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.
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.
You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself.
Here are 10 things nobody told you about being creative:
1. Steal like an artist
Every artist gets asked the question: ‘Where do you get your ideas?’
The honest artist answers, “I steal them.”
1. Figure out what’s worth stealing.
2. Move on to the next thing.
2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to start making things
You’re ready. Start making stuff.
You might be scared. That’s natural.
What’s the imposter syndrome?
There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called the imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a ‘psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.’ It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing.
None of us do.
Ask any real astist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.
3. Write the book you want to read
The question every young writer asks is: ‘What should I write?’
And the cliched answer is, ‘Write what you know.’
This advice always leads to terrible stories in which nothing interesting happens.
What’s the best advice?
The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s write what you ‘like’.
Write the kind of story you like best.
We make art because we like art.
4. Use your hands
The more that writing is made into a physical process, the better it is. You can feel the ink on paper. You can spread writing all over your desk and sort through it. You can lay it all out where you can look at it.
5. Side projects and hobbies are important
It’s the side projects that blow up. 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.
It’s also important to have a hobby. Something that’s just for you.
6. The secret: do good work and put it where people can see it
How do I get discovered?
Step one: Do good work. It’s incredible hard. There are no shortcuts. Make stuff everyday. Fail. Get better.
Step two: Put it where people can see it.
7. Geography is no longer our master
Most of the thinking and talking and art-related fellowship is online.
So instead of a geographical art scene, have twitter buddies and Google Reader.
8. Be nice. The world is a small town
Kurt Vonnegut said it best: ‘There’s only one rule I know of: goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.’
9. Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done
That whole romantic image of the bohemian artist doing drugs and running around and sleeping with everyone is played out. It’s for the superhuman and the people who want to die young.
The thing is: art takes a lot of energy to make. You don’t have the energy if you waste it with on other stuff.
Take care of yourself
10. Creativity is substraction
It’s often what an artist chooses to leave out that makes the art interesting. What it’s shown vs. what it is.