Creativity Quotes from “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

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“Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” is a book by Austin Kleon that shows how creativity is for everyone through the use of some principles and strategies. The book also explains how all ideas are not original, but that “every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.” The idea that ALL people have a huge potential for creativity is one of the core ideas we would like to include in our new STEM program we are planning to start this coming school year (2015-2016). Here are some of the valuable quotes I found from the book:

❶ Steal Like an Artist

  • “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.” pg. 8
  • “Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.” pg. 9
  • “The artist is a collector… Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.” pg. 13
  • “The great thing about dead or remote masters is that they can’t refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.” pg. 17

❷ Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.

  • “You’re ready. Start making stuff.” pb. 27
  • Imposter Syndrome: “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” pg. 28
  • “You have to dress up for the job you want, not the job you have, and you have to start doing the work you want to be doing.” pg. 30
  • “Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your own work.” pg. 41

❸ Write the book you want to read.

  • “Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your own work.” pg. 41
  • “All fiction, in fact, is fan fiction.” pg. 47
  • Write the kind of story you like best – write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career.” pg. 47
  • “If all your favorite makers got together and collaborated, what would they make with you leading the crew?” pg. 48

❹ Use your hands.

  • “The computer is really good for editing your ideas, and it’s really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it’s not really good for generating ideas. There are too many opportunities to hit the delete key.” pg. 58

❺ Side projects and hobbies are important.

  • “It’s the side projects that really take off. By side projects I mean the stuff that you thought was just messing around. Stuff that’s just play. That’s actually the good stuff. That’s when the magic happens.” pg. 65
  • “When you get sick of one project, move over to another, and when you’re sick of that one, move back to the project you left. Practice productive procrastination.” – pg. 65
  • “Don’t worry about unity – what unifies your work is the fact that you made it.” – pg. 72

❻ The Secret: Do good work and share it with people.

  • “The latest post is the first post that visitors see, so you’re only as good as your last post. This keeps you on your toes, keeps you thinking about what you can post next.” -pg. 82
  • “Whenever I’ve become lost over the year, I just look at my website and ask myself, “What can I fill this with?” – pg. 82

❼ Geography is no longer our master.

  • “If you’re not into the world you live in, you can build your own world around you. Surround yourself with books and objects that you love. Tape things up on the wall. Create your own world.” – pg. 90
  • “The only mofos in my circle are people that I can learn from.” – Questlove
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