Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.
Jobs Tomlinson suggests that if you love different things, you just keep spending time with them. “Let them talk to each other. Something will begin to happen.” The thing is, you can cut off a couple passions and only focus on one, but after a while, you’ll start to feel phantom limb pain. I spent my teenage years obsessed with songwriting and playing in bands, but then I decided I needed to focus on just writing, so I spent half a decade hardly playing any music at all. The phantom
no plans. It’s regenerative. It’s like church. Don’t throw any of yourself away. Don’t worry about a grand scheme or unified vision for your work. Don’t worry about unity—what unifies your work is the fact that you made it. One day, you’ll look back and it will all make sense. I get a lot of e-mails from young people who ask, “How do I get discovered?” I sympathize with them. There is a kind of fallout that happens when you leave college. The classroom is a wonderful, if artificial,
I’ve learned so much from the folks who submit poems to my Newspaper Blackout site. I find a lot of things to steal, too. It benefits me as much as it does them. You don’t put yourself online only because you have something to say—you can put yourself online to find something to say. 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.
that you’ll be alive for a while. (It’s for this reason that Patti Smith tells young artists to go to the dentist.) Eat breakfast. Do some push-ups. Go for long walks. Get plenty of sleep. Neil Young sang, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” I say it’s better to burn slow and see your grandkids. Most people I know hate to think about money. Do yourself a favor: Learn about money as soon as you can. My grandpa used to tell my dad, “Son, it’s not the money you make, it’s the
you break your work into daily chunks. Each day, when you’re finished with your work, make a big fat X in the day’s box. Every day, instead of just getting work done, your goal is to just fill a box. “After a few days you’ll have a chain,” 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.” Get a calendar. Fill the boxes. Don’t break the