Steal Like An Artist By Austin Kleon Book Notes

🙋‍♂️About the book & author:

Austin Kleon is an author, artist, and best-selling author of Steal Like an Artist, Keep Going, and Show Your Work. Austin Kleon Write about creativity in a digital age.

I like all of Austin’s work and these books gave me a stepping stone and path to follow.

Aside from this book, Keep Going is all about staying creative and doing your work no matter what, and Show Your Work is about publishing your work in the digital world.

You will learn many things from this book, these are short, to the point with valuable insights.

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📕Book Notes:

  • “Art is theft.” —Pablo Picasso
  • Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal —T. S. Eliot
  • When people call something “original,” nine out of ten times they just don’t know the references or the original sources involved.

Many things you read, watch, or listen these are not the primary source of information. They come with many iterations and presents to you.

  • Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again. – French writer André Gide
  • We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. – Goethe
  • Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively.
  • I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists. – Marcel Duchamp
  • The great thing about dead or remote masters is that they can’t refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.

You can learn many great things from dead people who are not there, but their ideas are still with you. Make a team of your inspirations observe their work and learn from it.

  • “Nothing is more important than an unread library.” – Filmmaker John Waters
  • Artist David Hockney had all the inside pockets of his suit jackets tailored to fit a sketchbook. The musician Arthur Russell liked to wear shirts with two front pockets so he could fill them with scraps of score sheets.

In the digital age, you can use a simple note-taking app to collect your ideas and thoughts, and recording these in the first place is best rather than continuously stimulating your mind to remember. You can refer back to these notes when you need to.

  • Imposter Syndrome – “a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.”
  • We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are.
  • “Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find yourself.” —Yohji Yamamoto
  • “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” – Salvador Dalí
  • “if you copy from one author, it’s plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it’s research” – Wilson Mizner
  • “If you have one person you’re influenced by, everyone will say you’re the next whoever. But if you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re so original!” – Gary Panter
  • “I have stolen all of these moves from all these great players. I just try to do them proud, the guys who came before, because I learned so much from them. It’s all in the name of the game. It’s a lot bigger than me.” —Kobe Bryant
  • A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we’re incapable of making perfect copies.
  • “Write what you know.” This advice always leads to terrible stories in which nothing interesting happens.
  • 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.
  • “In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!” – Lynda Barry
  • The cartoonist Tom Gauld says he stays away from the computer until he’s done most of the thinking for his strips, because once the computer is involved, “things are on an inevitable path to being finished.
  • The writer Brian Kiteley says he tries to make his workshops true to the original sense of the word: “a light, airy room full of tools and raw materials where most of the work is hands-on.”
  • I have two desks in my office—one is “analog” and one is “digital.”
  • When I get busy, I get stupid.
  • “Avoiding work is the way to focus my mind.” – Maira Kalman
  • Where we choose to live still has a huge impact on the work we do.
  • At some point, when you can do it, you have to leave home. You can always come back, but you have to leave at least once.
  • If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.
  • Henry Rollins has said he is both angry and curious, and that’s what keeps him moving.
  • Inertia is the death of creativity.
  • What you’ll probably find is that the corollary to Parkinson’s Law is usually true: Work gets done in the time available.
  • The comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a calendar method that helps him stick to his daily joke writing.
  • Seinfeld says. “Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
  • Start a business without any start-up capital.

Content businesses are the best businesses you can start without any capital, initially, it will only require your time. Start a YouTube channel, start a blog on Medium for free, and start sharing online. I start like that. I started on Medium and this blog.

  • Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 different words, so his editor bet him he couldn’t write a book with only 50 different words. Dr. Seuss came back and won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.
  • Creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.

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