Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

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You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, col- lect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition, Later Printing edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761169253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761169253
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

Eyes Wide Opened

516 people found this helpful.
 on April 24, 2012
By Amazon Customer
I am not a creative person. I want to be. I think like most people I want to create something. I want to write something. Create something. While searching for something new in the books section of I hit on this title. I knew nothing about Austin Kleon. I am not a poetry fan so I did not know about the Newspaper Blackout book. I actually judged this book by it’s cover (and the description to be honest). I read it in an hour (you can too – it is a short book). Then I read it again much more slowly and with a highlighter. Most of what he writes about may be trite to those “in the know” but for me this book said I could go into the world, find something I love and tweak it bit to make it mine. And in doing that I could show the creator that his work inspired me to create something. This book also told me that I already possessed the tools to be creative. Since I know that I like Kleon suggest that I study why I like it. Find out what makes it work for me and then use that as a jumping off point. But even these words do not convey accurately enough how inspired I was – I read it again – I added his blog and tumblr feeds to my daily readings – I follow him on twitter and bought some books he recommended. Finally – rather than sending him an email telling him how wonderful this book is – I am following his advice and putting those same thoughts in a review. A small book awakened a bit of passion for being creative. Not a small feat. A small book but a big heart. Hope all these words add up to this – I love this book.

they both love it. My daughter just purchased another as a …

 on December 3, 2017
By T Scott
Bought this book for my daughter and husband, they both love it. My daughter just purchased another as a gift for a friend.

Lots to think about.

 on May 16, 2017
By Karen Whooley
Thus book hast bite sized chunks of ideas that are easy to grasp yet give a lot to think about. Lots of stuff to chew on for me

An excellent read for any artist if any kinds

 on March 7, 2017
By Aaron G. Pierce
This was an excellent book and a wonderful read, not just for traditional artists but also anyone endeavoring to pursue any sort of creative venture. Austin speaks of creative keys, but also of lifestyle changes to keep you motivated and encouraged to continue on, even when things get tough, and offers excellent advice on how to avoid those tough spots in the first place.

Very unique

One person found this helpful.
 on July 7, 2017
By Amazon Customer
Gets the mind working on a different plane. Gives you food for thought. Some pictures with writing are hard to read. A book you could go back to and ponder

Inspiring work about art

 on December 19, 2017
By Andrae Palmer
Austin explains being an artist in such a natural way. It makes you want to go out and find stuff to reverse engineer and take apart which helps you learn.

An amazing book for User Experience (UX) Designers/ Graphic Designers

 on December 18, 2017
By EntryReviews
An amazing book for User Experience (UX) Designers/ Graphic Designers, etc. and just everyday people. It doesn’t just teach you design phrases and motivational sentences and a short explanation, it also can be related to daily lives. It’s a quick, and easy read! for those, like me, who doesn’t read often or likes to read much.

Steal Yourself One!

One person found this helpful.
 on July 18, 2015
By Kytka Jezek
I live that this is a how-to book which reads more like a manifesto. It has so many anecdotes and ideas that your head literally explodes with ideas when you read it. Filled with practical advice on how to become a successful artist – but the advice applies to all facets of life, well beyond artistic pursuits This awesome little book now has hundreds of thousands of copies in print and has been translated into over a dozen languages because it’s THAT good!

Jump start creativity

 on May 18, 2017
By Troubadorr
This book grabbed me from the very beginning. I was pleased to learn that some of the tools I’ve started and stopped turn out to be valuable and I’m going back to them with renewed dedication!

" and I loved that one so much I bought "Steal Like An …

 on October 29, 2014
By allarminda
My introduction to Austin Kleon began with the sequel to this book: “Show Your Work,” and I loved that one so much I bought “Steal Like An Artist,” and possibly love it even more! Eh, it’s a toss up! They’re both FANTASTIC.

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