Steal Like An Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative, by Austin Kleon

My Copy: 9780761169253 (image from

This was just the book I needed to read at just the right time. I picked it up when I was browsing for books that would help me get over this inability to think and create that I’ve been talking about lately. I’d seen it before and that day I just decided to get it (after all, I enjoy his blog, so why not?)

Steal Like an Artist is pretty self-explanatory. We’re all under the illusion that we absolutely have to come up with the newest thing or that we can’t use other people as inspiration. Deep down, we all are influenced by the things we’ve seen or heard or talked about, even if we don’t know it. It’s okay to use your influences. Not imitation, per se, but rather acclimation of material from many sources.

What I needed most from this book was the permission it gave me to explore other options at the same time I’m trying to be my most creative self. I labored under the illusion that I could only have hobbies and keep them as such, like the way I’ve been treating music the past few years. I want to write, but I want to do music too. In reality, if I think about it, it makes sense to do both, because multiple outlets of creativity feed each other. I never thought of it that way, that if I tried working on other artistic endeavors, it would distract me from my main goal so they had to be put to the side.

That’s one of the things I learned in this short work, and will keep with me when I’m uncertain or can’t quite get there.

If you’re an artistic person (or want to be artistic) and need a motivating pick-me-up book that’s not too long and is humorous and to the point, then this is definitely the book you should grab. Or if you know someone that’s a closet artist, someone who wants to write and push themselves a bit, but doesn’t know how (or is too scared to), then this is a book to give them.

And with this crazy 2020 and all it entails, we all need a push to do better for ourselves, even if it feels like the world is going nuts around us. Steal Like an Artist is a good push and like a pocket-sized friend to help you keep going. This was the right little book at the right time. A keeper (but also a loaner because I’m sure I know plenty of other folks that could use it eventually).

3 thoughts on “Steal Like An Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative, by Austin Kleon

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      It’s a short read for sure, but got some good “I need a quick boost of confidence” or “I need to get my groove back” parts to it. Sometimes you can overthink yourself into not doing what you could do (my biggest issue) and need a friend to shake you loose. That’s what this book feels like to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. AJ says:

    One of my favourite bits was, ‘Validation is for parking. You’re too busy doing your work to care.’ (But: Keep a praise file anyway, for those dark days when you want to quit.)

    Liked by 1 person

Penny for your thoughts? We'll listen...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.