Hello, how are you doing!
Today I would like to tell you about a very interesting book that I have in my personal bookstore and that I recently revisited on the occasion of the launch of the site, since it collects some excellent tips on creativity and the process to develop projects. The interesting thing about the book is that it is not only aimed at artists or designers, but in general, for all those interested in printing their work with creativity, whatever they do.
The book is Steal like an artist. The 10 things no one has told you about being creative by American writer and artist Austin Kleon who gained notoriety in 2010 by publishing Newspaper Blackout , a book made from underlining certain words in newspapers while exposing others, re-signifying the original content. In this way, Kleon attracted the attention of media such as The Wall Street Journal, the TEDx conferences and The Economist. This is how he begins to give talks on creativity for university groups, structuring his speech in ten points, talking about things that "he would have liked someone to tell him" when he started in the art world. And this is how this peculiar text was born.
Kleon then raises an important fact, but that we rarely take into account when trying to be creative: Creativity is not something that is generated spontaneously, but arises from several sources. This being the thesis of the work, then the title of the book, "Steal like an artist" makes sense, because there is a very thin line between simply copying ideas and "stealing", which in the context of the book refers to taking the best of those sources that inspire us, to study them, reflect on them and mix them to then generate our own ideas, new ideas.Because the reality is that there is nothing that is completely original, because nothing comes from nothing.
The idea of originality is born then, because we are not aware of the original source, of the references behind it, of how they mix and interact. The greatest artists in the world had masters and were also fans and collectors. They admired others and visited places where they learned new rhythms and techniques.
Just like them, we must carefully select the influences from which we are inspired, although it is not difficult to find them, since they are everywhere: in the conversations with friends, in the teachers we have had, in the movies we see, in the music we listen to (as in our 2016 project, Space Oddity), in the places we visit or in the books we read. One (and one's work) ends up being the sum of all these influences, of everything we let into our lives. Every creative person is, potentially, a collector of ideas, so we must surround ourselves with those that are good.
In this way we must find our own family tree of ideas and collect all the information that inspires us, since our own work is part of that genealogy and we never know who admires or appreciates it. Working to be part of that genealogy and find ours is the secret to being creative.
"Steal like an artist" is a beautifully written book, because even with its illustrations, quotes and little text, as an object it is an authentic work of art that should be on paper. Kleon didn't necessarily discover the "black thread" of creativity, but he did manage to gather many useful ideas about creativity in just a few pages. His tips are quite practical to help develop the creative habit, or the habit of thinking creatively, in order to create our own art, regardless of the discipline we develop.
Collecting ideas, mixing them and reshaping them to discover our own voice, would be a good way to synthesize this book, highly recommended for those who want to get the most out of their creativity.
And what inspires you?