This needs to be said, and said, and said, until it sinks in.

Steal Like An Artist

Was introduced to Austin Kleon‘s timely little book this morning, via a post full of Kleon’s catchy, inspiring graphics, over on Thoughts On Theatre. Followed her links from there to Kleon’s own site promoting the book.

Steal Like An Artist - Promotional Poster

There’s not much I can say to add to this succinct message. If you are a creative person, you will already, instinctively, intuitively know these things. No doubt you’ve heard the message before…you’ve come across one of the many famous quotes on the subject, or maybe you’ve even thought these things up for yourself, and reading this list simply confirms what you have suspected all along.

Steal Like An Artist - Good theft vs. Bad Theft Poster

And yet, as common and familiar as these ideas are, seeing them still excites creative types. Why? Because while we’ve all heard the message, it hasn’t really sunk in to the point where we believe it, practice it, apply it, and really, truly KNOW it.

Kleon’s message is familiar, but not redundant. These things need to be said, and said, and said, until it sinks in and starts to change us from the inside:

The ability to create is a gift that life gives to everyone—your own creative ideas are a mashup of having seen other people’s creations—and what you then go on to create becomes your gift to the world, your contribution to the massive pool of art, ideas, and thought; you are simply joining in a conversation that started when human life began.

“Creativity is not magic, creativity is for everyone.”

Gillespie, on Charlie 'Bird' Parker

One of my favorite examples of both the continuing life of a good idea, and of artists drawing on what has inspired them in order to go on and make something “same, but different,” are these incarnations of a rhino woodcut that is nearly 500 years old…

clockwise from top left: anonymous 1514, Durer 1515, Durer 1515, Dali 1956, preemiememe 2009, Hans Burgkmair 1515

4 thoughts on “This needs to be said, and said, and said, until it sinks in.

  1. Grabe, super timing itong post mo, Nat. Been dilly dallying on a new endeavor for a while now due to a crisis of confidence, so item number two on the list really hit me hard. Salamat, salamat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s