Whose books, information, pictures and artwork hav made the biggest impact on you?
Who do you quote in speeches, seminars and presentations?
No one is original. We are all creations of those who come before us, just as those who come after us will incorporate what we have created in the world.
This is one of the principles behind the book 'Steal like an Artist' by Austin Kleon. I randomly came across his book while watching a media advert on Instagram by Vishan Lakhiani (CEO of Mind Valley), who mentioned Austin's book 'Show your work'. Amazon had three of Austin Kleon's book on special, the first to arrive being this one, Steal like an Artist.
I am glad I read it. I wasn't initially interested in this title but it contains some real gems and nuggets of information I am going to try out, which is really the purpose of this blog! Feel free to hold me accountable.
One lovely idea put forward in the book is to collect ideas, information and things that you really love. We all have things that resonate and speak to us as people. Collect these things. This book by the way is aimed at everyone, not just those who consider themselves artists. By collecting from many sources, not just one, we are less plagiarizing, as more researching. We are soaking in the masters, mentors and creators who have come before us. These ideas from many sources, may spark out own creations and projects. In my own world a voice coach, I am very much influenced by Julian Treasure, Roger Love, Andy Matheson, Jerry Weismann, Allan Pease and Joshua Freedman. They are just some of the authors who sparked an idea for me or I have taken a concept of theirs and run with it, quoting them and sharing their clips and books with clients.
But, we have to write them down! By hand! Austin suggests carrying a notebook and pen with you at all times. I used to do this and I loved jotting things down, as it made me feel that I was on the lookout for things. I remained open and attentive in the world. Less consumer, more creator, so I plan to follow Austin's lead and reimplement this in my life. We cannot remember everything and the act of writing keeps us connected with ourselves.
Another wonderful idea is to create an analog space. Austin suggests that digital spaces can suck the life out of our ideas. We become more perfectionist when we work at the same space as our digital tech. He actually has a second desk in his office, with coloured paper, pens and other analog technology. I plan to use my kitchen table for this kind of thinking, as I already journal and read there early in the morning. Allowing a dedicated space for ideas and thinking sounds simple but I think it will be a powerful idea to try out. In times of COVID, having different spaces, chairs or parts of your house for different purposes sounds good.
A final idea I want to share with you that I will be implementing having read 'Steal like an Artist', is to keep a Logbook of my day. A summary in brief terms. What did I do and how did I spend my time. What output, excitement and gains did I make? I will add to this Logbook, the idea of a habit tracker, so that I can see my progress. Part bullet journal, part summary of the day, this will allow me to look back on my progress in time to come and see how I spend my time and what gets me results.
This isn't meant to be for pursuing goals etc, but it encourages the small steps. To make regular effort towards your creative projects. I could even incorporate this into my ideas book. A small notebook for ideas, habits and a logbook. All analogy. Pen and paper.
The book is filled with other great ideas that might resonate with you, so I encourage you to check these out. I am looking forward to receiving his other titles this week, so I can begin to further explore how I am maintain my creativity and to collect, post and engage with the artists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who have come before me. Thanks to Austin Kleon for his inspiration.