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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Review: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

BOOK review
Started on: 17.May.2014
Finished on: 17.May.2014

Title : Steal Like an Artist
Author : Austin Kleon
Publisher : Workman Publishing
Pages : 160 Pages
Year of Publication : 2012
Price : $ 11.37 (

Rating: 4.5/5
"What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.
It's right there in the Bible: "There is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)"
Steal Like an Artist is an autobiographical advice written by Austin Kleon, sharing the things that have helped him to be a more creative person. This book contains 10 different advice, and each part is explained in a way that's very easy to understand. There are also various black-and-white illustrations to help emphasize his point, as well as amazing quotes by different kinds of people. The book itself is pretty thin, I finished it in about half-an-hour; so there's not much to talk about in this review. So I will just share several parts that I really liked in this book :))

The first part that I'm going to talk about is of course the main point of this book: "Steal Like An Artist". This part emphasize that nothing is original anymore in this world; so we have to be free from the burden of trying to be completely original. We can start by observing about certain people that we love, and find out everything about them. After that, you can start creating your own creative works. Think of yourself as your idol's apprentice :) Some of my favorite quotes from this part:
"You have to be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else - that's how you'll get ahead.
Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don't ask a question before you Google it. You'll either find the answer or you'll come up with a better question."
"Collect books, even if you don't plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library. Don't worry about doing research. Just search."
The second part is "Don't Wait Until You Know Who You Are to Get Started"; this talks about the first steps to start being creative. One point that I really like is titled 'Start Copying'. Rather than it being called as plagiarism, it's called practice. The book said "Plagiarism is trying to pass someone else's work off as your own. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It's like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works". So don't feel bad and start copying from what you love, and at the end you will discover who you are. The picture below comes from this part as well :))
"Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don't come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying."

The third one that I like is "Side Projects and Hobbies are Important". The first point advise us to practice productive procrastination. I don't know about you, but I have a huge problem with procrastination. I like to pend my works, go work on something else and do things I love more - like reading. And it actually frustrates me, because I really want to get work done! But this part emphasize that it's okay to have a hobby; it's actually an important factor for you to be more creative. And for me, reading and blogging is my hobby & side project that I do for the fun of it :))
"A hobby is something creative that's just for you. You don't try to make money or get famous off it, you just do it because it makes you happy. A hobby is something that gives but doesn't take."
The last part that I'm going to talk about is "Be Nice. (The World is a Small Town.)". My favorite in this part is about 'Quit Picking Fights and Go Make Something' - which I totally agree with. In the social media network, a lot of people pick fights with each other over small matters. Whether it's on Twitter, Facebook, even Goodreads. In this part, the writer shared his experience about getting angry, but then channeled his anger into his work. And here's my favorite quote:
"Complain about the way other people make software by making software."
— Andre Torrez

There are still a lot more interesting thing in this book, but I just shared the ones that I really like - so I wouldn't spoil the book too much. It's a very inspiring book and really encouraged me to be more productive and also creative. Even though the book started by talking about 'stealing' like an artist, the rest that follows actually talks a lot more than just that. Overall, it was a short but fun reading experience. There's a lot of inspiration that I can also do to motivate myself; such as creating a logbook and a calendar that shows how much work you have finished in a week. But on the down side, I think this book is too expensive for so little content. Since I really enjoyed this, I might get myself his other book titled Show Your Work! (although I'm waiting for the price to drop on Book Depository ;)). 

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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