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

Here’s the story behind this book.  A good friend recommended it over the summer.  I had trouble interloaning it from the library and forgot about it.  Another friend randomly bought me the book you see here.  What’s the connection?  Serendipity!

I’m calling 2013 the year of possibilities.  I’m also searching for my “style.”  This book has helped put it all in perspective.

Favorite quotes from this book:

“The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.”  –David Bowie

“Start copying what you love.  Copy copy copy copy.  At the end of the copy you will find your self.”  –Yohji Yamamoto

(I love Monet.  See my attempt at copying his style here.  But in the end, is it Monet or is it me?)

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

“Avoiding work is the way to focus my mind.”  –Maira Kalman

(See the result of my procrastination here.)

If you’re an artist and unsure of yourself or just unsure of how to begin for the day, read this book.  I highly recommend studying the diagram on pg. 83 😉

I will leave you with a quote from author/illustrator Shaun Tan.  He was a keynote speaker at the SCBWI conference in NY this year, which I was unable to attend.  I would have loved to sit in on his session on “Developing A Personal Style.”  Luckily, someone tweeted about it.

“Your deep style is the intersection of all  the other styles you adopt.”  –Shaun Tan

Now it’s your turn.  Tell me about a “happy accident” you had either in art or in life. 

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne Stockard
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 02:50:31

    I love the quote about procrastination. I never thought of that but I will now watch what I am doing when I procrastinate:) Sidenote: Today, in my class, we were creating trees from the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book. I told the children to use any colors they wanted. Even though I had the book at the table to remind them of what we had just read, every tree was different and none of them looked like the one in the book. I was so proud that they created their own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees. I know you would be too.


  2. Dana Atnip
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 04:19:12

    I’m going to read that book; I’ve heard of it before but you’ve inspired me to go check it out! I will admit that I have seen some things that other artists have done & I’ll wonder how I can change the idea around a bit to make it look like my original idea, lol.
    As for happy accidents, none pop out at me in my memory but many of my comic strips that I used to create were often written from real life experiences. 🙂


    • angelajkidd
      Mar 01, 2013 @ 20:59:31

      I’m glad it sparked an interest 🙂 The funny thing about this book is that it really isn’t about stealing style at all. It’s just a jumping off point. And if you work at it, you find your own style in the process. We’re all on a journey of self-discovery in life and art. I have a feeling that even when we “discover our style” that it will continue to change and adapt over time as we keep learning and growing.


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