Steal Like An Artist

This book contains 10 simple but powerful ideas to help you unleash your creative spirit.

Below is the book summary:

1. Steal Like an Artist

Nothing is original.

All creative work builds on what came before.

Collect good ideas. Carry a notebook.

Save your thefts for later. Keep a ‘swipe file.’

Study one artist/writer who inspires you. Then find 3 people

that thinker loved and study their work… Repeat.

Build your tree, then start your own branch.

Hang pictures of your favorite artists in your studio.

Educate yourself. Go deeper than anyone else.

Keep a ‘morgue file’ for “dead things” you can reanimate later.

2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.

You’re ready. Start making stuff.

Fake it ’til you make it.

Get to know yourself through your art/creativity.

Copy from your heroes. All of them.

Learn by copying. Internalize their way of looking at the world.

Transform their work into something of your own.

Good Theft vs Bad Theft

honor, study, steal from many, credit, transform, remix

degrade, skim, steal from one, plagiarize, imitate, rip off

3. Write the book you want to read.

Write what you (know) like. Do the work/art you want done.

Channel your desire for a sequel into a project.

Mix and match (group) your ‘heroes.’

Make what they would make.

4. Use your hands.

Bring your body into your work. Move around.

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

5. Side projects and hobbies are important.

It’s good to have a lot of projects going at once,

so you can bounce between them.

Take time to be bored… Iron. Wash dishes. Take the bus.

Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.

Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander.

Do not leave your longings unattended.

Keep all your passions in your life.

If you love different things, just keep spending time with them.

Something will begin to happen.

Don’t worry about a unified vision for your work.

6. The Secret: Do good work and share it with people.

Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts. Do what you want.

There’s no pressure when you’re unknown. Experiment.

Do good work: Make stuff every day. Fail. Get better.

Share it with people: Put your stuff on the internet.

Wonder at something nobody else is wondering about.

Invite others to wonder with you.

Give your secrets away. Share your dots, but don’t connect them.

When you open up your process and invite people in, you learn.

Figure out blogging, how to make a website, social media…

Find people on the internet who love the same things you do.

Connect with them. Share things with them.

7. Geography is no longer our master.

Build your own world around you. Reach out on the internet.

Surround yourself with what you love.

Live around interesting people. Enjoy captivity and solitude.

Leave home (the familiar). See something new.

Experience a different culture. Travel makes the world look new.

Get uncomfortable. It makes our brains work harder.

8. Be nice. (The world is a small town.)

Make friends. Ignore your enemies.

Get comfortable being misunderstood, disparaged, or ignored.

Be too busy doing your own work to care. Keep a ‘praise file.’

Stand next to the talent. Follow the best people online.

Pay attention to what they’re talking about/ linking to.

Quit correcting others and go make something.

Channel anger into creativity.

Write a blog post, compliment someone’s work, link to their site. Show appreciation without expecting anything in return.

9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)

Take care of yourself.

Stay out of debt. Live within your means. Save.

Keep your day job… for money, connection, routine.

Take jobs you can learn from, for your art.

Do your work every day, no matter what.

Get a calendar. Fill the boxes.

Body of work = slow accumulation of little bits of effort over time

Keep a log book. (Chart of past events.)

List what you do every day… good resource for later.

Marry well. (Choose who you want to be around.)

10. Creativity is Subtraction

To get really good at creative work you must spend a lot of time and attention. You must cut a lot of fluff out of your life. With that extra time and attention.

Making a choice of what to leave out is part of our creativity.”what is unspoken vs. spoken, what isn’t shown vs. what is, etc.” Source: http:/

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