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Creative Book Club-"Steal Like An Artist"

2:06:00 PM

July: We are reading "Steal Like An Artist," by Austin Kleon, 
 in our Virtual book club

If you are just starting to follow along on our little virtual book club, be sure to check out our other book selections, and you can read more about how this book club works on those posts as well.

  1. May: "Big Magic" By Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. June: "Mindfulness and the Art of Drawing," by Wendy Ann Greenhalgh
This book is a quick little read. Kleon writes with a lot of humor, which was fun to read. There is still quite a lot of helpful reminders in it as well. I liked his mixture of personal stories, advice, and quotes from others as he drove his point home. It was not all new information for me, I have long sense been aware that artists borrow from those who inspire them, however it was a helpful reminder. 
It is so easy to get so consumed with trying to be original, that we block our own creativity. In truth all people are inspired by the work of those around them, or people they have studied, or nature, or whatever. Ideas are taken, built upon, changed, adapted, and transformed. 

Here is a blog post I wrote about who inspires me as an artist!

Kleon, makes the distinction between plagiarizing (Bad Theft) and "Stealing Like an Artist" (Good Theft). He discusses the difference between imitation (copying) and emulation which is influenced by another, but pushes beyond them into something new and from you. Here is a little chart from the book on that point:

My favorite illustration in the book is this one:

This picture sums up so much of my worry as an artist! I have often referred to myself as "Art ADD" because I tend to flit around from one thing to the next with varying amounts of continuity, haha. I keep telling myself that as soon as I have enough cohesive pieces, then I will attempt to put my work out there and get a show... Perhaps I should not worry so much about that?!?

All in all I really enjoyed this quick little read, I think it is a great little reminder to people to free their creativity!

Have you read this book? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and let us know what you thought. I would also love to hear about any books that have helped you on your creative journey, perhaps we will add them to our book club reading list!

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