According to Austin Kleon, stealing is a part of being an artist. So, in honor of him and his insightful post, I’ll be stealing his concept and sharing it with you in my own, slightly paraphrased words. Thanks Austin. The original post shares 10 important rules. I’m giving you five (to give you the incentive to go to his website and check out the rest, all of which come with delightful illustrations).
1. Steal Like An Artist
Accept that nothing is original. Your job as an artist is to take what came before, remix it in a novel way and thereby create synergy (1+1=3). As an artist, you are a collector. You must constantly be on the hunt for new inspiration (because in the end, you’re only going to be as good as your inspiration). Read a lot. When you’ve found someone you are inspired by, read about him or her. Read his or her work. Get into his or her head. Carry something that allows you to store the inspiration you find. This can be a Blackberry, iPhone, iPad or (gasp) a notebook.
2. Don’t Wait Until You Know Who You Are To Make Things
It is in the act of creating that you will find yourself — not the other way around. Don’t succumb to the imposter syndrome. You’re not a phony. You’re not a fraud. You have accomplished a lot already — own your accomplishments. If you haven’t made it to where you want to be just yet, fake it until you make it. You’ll get there, but only if you believe in yourself and value yourself.
3. Write The Book You Want To Read
Don’t be confined to writing about what you know. Write the book you want to read.
4. The Secret: Do Good Work And Then Put It Where People Can See It
Don’t be scared to share your secrets. It worked for Martha Stewart. Put your ideas out there instead of bottling them up. Learn to make a website (by the way, WordPress makes it really easy). Sign up for twitter (it has a really great artist community).
5. Geography Is No Longer Our Master.
We are so lucky to be artists in a time where we have access to the entire world. Follow rule 4 above and create good work and use the tools available (websites, twitter, etc.) to share it.