This Book Will Teach You How to Steal, Why Be Boring, What to Subtract, and 7 Other Supremely Helpful Things About Creativity

In the market for a spot-on book about creativity, with loads of useable, practical advice? Look no further. |

Happy Monday, lionhearts! I have another book recommendation for you. It's quite likely that you've already picked it up, but if not, if not, well... you must!

It's Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon

Every time I reread this book, I get more out of it. (The sequel, Show Your Work, is also awesome, and it was one of the main reasons why I started this blog at all.)

You guys!! It's excellent! There is so much that you're going to love about this book. And since it's based on a top ten list, well, I thought I'd give you ten reasons why you'll love it:

1. For starters, and because I'm related to a designer and therefore I now Notice Such Things, I love the design of this book: small, square, with tons of hand lettering (swoon!) and memorable Sharpie illustrations: Kleon considers himself a "writer who draws," and the drawings and edited photos in here are just as valuable as the text.

2. Also, Kleon does this thing called blackout poetry. It seems simple, and then you try to do it yourself, and, um, it's tricky. Blackout poems pepper the book, and like the illustrations, they give you an extra layer of content.

(Plus, a new hobby. All you need is a Sharpie and a sheet of text... Try it!!)

3. All right, but let's talk about his "Ten Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative."

The first five-ish are about how to look at the world like an artist, how to combine ideas and techniques to make new ones, what to do with your inspiration, when to get started, what material to work from, why analogue skills are still important (love that!!), and how to use all of yourself in what you do. 

WHOA, right? So good. And it keeps going.

4. The last five-ish are more about being an artist in the world: how to think about your obscurity in the beginning, how to reach your audience, how to interact with other creatives (the lovely ones and the meanies), how to respond to the people you admire, as well as some awesome practical advice on how to not burn out.  

5. He presents a good mix of the practical with the creative. The result is a book that is super accessible, broken into bite-sized bits, yet still with plenty of butt-kicking potential, if you know what I mean.

It's not all theoretical. You can get your teeth into it and start using it right away. 

6. This book will push you. It will help you see what was right in front of you, begging to be used in your work.

If you're like me, it will also call you out on the places where you might be getting a little bit lazy, or a teeny bit precarious. ... I always re-tweak my attitude to work after going through this book!

7. It's also going to comfort you. You'll see yourself in some of these pages and say Hey! Awesome! Yeah! I do that too!

It will give you permission to be yourself, and then to be more of yourself. To dive in to the places that you thought your art wasn't going to reach. To support your writing brain with other creative pursuits. 

8. It's going to help you with the question of how to live like an artist, like a creative soul. He'll remind you of things you might have known or suspected but forgotten.

It's going to feel doable, all over again: how to give your wonderful-crazy writing self a place to live in the real world. You can do it.

9. It's a fairly quick read, making it ideal for a weekend creativity-retreat for yourself, or a week-long master class.

It's an excellent companion on your journey to being a better artist, a better writer, a better creative. 

10. After spending some time reading this book, you will want to get Making Things. Your brain will itch. Ideas will flow. And you'll be ready to dive in again.

What could be better than that??

As Kleon says at the beginning of the book: This book is for you. Whoever you are, whatever you make. 

You will love it. 

Happy stealing.