Looking for creativity?

‘Steal like an artist’ is a book  by Justin Kleon. Which I plan to reread. Kleon’s ideas apply to anyone who’s trying to inject some creativity into their life and work.

Some notes and quotes that stood out for me:

  • Figure out what is worth stealing. Everything’s up for grabs,  you might find it worth stealing tomorrow, next month or in a year.


  • Nothing is original, all creative work builds on what came before.


  • “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”-Andrè Gideon  (French writer)


  • “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love”- Goethe


  • I am a mash-up of what I let into by life.


  • The more ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced  by.


  • Embrace influence


  • School yourself. Be curious about the world, look things up, chase down every reference. Go deeper. That’s how you get ahead.


  • Carry a pen and paper wherever you go. Jot down your thoughts, observations, quotes and conservations. And keep it all together for inspiration.


  • Fake it till you make it.


  • You have to start doing the work you want to be doing .


  • “You start as a phony and become real” – Glenn O’Brien.


  • Start copying, if you copy from one author its plagiarism but if you copy from many its research.


  • We learn to write by copying down the alphabet. Musicians learn to play by practicing scales. Painters learn to paint by reproducing masterpieces.


  • Steal the thinking behind their style. Then move from imitating to emulating.


  • Imitating =copying. Emulating= move from coping to breaking into your own style.


  • “It is our failure to become our perceived ideals that ultimately defines us and makes us unique”- Conan O’Brien.


  • If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.



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