Steal Like an Artist

It’s been said that, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Whether you call it imitation, borrowing or stealing, it’s been going on for centuries, according to Austin Kleon in his latest book Steal Like an Artist

My bookworm friend Jill invited me to listen to Kleon speak earlier this year at the Decatur Library. Love that place!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the book lately. Why? Because -- short of consulting
a copyright lawyer -- I don’t really know what the rules are for swiping (not plagiarizing) stuff off the Internet.

Last week, I forwarded a blog post from Milk and Honey Home to my friend Kristin who owns Cakes & Ale. I asked her if she had seen the photos of her restaurant and wondered if the designers had contacted them for permission. Her response: “I haven't seen this but am very flattered! :) ” Good to know. I’ll be blogging about Cakes & Ale very, very soon.

Back to the book – it’s a thought provoking, short read. In a nutshell, Kleon offers these 10 ways to unlock your creativity:
  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. (The world is a small town.)
  9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)
  10. Creativity is subtraction.
By the way: “Imitation is not flattery,” according to Kleon. “Imitation is about copying. Emulation is when imitation goes one step further, breaking through into your own thing.” Makes sense.

You can buy the book from Amazon or borrow my copy. The only stipulation: you have to ask for it in the comments section below. Which reminds me. Some people have had problems posting comments. If your comment gets rejected, use your Gmail account.

How do you unlock your creativity?

1 comment:

  1. So funny, I was just talking to my mother about this. She's convinced that someone is going to "steal" my writing from the blog and pass it off as their own (to what end, I'm not sure). The book sounds interesting, but I don't have time to read right now, so I'll have to borrow it in January!


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