Monday, June 25, 2012

{Monday Inspiration} Steal Like an Artist

When Broome Community College in upstate New York asked writer-artist Austin Kleon to give a speech at their convocation, he wrote down a list of 10 things he wish he'd heard when he was starting out as a college student. The speech, which became a blog post and his second book Steal Like an Artist, was a manifesto for modern-day creativity that explains how creativity is not just for the fortunate few or the geniuses, but for everyone. That it's a cultivated mindset and that in order to create such a life, you need to be kind and curious, be willing to look stupid, and be selective about what you let into your world. As he illustrates in the book, "garbage in, garbage out."

"We can pick our teachers and we can pick our friends and we can pick the books we read and the music we listen to and the movies we see, etcetera. You are a mashup of what you let into your life," he says.

The title is derived from a quote often mistakenly attributed to Pablo Picasso: Bad artists copy, great artists steal. Meaning if you want to be good, surround yourself by good influences that stimulate you intellectually and creatively and learn from them. Then build upon what you've found, make it better or different by remixing it and adding a piece of yourself into it.

"Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use — do the work you want to see done," he says.

The handwritten list he created for his Broome speech is now available on 20x200 for those who need a constant reminder above their desk.

Image: (via

1 comment :

  1. Love this! I wanna get a print and put it in my studio!


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