Book “Steal like an Artist” notes

I have been reading again the book “Steal like an Artist”by Austin Kleon and have decided this time to make some relevant notes for myself.

  • Nothing is original  – if we are free from trying to be completely original we can embrace influence instead of running away from it
  • Collect good ideas – the more good ideas the more you can choose to be influenced by
  • Climb your own family tree – look at one artist really love and study then find three people that artist loved and find out everything about them and repeat as many times as can. Once you build your tree time to start own branch! Have work of favourite artist in Studio (I have work by some well known textile artists) you can kind of be their apprentice you can learn from them the lesson plan is in their work.
  • School yourself – google, look up references, go deeper than anybody else.  Always be reading, go to Library, collect books (even if you do not plan on reading them right away.  Nothing is more important than an unread library. Search
  • Carry a notebook and pen everywhere and record. Keep a ‘swipe’ file of stuff you like either digitally or in a scrapbook. Use it as an inspiration/ideas file.
  • Start copying – do not steal the style steal the thinking behind the style. Steal to get a glimpse into their minds.  Need to understand where they are coming from or work will never be more than a just a copy. Look at many artist; credit; transform; remix; honour; study.  What is it that makes you different? Amplify this and transform into your own work.
  • Practice productive procrastination – play; have lots of projects going at once so can bounce between them (I sure do this).  Need time to sit and do nothing too.
  • Do not throw any of yourself away – if you have two or three real passions do not feel like you have to choose between them.  It is so important to have a hobby – something that is creative just for you maybe only you see it. “What unifies your work is the fact that you made it”.
  • Make stuff every day – put stuff on the internet.
  • Build your own world – surround yourself with books objects that really like and tape things on the wall – create your own world without leaving home.  Enjoy alone time if  travelling for example.
  • Stand next to talent – follow the best people online
  • Get a Calendar – plan, have concrete goals and stay on track – break work down to daily chunks.  Fill the boxes.
  • Keep a log book – list the things you do every day – ask yourself what is the BEST thing that happened today
  • Choose what to leave out – place some constraints on yourself – make things with the time, space and materials you have right now.
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