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Steal like an artist

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

Author- Austin Kleon


  • Understanding the meaning of the book Steal like an artist is a book written by Austin Kleon on how art is created by an artist. The book includes 10 things that nobody told you about creativity and how to be creative. It's a perfect piece for those who want to be more creative and doubt themselves about creating new content and being more creative.


  • How does an artist get an idea? An artist gets an idea by stealing it. Nothing is original. Creative works build on what came before. Every idea is a mashup of the previous ideas. It's like genealogy. You are born to your father and mother. You are a remix of your mom and dad and all of your ancestors. Just like that, we have an ideology of ideas you can choose anything you like, from anyone your teachers, friend circle, or even the people you look upon. You are the mashup of the influences we have on your life. Artist collects the ideas from the one whom he is surrounded by. If you are surrounded by good people you have an influence on them to get good ideas. Save your thoughts out of a book, the conversations you have with, the people you surround yourself with. Have a piece of paper with yourself so you can note it down anywhere and anytime. When you start initially there is a huge difference between who you are and who you want to be. It is difficult to start because you are scared. People face the imposter syndrome which is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. It's like not having an idea of what you are doing. Well everyone has that. Step up from that and represent yourself.


  • Start copying what you love Start copying what you love. Nobody is born with a voice or an identity. We try to copy our heroes. It's not plagiarism where you are passing someone else's work as your own. Copying anything is reverse engineering it is like trying out something to see whether it fits us or not. Everything we learned is copied from something else. First, you have to figure out whom to copy and secondly what to copy. After you copy the ideas you have to carve them in your style breaking off from the way how your heroes explained. Our failure to copy our heroes is our own thing. Copy your heroes and then add something of your own. Give the thing your own curve and that makes your own work.


  • Do good work and share it with people

People do not pay attention to you not because they aren't interested but because they are busy. So whenever you do something creative share it with them because you won't get that freedom when people start giving attention to you. The only not-so-secret formula to get known is "do good work and share it with people". It is so simple to do it now, just share it on the internet. When you open up the secrets people like them you get more knowledge. Find people of the same interests and share your work by making websites putting out your blog posts and sharing them through social media. When you spill your secrets or at least glimpse a little bit of it people get to know what you are interested in and it can make you connect the dots.


  • Side projects and hobbies are important

Practicing productive procrastination is really great for taking off with ideas. The side projects always takeoffs. When you have a lot of projects going at one time then when you get sick of the one you can bounce between others. When you do something boring work you get the most of the ideas. When you like different things don't scrape them off keep spending time with them. When you focus on just one thing you start getting bored with it and then you hate it. It is so important to have a hobby because you don't do it for the money you do it just because it makes you happy.


  • Be nice: The world is a small town Always be kind. Share the ideas and your views with the nicest things and words. If you are gonna talk bad about someone they are gonna find it out. You are only good as the people you surround yourself with. Follow the right people on the internet like the ones who are better than you, people who you look up to. Pay attention to what they do, what they talk about. If you are the most talented person in the room then you are in the wrong room. Stop taking fights and arguments and create something. There's no need to correct every stupid thing out there. Don't seek any validation when you are doing some creative work. Not everyone will understand you. So get comfortable with gossips or misunderstandings. The trick is to be busy with your work and ignore the negatives and not care about it. Keep a praise file because when you are not doing good you might open that appreciation file and feel better.


  • Be boring it's the only way to get work done


You need a lot of energy to be creative. So take proper rest, do some exercise, go for a walk. Take breaks and avoid burnout. Learn about money as soon as possible in your life. Keep your day job. Even if you are a creative person keep a day job. It gives you the ability to holding on to your schedules. It puts you on the path of other human beings. Learn from them and steal from them. The thing is day job takes your time but it gives the management skills to manage your time for creative tasks. Don't stop and don't take any holidays for your creative works. Work gets done in the time available. Get a day job that will give you energy and time for your creative workspace. Conquering your goals is a long process but when you do it bit by bit every day and pull crosses over the calendar you see a chain-forming on it. The thing here is to not break the chain. If you have to write a book. Write one page every day you will have a novel at the end of the year. Get a calendar fill the boxes don't break the chain. Keep a track of your day and write the best moments of the day. That will create an image of how far you have come in your life when you look back and connect the dots.


  • Conclusions So this book is a guide on how to become more creative or how to steal the art and enhance it in your way so that you own it. Make space with the time and what material you have. When you can do things with minimum requirements you try to give your best. Artist struggles with the limitations. Instead, you should embrace your limitations and keep moving. "Creativity isn't the thing we are trying to put in it. It is the thing we choose to leave out".

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