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April 12, 2012

Steal Like an Artist

Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

“Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” is an insightful presentation that Austin Kleon originally put together for a talk to college students. It resonated so much that he’s become a leader in creative thought, speaking at conferences such as TED and SXSW. Kleon’s premise is that no idea is truly original, so “steal” a good idea, study it, build on it, and make it your own and better — and give credit where it is due. The 10 tenets are:

  1. Steal like an artist.
  2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.
  3. Write the book you want to read.
  4. Use your hands.
  5. Side projects and hobbies are important.
  6. The secret: do good work and share it with people.
  7. Geography is no longer our master.
  8. Be nice.
  9. Be boring.
  10. Creativity is subtraction.

But you need to read the whole book to appreciate Kleon’s creative inspiration in full. It’s not just inspirational but also motivational and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed this renewed angle on the creative thinking process.