Recently I reread the book Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. Here are 10 highlights from the book. You can read the entire book notes using the below link.
What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.
If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.
Carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go. Get used to pulling it out and jotting down your thoughts and observations. Copy your favorite passages out of books. Record overheard conversations. Doodle when you’re on the phone.
Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.
It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.
Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use—do the work you want to see done. Go make that stuff.
The computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it’s really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it’s not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key. The computer brings out the uptight perfectionist in us—we start editing ideas before we have them.
“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”—Jessica Hische
The Internet can be more than just a resting place to publish your finished ideas—it can also be an incubator for ideas that aren’t fully formed, a birthing center for developing work that you haven’t started yet.
It’s often what an artist chooses to leave out that makes the art interesting.