"If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it."
I remember hearing about this book at some point. It got stuck in my head as something I knew I wanted to read at some point but just never got around to. I finally blew through this book and I am very glad I made time for it.
This 2012 book by Austin Kleon explores the traditional concepts about what we think creativity is and how we are creative and seeks to break them down. Kleon challenges conventional notions and builds up his own view on how we maximize our own unique creativity and stop preventing ourselves from creating. His liberating manifesto that nothing is original helps the reader break free of the oppressive mindset that we have to reinvent the wheel in order to be a creative. All we have to do is put our own spin on what is already out in the world and that makes something valuable and creative.
Kleon's style of writing is brief, engaging, and transformative so it is right up my alley. I was able to breeze through this book with some powerful takeaways in the matter of a few nights. I feel like I could have easily read through it in a day if I was commuting or had a few more hours free in a day to plug in with this book. I appreciate when books can be concise since it allows for the message to come through so much clearer for me when there isn't massive amounts of what ends up feeling like filler. Just because a book is longer doesn't make it better, but that's just me.
If you're looking to get inspired to be more creative or just want a great book to get motivated by for your current endeavors, I encourage you to check this book out. It's a quick but powerful read with some great perspectives on how to be a better creative.
Steal Like An Artist is available at all of your favorite book retailers which you can find at the book's official webpage.