Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

(New York: Workman, 2012), 140

1. Steal like and artist

How to look at the world (like an artist)

  • find out what's worth stealing, then move on to the next thing

Nothing is original

The genealogy of ideas

  • "you are a mashup of what you choose to let into your life" (11)

Garbage in, garbage out

  • "you're only as good as the stuff you surround yourself with" (13)
    Climb your own family tree
  • pick a thinker/writer/artist you admire
  • study everthing there is to know about them
  • repeat as many times as you can
  • then start your own branch of this "family tree"

School yourself

  • "always be reading"
  • "Nothing is more important than an unread library" (20)

Save your thefts for later

  • carry a notebook with you

2. Don't wait until you know who you are to get started

Make things, know thyself

  • you're ready; start making stuff

Fake it 'til you make it

Start Copying

  • copy not like plagiarism, but like reverse engineering to learn
  • copy to internalize their way of looking at the world

Imitation is not flattery

  • emulation: imitate but go further and create something of your own

3. Write the book you want to read

Write(/build/create) what you like

4. Use your hands

Step away from the screen

  • use analog for coming up with ideas, and computer for refining/perfecting the product
  • make sure your routine includes non-digital time

5. Side projects and hobbies are important

Practice productive procrastination

  • take time to be board (it's where new ideas come from)

Don't throw away any of yourself

  • let the different pieces of yourself, different things you're interested in, coexist and mix

6. The Secret: do good work and share it with people

In the beeginning, obscurity is good

  • use your obscurity (and lack of criticism) to experiment and take risks

The not-so-secret formula

  • do work
  • share it

7. Geography is no longer our master

Build your own world

  • ride the bus, go to the library, and find other ways to get your own space

Leave home

  • change is good for creativity

8. Be nice (the world is a small town)

Make friends, ignore enemies

Stand next to the talent

  • "If you ever find that you're the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room" (104)

"Quit picking fights and go make something"

  • use anger to fuel your work

Write fan letters

Validation is for parking

  • don't rely on others for validation

Keep a praise file

  • not often, but glance at it if you need a pick-me-up (affirmations)

9. Be boring (it's the only way to get work done)

Take care of yourself

Stay out of debt

Get yourself a calendar

  • "check boxes" (or another appropriate action) to show tangible progress

Keep a logbook

  • to record past events

Marry well

  • good relationships keep you grounded

10. Creativity is subtraction

Choose what to leave out

  • choose wisely and have fun