Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

Author: Austin Kleon
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Pages: 160
Format: E-book
Published: February, 2012
Price: $ 6.52 -> Rp 85,282 (Amazon)
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Date started: March 19, 2015 - Date finished: March 19, 2015

You don't need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That's the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, "Steal Like an Artist" is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create "Steal Like an Artist," the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, col- lect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring--the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.
Steal Like An Artist basically tells us ways of being creative and getting out of a creative slump through the author's experience. There are of course 10 ways of being creative according to this book therefore there are 10 chapters/sections in this book on creativity. As it is quite a thin book (both in e-book and paperback form) it is a very quick read. I actually read this book throughout my class since it was quite a boring class.

A lot of illustrations and quotes are used in this book. Gotta say it's my favorite non-fiction book so far. I didn't feel bored reading it, I just breezed through it. A lot of these advices are something that I would like to try myself.

I'll tell you some of my favorite sections in this book
  • Steal Like an Artist (chapter 1)
What I learned from this section is that stealing an idea is allowed, because nowadays no idea is completely original it is most probably inspired by other ideas. When I said stealing, I don't mean like stealing someone else's idea and then present it as our own. What I mean by stealing is that we take someone else's idea as an inspiration to us and if we feel that idea needs some improvement or that we can make it in a different from by using our creativity, we should do it!
  • Use Your Hands (chapter 4)
This section has my favorite part, which is when doing something do it the traditional way. When we brainstorm ideas do it with pens and papers, divide your workspace into two sections digital and analog. We create our ideas in our analog workspace, then develop and publish it. I agree with this because I sometimes feel when I'm doing my work I often get distracted with this thing we know as the "internet."

the author's workspace, divided into two section
  • Side Projects and Hobbies Are Important
This section might be relatable to most people (or maybe just me), of course we have side projects sometimes when doing our main work. These side projects are stuffs we set aside because we think it's not really important. This book tells us that we shouldn't underestimate our side projects, maybe it'll be the thing that brings us success.

Also, in this section I learned that we shouldn't just limit ourselves to just one hobby or one passion. We should have a lot of those and try to pursue each an every one of them. This book said that when you only pursue one passion there'll be times when you felt you've reached your limit and that's no good, we need to avoid that.

Some quotes I like:
Always be reading. Go to the library. There's magic in being surrounded by books.
Emulation is when imitation goes one step further, breaking through into your own thing.
The classroom is a wonderful, if artificial, place: Your professor gets paid to pay attention to your ideas, and your classmates are paying to pay attention to your ideas. Never again in your life will you have such a captive audience.
In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what's really important to them.
There are still a lot more interesting advices in this book, but I just showed you guys the ones that I really like. This book really encouraged me to be more productive and also creative. Overall, it was a short but fun reading experience. There's a lot of inspiration that we can do to motivate myself; such as creating a logbook or a calendar that shows how much work we've finished in a week.

enough said, this is very true
© books-over-all ©

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