Austin Kleon: Steal like an artist

Among the interesting nuggets in this week's newsletter from Brainpickings.org is an article about Austin Kleon's book 'Steal like an artist'. It's very visual but does a good job of it, as far as I can tell so far, and has some wise comments to make. Here's one of its banners:



For me, 9 is spot on. Being boring is the only way to get anything done. When I was working full time and trying to write, I was forever choosing between doing something fun and writing in my spare time. Fortunately, now I'm living off my savings in a very low cost but zero social status setup, I can create and have fun; although, when I think about it, getting a take-away on saturday night is my major weekly event. But then again, when you're doing something every day that you find enjoyable and fulfilling, a weekly take-away is all you need; well, that and a few bits of bicycle kit and the odd musical instrument purchase...

I also think 6, 7 and 8 are spot on. I've tried to follow their approach with The Golden Web: Part 1. Today though, the points that stand out most for me are 3, 4 and 5. I've been thinking recently about my fantasy comedy novel and wondering, for the umpteenth time, what form it should take. Point 3 - 'write the book you want to read' - sounds like a great piece of advice. I think that is exactly what I should be doing with that novel. Thank you, Austin Kleon!

It doesn't finish there. Points 4 and 5 are weirdly topical. I've been thinking of doing some sculpting recently, partly to get away from a computer screen and partly inspired by my mum's excellent work in papier-mache. Kleon's advice to 'use your hands' and 'have a side project' couldn't be more timely. He's made a very good point with 5. Variety is, I think, absolutely essential if you're doing creative work. Not only does it keep you alert, it gives you several avenues to get your work sold and known. It also helps you discover what you're good at. I have the strong suspicion nowadays that if I do find success, it won't be with what I thought I'd be known for when I started out on this creative odyssey. Wait a second, that's touched on in point 2... So, overall, all the points except 1 and 10 ring true for me; I don't, to be honest, have a clue what they mean. Maybe that'll become clear later?

I haven't bought the book yet. If I do, I'll write a review and post it here.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!