Austin Kleon practices “creative thievery”. Perhaps we all do!
Austin describes himself as a writer who draws.
After seeing Austin’s found poetry collection Newspaper Blackout, Broome Community College invited him to deliver their commencement address. Austin shared the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was graduating, most notably, “Steal like an artist.” Once Austin posted the talk on his website, it instantly went viral. To date, the original post has been read by 1.5 million people. He has shared his ideas with audiences at TEDx, SXSW, and The Economist’s Ideas Economy conference. Austin’s insightful guidance and distinctive presentation has struck a chord with those trying to create original work in a time when nothing seems new. Indeed, we learn from Austin that nothing is original. All creative work must build on what came before and combine old concepts in exciting new ways.
Now, Austin Kleon has delved deeper into his ideas and expanded his game-changing speech into a manifesto:
STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST: 10 Things Nobody Ever Told You About Being Creative (Workman Publishing, April). The book tells us all how to study our heroes and begin to see the world as they do. You’ll learn how to copy, steal, and be inspired by the world around you — without plagiarizing it.
True to his tenets, Austin makes practical advice seem fresh with striking illustrations and genuine passion. His book will help experienced professionals and new graduates alike find new ways of working. His wisdom has clear applications to creative fields like fashion design, performing arts, and literature. Yet it can be equally motivating to those forging new paths in finance, engineering, and technology. (Authors at Google presents Austin Kleon: Steal like an Artist)
Intrigued? Here’s Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like An Artist” talk delivered as part of the TEDxKC presentation of TEDxChange, covering much of the same territory but a bit more polished. It’s worth revisiting despite the overlap.
In this next video, “Everything is a Remix So Steal Like An Artist” Austin Kleon and Kirby Ferguson (writer, filmmaker and creator of Everything is a Remix) delve deeper into techniques for “being a creator in the digital age.” (Fair warning: it’s long.)
Preposterous! Or is it? There’s only one way to know for certain. Try it out. Steal and remix like an artist. Then judge…