Review of “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

My attempt at a newspaper blackout poem didn't turn out so well. I should leave it to Austin Kleon and another one of his books "Newspaper Blackout."
My attempt at a newspaper blackout poem didn’t turn out so well. I should leave it to Austin Kleon and another one of his books “Newspaper Blackout.”

Stealing Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” was written by Austin Kleon, who is known for his poems created from redacted newspaper articles. Now if you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty creative, so why not listen to what he says about creativity itself.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

The book details tips and reflections about influence and creativity. Its also jam packed with quotes from artists, writers, musicians and many others — perfect for any Pinterest board or real-life inspiration collection if that’s your thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who creates or hopes to create — be it through music, words or any other medium. It’s basically a self-help book for people who hate self-help books. As a (aspiring) writer, I found a lot of the tips and reflections in this book either helpful or familiar.

The first principle of the book is that nothing is original — it’s just reworked into someone else’s perspective. In this way, we find relief in not having to be that “new revolutionary person.” We can just focus on creating something we would want to see ourselves.

Something that really resonated with me is that, during college (which I’m in now), you’re paying people to care what you think and say. After this, not too many people, besides your friends and family, will actually take the time to sit down and really hear you. I never really thought about it this way before, especially with the interconnectedness of the Internet. I see it as all the more reason to get into the habit of creating while I can now.

For anyone who is heading down that track as well and want to keep some personal musings and projects on your iPhone or iPad, Werdsmith is an app that let’s you write anytime, anyplace. You can create ideas with no pressure to finish them or projects that have a set goal (word count). I’ll be using it to make sure I keep writing no matter what.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to comment or suggest a review. As a preview, I’m reading through a dense dystopian novel now, so wish me luck with its 900+ pages.

-K

P.s. My promotion of Werdsmith is not a paid advertisement, I just really find it helpful.

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