Summary of Steal Like an Artist

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Steal Like an Artist book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Artist and poet Austin Kleon writes in an accessible, breezy, conversational shorthand. Few of his sentences run longer than eight words, and his message is simple: Learn all you can, develop a library of influences and never stop believing in your own creativity. His best advice to artists – get out of and stay out of your own way – recurs throughout the book in various forms, and Kleon offers simple, effective methods to do just that, organized as 10 creative spurs. His little sketches and profound, often humorous quotes from great thinkers and artists from across the centuries feature throughout this pocket-sized guide to unleashing your inner Picasso. While Kleon’s unchanging tone can feel a bit precious, getAbstract still recommends carrying his guidebook around for boosts of creative confidence and doses of friendly, workable commonsense advice.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why an artist’s creativity comes from other people, places and things; and
  • How to use 10 ideas to nourish your creativity.

About the Author

Work by artist and writer Austin Kleon has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s Morning Edition. He is also the author of Newspaper Blackout.



Creative License
Artists and creators throughout history have known that, as Pablo Picasso said, “Art is theft.” Every innovator has built on the work of others, using ideas, formats or things in fresh and exciting ways. Originality doesn’t exist. Everything is a confluence of influences...

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