Art Book Review: Steal like an Artist

Kiri Østergaard Leonard with the book: Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon

ISBN-10: 0761169253
List price: $10.95

Small Book – Big Effect

Steal like an Artist is a small book with a big effect. The concept is simple: steal ideas! – something most of us generally cringe at but Austin Kleon’s humourous and clever explanations quickly makes you realize that is how ideas are born into life. The book is 160 short formatted pages, it only takes about an hour to get through and it is a creative process changer.

Since reading the book myself, I have taken much of the advice to heart and my creative process has been considerably less frustrating and much more productive. Austin explains concepts such as “Nothing is Original” and “Garbage in, garbage out”. All ideas we are familiar with but tend to forget.

He also suggests that as an artist you should create your own “family tree” of inspirations. You may not get to choose who you are in family with, but you certainly can choose who gets to influence your creative work.

Don’t wait

One of the most important points that Austin champions is “Don’t wait until you know who you are to make things”. He says:

“If I waited to know “who I was” or “what I was about” before I started “being creative”, well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things that we figure out who we are.”

I find this to be an extremely important point. So often have I come across wonderfully creative people who get next to nothing done. Reasons such as “writer’s block” or “creative block” gets thrown around when, perhaps, the real reason is fear of failure; fear that this wonderful idea inside their mind, is not going to be a success when carried out.

I do understand this fear, I have had it myself many times but in the last year or so I have learned that there is only one way to get things done; as Nike says “Just do it!” An idea kept inside your head that is never even attempted brought to life, is an idea wasted.

Just do it!” – Nike

This is but a few of the concepts the book works with, I highly recommend acquiring it. It’s a great and inspiring read and definitely worth the cost.

The Author

Austin Kleon – Author behind Steal like an artist

Ohio born Austin Kleon is the author of two best selling books; Steal like an Artist and Newspaper Blackout. He is a champion of creativity in the digital age and often gives speeches to companies such Google and Pixar. He currently lives with his wife Meghan and his dog Milo in Austin, Texas.

Lastly a TED speech Austin Kleon gave on this book and the trailer for it:

Links:
Austin Kleon’s Official Website on Steal like an Artist
Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon on Amazon

Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

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