How to Steal Like an Artist

This is a fantastic post by Austin Kleon with many insights and observations about the creative process and learning about yourself.  It can be a huge challenge to figure out what it is you want to do with your life, who you are, and what you were meant to be.  There are so many things that influence our decisions we make, too often taking us off the right path.

The overall message of Austin’s post is about originality and not letting your quest for your own original ideas get in the way of creating.  He expresses this perfectly:

You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

An artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: hoarders collect indiscriminately, the artist collects selectively. They only collect things that they really love.

Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.

Steal things and save them for later. Carry around a sketchpad. Write in your books. Tear things out of magazines and collage them in your scrapbook.

Steal like an artist.

The lessons that Austin has learned are inspiring and ring very true.  Some are challenging, while others are refreshing in their perspective.  No matter who you are or where you are in your life, “How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)” is worth it!

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