Gems from “Steal Like an Artist”

, in Gems

I just finished Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. It’s a short little book, but it contains some valuable ideas. Here’s what I took away from it.

You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences.

Your job is to collect ideas. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.

Keep a snippets folder, wherein you store what you took from others. See something worth stealing? Put it in your snippets folder. Looking for some inspiration? Open your snippets folder.

If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research. Wilson Mizner

Do the work you want to see done.

Create with your hands. Publish/finish with the computer.

Keep all passions in your life. Do not leave your longings unattended.

The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. Jessica Hische

Don’t worry about unity: what unifies your work, is the fact that you made it.

When the world looks new, your brain works harder.

When you discover you’re the most talented person in the room, start looking for a new room.

Keep a praise folder.

Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities.

What an artist decides to leave out is often what makes the art interesting.