Unleash Your Creativity with These Ten Simple Tips to Boost Your Productivity
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Today art does not mean a painter with a beret and a paintbrush in his mouth creating a canvas. The modern artist is anyone who’s doing sell anything creative.
Anything you do in life, your passion, your hobby, could be a musician, could be making videos, could design, graphic work, of course, anything writing, anything where you’re the creator, could be building businesses.
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon is a book in hand, and you’ll be ready to dive into art and design and discover new ways to approach your work. So let’s start the party with this amazing book and see where our creativity takes us!
Nothing is original
Everything has been done before, and realizing this can take the pressure off of creating something entirely new. Instead, you can give your own perspectives and creativity to existing ideas. Once we can stop realizing we’re not going to reinvent the wheel by creating something, nothing is original; everything has been done before, and it takes the pressure off of creating.
A lot of times, we get writer’s block. What is that? That’s saying what I have is so important and original I have to bring it in; it has to be perfect. Well, what if we remove that and just started realizing nothing’s original, nothing’s unique, it’s all said before. That takes the pressure off, and now you can give your perspectives and creativity, which is the unique part of your creation.
Now you can embrace the influence instead of trying to run from it. When you embrace influence, you get a way better product. Because you’re open-minded to what other people have done, and you’re saying, how can I pull ideas from that, or how can I do that into what I’m creating? You have a better product, all right. So nothing’s original. Embrace influence, don’t run from it. That’s the point!
Everything is a remix.
All creations are influenced by something else, and the best work often comes from embracing these influences and remixing them into something new.
Look at this:
How many lines are in this picture of an equal sign?
Well, there’s that first white line on top, the second on bottom. You might say there are two, but of course, you probably already realized there’s the negative space in between, also considered a line. In other words, that third line came from putting two things together.
Everything is a remix. One plus one equals three. That’s how art works these days. So, if you create something, graphics, music, videos, you will be influenced. We’re embracing the influence and creating something that’s a remix.
How we can apply this is to be confident in the originality. Remix stuff, but also go deeper and identify who you are remixing from and your mentors.
The gold standard of the personal development world these days says that “we are the average of the top five people we hang around most.” Let’s apply that to this: we are the average of our top five people we are influenced by most.
Who are your top five? Who are your mentors? Who are the people you remixing from?
Once you get clarity on that, it helps make up your family tree that makes you, you!
Don’t wait. Start before you’re ready!
So now that we know everything’s a remix, nothing is original, it takes the pressure off, and we can start creating today! Don’t wait. We need to start before we’re ready because, as you will see when you read the book “Outliers – The story of success” by Malcolm Gladwell, it takes quite a bit of time to get to the level where we’ve mastered something.
You don’t have to be great to get started, but you must get started to become great. Don’t think it has to be great at first. Know that it’s in the process of doing your art, and your creative stuff becomes great. So we don’t have to know who we are to create our art. It’s backward, and we discover who we are in creating our art.
Life isn’t about finding ourselves. You’re not gonna find yourself. Life is about creating ourselves, showing up, doing the work, and plugging through.
And the way you find yourself is by creating it; it’s by getting out there, by experiencing things. So start before you’re ready!
Many creators feel like a fraud or fake at some point. 5 Embrace your imperfections and vulnerabilities, as these draw people to you.
So how do you make that process, that journey of creating yourself, when you might not have the experience and you know along the way of playing music if that’s what you’re doing or painting pictures or even making videos for youtube, along the journey you might feel like a fake, like a fraud, like an impostor, where you feel like you’re not there yet.
And if people saw the real you, they saw behind the scenes, and they’d freak out and be like: this guy’s a fraud! That was, right there, word-for-word, my thought process behind these books’ resumes. I thought, you know what, I’m not successful. Why am I gonna talk about success or, you know, I didn’t write these books, who am I to give this advice? I realized that it’s in the process of doing all that, that you get the results.
Whatever it’s in the process of doing all that, people resonate with you more, adding credibility to whatever you’re doing. You know, the impostor syndrome flip ted realize that the imperfections, the vulnerability, are what draw people to you and that if you tried to come out all polished all, altogether, everything XY and z, it’s going to repel people because they feel like you’re faking something.
So that’s a constant theme on this website. Hopefully, you see that we’re not trying to be anything we’re not, and I encourage you to do the same.
That, you know, imposter syndrome that’s your ego talking, and the only way to get rid of it is to laugh at it and keep creating your art, keep plugging away on what you want to.
Steal. Don’t plagiarize
There’s a difference between plagiarizing and trying to pass someone’s work off as your own. Stealing is being inspired by your influences and paying homage to them by doing something from you.
We’re taught in school that plagiarism is wrong and doesn’t plagiarize, don’t plagiarize, and when we’re taught that because we’ll get an F on a paper, the deeper message behind why we shouldn’t plagiarize is that it’s morally wrong and self-defeating.
And this isn’t a lecture on why, you know, the ethics of plagiarism. This is saying that it’s self-defeating because it’s the process of doing, influencing, pulling, and creating your own thing. That’s where you get the results and the benefit. Not in just ripping someone else’s and passing it off as your own. That’ll always feel self-defeating and wrong, missing the point completely.
So when you’re stealing, what you’re doing is you’re acting as if you’re a mechanic and you’re taking apart a car that’s already built to see how it works and to learn how it runs together.
Once you do that, you can put it back together on your own, and then, you now have the skill sets, and understanding of how that vehicle works, because you took it apart, and maybe, you can start from scratch and build your own vehicle. Because you now have the know-how on how to do that. Plagiarizing would be taking the car, removing the branding, and slapping your own. We’re missing the point.
There’s a quote by Wilson Mizner that says: “If you copy from one author it’s plagiarism, but if you copy from many it’s research.”
So, research, steal from many people, and ultimately make it your own.
Don’t just copy the style of those you admire. Copy the thinking behind it. Try to understand and practice the methods behind their work.
Kobe Bryant, one of the best basketball players of all time, said that he started by trying to emulate his heroes and their moves, and he couldn’t do it. In trying to copy them, he found his style. Then he became original. So go deeper, try and practice the methods behind them, model what they do, how they act, model their tonality, model their lifestyle.
If someone inspires you, go deeper, dig in, and research that.
Write the book you want to read
Sounds obvious enough, but if you’re gonna create something and you’re stuck on what I create, how do I even start scratching your itch? That’s the best place to start. What do you need that doesn’t currently exist?
If you want to start a business, run the business you want to run. If you want to make an album, create the album you want to hear; if you want to be an athlete, model the character you want to see. And if you want to build a product, scratch your itch.
The life of a project
So right here is the life of a project.
It starts at the top by saying this is the best idea ever. Rather we want to write a book, a new speech, a new public speaking event, a new diet plan, a new relationship, right?
It starts at the top and then goes down; okay, this is harder than I thought! Once we’re putting in the work, we realize it will take some serious work.
Then we get down there and say: this sucks, and it’s boring. We stopped getting results things are fizzling away.
Right there at the bottom, “the dark night of the soul,” is where we decide to quit and move on, give up, or push through it.
And if we push through it, we realize it will be good to finish because I’ll learn something for next time.
And then, if we finish it, we realize it’s done, and it sucks, but not as bad as I thought.
I love the life of a project because it’s true. Think about any project. I started thinking I could do it in a week, I thought I could launch, create and start a product in a week, an online course, for instance, and then I’m like, man, this takes so much work!
The more and more I worked on it, the lower and lower I got, and I got so negative I quit it. I said no one’s going to buy this product. It’s going to be a waste of my time. It’s gonna, I don’t know, sell one or two copies, and then I said: you know what, this has the potential to change people’s lives, this product I’m creating, I’ll prove to myself that I can do something, and finish it through. It’s not perfect, but it’s 90% there. I am launching this, getting feedback, and making it the best course possible with my conditions.
With the life of a project, you’re gonna have times where you’re naturally more or less motivated, but it’s up to you to push through and finish something. Becoming someone who can finish things.
Write it down
Writing things down helps you remember them better. It’s a way of making your ideas tangible and concrete.
Austin’s discussion about analog and digital differences today is quite interesting. He points out that we live in a digital world where almost everything is on the computer, even creative work like graphic design. However, he still uses an analog workstation where he uses his hands and puts things together on pen and paper.
Austin also refers to the cone of learning, which we have discussed before. Research shows that when you physically write something down, you retain and remember it better than if you type it on a note on your computer. This is something that I find fascinating.
If you put the information in your journal or notebook, you are more likely to remember it. Taking notes by hand is a great way to improve your memory and retention, and I encourage you to try it out for yourself.
The best work often comes from simplifying and focusing on the core elements of your idea.
An example is Apple. They were obsessed. Steve Jobs was obsessed with design. He wanted the iPhone to have only one button on it. They said: Steve, we can’t do that. We need a lock screen, we need, and off, we need volume, we need up and down, and he was livid. He wanted it just to have one button on and off. Took them extra years, but they finally did it.
They’re obsessed with minimal design. They want everything to be streamlined and simple. People understand this, they like the minimalist, so however it is in your life, simplify it and figure out what the core is the last.
Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist” Book Quotes
“You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.”
“The artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively.”
“Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.”
“The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like.”
“Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.”
“It’s not the work which is stolen, it’s the idea.”
“Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.”
“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”
“Creativity is subtraction.”
“The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
To Wrap Up
In conclusion, “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon is a must-read for anyone who wants to boost their creativity and learn to draw inspiration from the world around them. This book offers practical tips, philosophical insights, and inspiring quotes to help you unlock your full potential as an artist, writer, musician, or creative. By encouraging readers to think outside the box and approach their work with a fresh perspective, Kleon has created a practical and inspirational guide. So if you’re looking to take your creativity to the next level, pick up a copy of “Steal Like an Artist” today and start stealing from the world around you!
F.A.Q. about Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist”
What is “Steal Like an Artist” about?
“Steal Like an Artist” is a book by Austin Kleon that encourages readers to draw inspiration from the world around them and use it to create their own unique works of art. It’s all about finding your own voice and style by learning from others and building on their ideas.
Who is “Steal Like an Artist” for?
This book is for anyone who wants to boost their creativity and learn how to draw inspiration from the world around them. Whether you’re an artist, writer, musician, or just someone who wants to be more creative, this book is for you.
What can I expect to learn from “Steal Like an Artist”?
In “Steal Like an Artist,” you’ll learn how to approach your creative work with a fresh perspective, find inspiration in unexpected places, and use the work of others to fuel your own creativity. You’ll also learn how to overcome creative blocks and build a supportive community of fellow artists.
Is “Steal Like an Artist” a practical guide or more of a philosophical book?
“Steal Like an Artist” is a bit of both – it’s a practical guide that offers concrete tips and exercises for boosting your creativity, but it’s also a philosophical book that encourages readers to think deeply about the creative process and their own place within it.
Can I apply the principles of “Steal Like an Artist” to other areas of my life?
Absolutely! While “Steal Like an Artist” is primarily focused on the creative process, the principles and ideas in the book can be applied to many other areas of life, from business to personal relationships. The book encourages readers to think outside the box and approach problems in new and innovative ways.
Disclaimer: This blog post is a summary or resume of the book and is not intended to dispense the reading of the original book. This post aims to provide a general overview of the book’s main ideas and themes and encourage readers to read the complete book to gain a deeper understanding of the material. The information presented in this post is intended to be something other than a substitute for the original book and should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, the entire book. We strongly encourage readers to read the complete book to benefit from its ideas and teachings fully.