaway of the first chapter. Picasso is not promoting plagiarism but showing us the path to greatness by getting inspiration from masters and creating your niche or speciality along the way that is unique to you.

An artist observes the world to figure out any art that is worth stealing. They say creativity does not occur in total isolation but is an outcome of the diligence of generations of artists. Everything that needs to be said has already been said. Behind every great work of art, there is an unfinished story that you can finish with art. Artists aren’t original entirely, as Conan O Brien, a comedian and talk show host, said that many comedians emulate their heroes, fall short and end up doing something their own.

Choose an artist or creative person whose work you idealize and display their pieces of work in your working room. Creating art like your heroes will give you the feeling of being connected to the legacy of great artists. It will keep you inspired and motivated. Eventually, you will move from imitating your heroes to emulating them. Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you have, the more you can choose from. Ask anybody doing truly creative work, and they’ll tell you the truth: They don’t know where the good stuff comes from.

Chapter 2: Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started

There is a lot of confusion and division regarding creativity and originality. To steal and pass someone else’s work as your own is called plagiarism. But if you copy from many, it is called research. Completely original work is a misnomer because art or artist is not produced in isolation; it is a fusion and amalgamation of ideas for centuries.

Keep In mind that you are going to suck for a while. It means that you feel like a phoney like you’re just winging and you’re out of ideas, but you must keep busy doing your work as the way to tackle this problem. All artists emulate and channel the work of their heroes. Choose three persons who influenced the person whose work inspires you and repeat the process with them.

Chapter 3: Write the book you want to read

A simple rule to walk on the pathway to originality is to try to create work that’s new for you otherwise, you will keep repeating yourself. It’s good not to commit to any work that u don’t feel like doing. Carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go. Get used to pulling it out and jotting down your thoughts and observations.

“The best advice is not to write what you know. It’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best — write the story you want to read.”

A good artist understands that nothing comes from nowhere; all creative work builds on what came before. Just imitating your heroes will not make your work creative unless you creatively transform their work and give the world something new. A computer is really good for editing your ideas and a medium for publishing them. Try to produce the work you want to see, build the products you want to buy, create art you want to see, and undertake a work u want to see done.

Chapter 4: Use your hands

Using hands in the smart age of the digital revolution is what will keep you on track, and one has to be careful not to drown in the age of information abundance. Maintaining a balance between the digital and analogue age is the key to success.

One should cultivate habits like keeping a notebook and a pen to write down creative thoughts and observations. Because, to an observant eye, there is always art to steal in your surroundings. In this age of information overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.

Chapter 5: Side projects and hobbies are important

Prolonged focus on one project will suck sooner or later and drain your motivation. to guard against it, one has to strive for two or three real passions at once, or you can prioritize your projects. Instead of picking and choosing, one has to pursue different projects simultaneously because the online platform allows you to try your luck in different fields.

You can work on some other online hustles. When you have a lot of projects going on, it will keep you motivated and bring diversity to your hobbies. However, be careful not to become too complacent – you will become bored, and your work will suffer. Don’t discard your passions and keep them in your life. After all, geography is no longer the master.

Chapter 6: The Secret: do good work and share it with people

Show your work to your friends for their feedback. Promote yourself online confidently, and always process feedback. Writing blogs, reviews of some good books, product reviews, or business feasibility plans are always accepted everywhere and appreciated.

By sharing your work online, you cultivate good relations worldwide, and it helps you to find your niche in the internet age. Write a blog, review, and public fan letter to share with friends. Instead of keeping a reject file, keep a praise file for self-motivation.

Chapter 7: Geography is no longer our master

In ancient times, artists travelled long distances to see and observe art being produced elsewhere. If someone wanted to see the great renaissance statues and frescoes, he had to travel to the Mediterranean. Today artists can work from home. The Internet is a great platform to put your artistic work online.

Making art was never easy in ancient times due to geographical restraints. Today artists surround themselves with computers and other smart gadgets to work electronically. But there are too many opportunities to hit the delete key, and you might start editing ideas before you have them. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.

Chapter 8: Be nice. The world is a small place

You’ll never get too far without being nice and courteous with a radiance of positivity. When you steal someone else’s work, never shy to show your gratitude. You won’t be able to make your mark without a close circle of sincere friends at your back. Share your work with others and put your work on the internet. One can post a piece of work inspired by your hero because praising others can be another great way to do meaningful work. Ignoring negativity is the key to success in artistic pursuits, and the trick is to be too busy doing your work to care.

Chapter 9: Be boring (it’s the only way to get work done)

Normalize the feeling of boredom in your life. Make rules for yourself, like never moving your bum until the work is done. Make a habit of tracking your daily progress on a big wall calendar. Set small goals and put them on sticky notes or date boxes of the calendar. Every great work of art demands commitment and focus. Your journey as an artist can be daunting and challenging.

Chapter 10: Creativity is subtraction

What is more important and difficult in the age of information abundance and overload is leaving out the irrelevant and finding the relevant information. Self-imposed constraints and limitations of resources or time are actually for boosting your creativity. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is true.

The best way to get over creative block is to simply place some constraints on yourself. Limitations necessitate unconventional approaches, box solutions, and polish your skills. To imitate is a gateway to freedom. Practising art while obeying constraints of limitations will increase art in work. Observe and absorb everything you watch, and read and select only things to steal and subtract the rest.

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