MaryAnnTestagrossa Art

MaryAnnTestagrossa Art
Mary Ann Testagrossa's Linocut Prints

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Steal Like an Artist - On Art

One of my VERY favorite books about art is "Steal Like an Artist," by Austin Kleon.  He makes many good points about art that I would like to share.  Here are some of my favorites. 

1.  Nothing is original.  All creative work builds on what came before.

Every new idea is just a mashup or remix of one or more previous ideas.

2.  There's an economic theory out there that says if you take the income of your 5 closest friends and average them, the resulting number will be pretty close to your income.  (I heard this theory before in a Mastermind marketing group.)

The same is true of our idea incomes.

3.  Chew on one thinker, one writer, artist, activist, role model, that you really like.  Study everything there is to know about that thinker, artist, writer, etc.  Then find 3 people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them.  Repeat.

4.  Seeing yourself as part of a creative lineage will help you feel less alone as you start making your own art.  I hang pictures of my favorite artists in my studio.

5.  The great thing about dead or remote artists is that they can't refuse you as an apprentice.  You can learn whatever you want from them.  They left their lesson plans in their work.

6.  Carry a notebook and pen, or sketch book and pencil, with you every where you go. 

7.  Keep a swipe file.  A file to keep track of the stuff you've swiped from others.  Keep a scrap book, take photos, etc.  Need some inspiration?  Open up your swipe file.

8.  You're only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with.  In the digital space, that means following the best people online, the people who are smarter than you.  Pay attention to what they are talking about, what they are linking to. 

9.  Harold Ramis says "Find the most talented person in the room, and if it's not you, go stand next to him or her.  Hang out with him or her.  Try to be helpful."

10.  If you ever find you are the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.  

If any of these thoughts and ideas pique your interest, I would highly recommend reading this book.  It's a quick read, and well worth it. 

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