Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist is a delightful and insightful exploration of creativity in the digital age. Packed with captivating illustrations and inspiring quotes, the book offers ten transformative principles to help readers unlock their true potential.
My Highlights from the Book
While I flew through the entire book in about two hours, the impact lingered long after, propelling me to share its valuable gems. I share my top four takeaways from the book
Climb Your Family Tree
Kleon debunks the myth of the solitary genius, urging us to embrace our artistic lineage. He beautifully illustrates this concept through the analogy of climbing your family tree, starting with the artist you deeply admire. This resonated with me, as I often subconsciously gravitated towards those who influenced my mentors. I have also previously written about imitation as the bedrock of creativity. However, “Steal Like an Artist” took that concept further, suggesting the need to actively seek out these influences and inspirations and consciously incorporate them into my creative endeavours.
Get Started Even If You Don’t Know Who You Are
Additionally, “Steal Like an Artist” champions the transformative power of action. Kleon argues that by actively creating, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, uncovering hidden talents, passions, and perspectives. This aligns perfectly with my personal creative practice, where experimentation and exploration have played a key role in shaping my artistic identity. Sure, there is the messiness and uncertainty of creation, but it’s a crucial part of artistic evolution and you must learn to embrace it.
Write The Book You Want to Read
Kleon’s mantra “write the book you want to read” struck a powerful chord. Instead of chasing trends or expectations, it encouraged me to focus on creating content that fills a personal void, fueled by genuine passion and curiosity. This shift in perspective has already opened doors to exciting new creative ideas, igniting a spark that I’m eager to explore in upcoming blog posts (stay tuned!).
Nurture Your Passions
Another key insight from ‘Steal Like an Artist’ is drawn from the importance of side hobbies. In a world that encourages compartmentalization and niching down, Kleon’s reminder to nurture and pursue our passions resonated deeply. He urges us to resist letting hobbies disappear, recognising their potential to blossom into meaningful creative pursuits. This resonated with me, prompting me to dust off my neglected guitar, knowing it held the potential for artistic revival. It’s a call to action to integrate our passions into our lives, enriching both our creative endeavours and overall well-being.
Letdowns in Steal Like an Artist
While I wholeheartedly embraced many of Kleon’s ideas, a couple didn’t fully resonate. For example, Kleon advocates for stepping away from screens and using our hands to create. While I acknowledge the value of tangible creation, I believe excellent work can be produced digitally as well. This emphasis felt somewhat limiting in the context of our increasingly digital world.
Additionally, Kleon introduced the concept of “productive procrastination” which intrigued me, but the explanation left me wanting more clarity on its intended meaning and application. Further elaboration on this point would have been helpful.
Despite these minor points, “Steal Like an Artist” offered an abundance of valuable insights and affirmations of my creative practices. It sparked inspiration, challenged limiting beliefs, and provided a resource I expect to revisit often. I rate it an 8/10 and highly recommend it to anyone seeking a thought-provoking and encouraging guide to navigate the creative space
Ready to Steal Like an Artist?
If you’re ready to embrace your artistic lineage, discover your hidden talents, ignite your passions, or build a unique creative voice, pick up “Steal Like an Artist” today. It might just be the spark you need to unlock your potential! Remember, steal like an artist, but most importantly, steal to create your own masterpiece.