A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...

Posts tagged "steal like an artist"

May 14, 2014
Your legacy isn’t something you always choose. Sometimes it’s chosen for you.
Alfred Darlington, better known as Daedelus, whose song “Experience” was remixed by MadLib for “Accordian

Apr 20, 2014
I now wonder where the idea or of the ideology of creativity started. Shakespeare and company certainly stole from, copied each other’s writings. Before them, the Greeks didn’t both making up any new stories. I suspect that the ideology of creativity started when the bourgeoisie—when they rose up in all their splendor, as the history books put it—made a capitalistic marketplace for books. Today a writer earns money or a living by selling copyright, ownership to words. We all do, we writers, this scam, because we need to earn money, only most don’t admit it’s a scam. Nobody really owns nothing.
Kathy Acker (via botchedandecstatic) (from her very-hard-to-find-online 1989 article, “A Few Notes on Two of My Books,” published in the Review of Contemporary Fiction 9.1)

(via ayjay)

Apr 05, 2014
I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.
— Jorge Luis Borges (via chelseyphilpot)

(via gwendabond)

Mar 05, 2014
I’m like a mockingbird, stealing from a bunch of authors at once, which people sometimes mistake for a distinct voice.

it’s making something better by stealing something… In a way, everything is coming from somewhere, depending on how far back you want to trace it. It’s just where you want to take from along the way.

Feb 22, 2014

If I remember correctly, my editor and I were on the phone talking about format ideas and trim sizes for Steal Like An Artist, and the problem was that my slides for the original talk were landscape format but books are usually portrait format. So I think Bruce suggested meeting in the middle and making it square.

So I went hunting for square books, and it turned out that James Kochalka’s The Cute Manifesto, one of my favorite little square books, is in the exact trim size we were talking about using, 6x6. So I drew up a cover, printed it out, and wrapped it around my copy to make a dummy book:

dummy book

I took that up to Workman and left it with them, and the story goes that they mocked up a bunch of other covers and laid them all out, but the late Peter Workman pointed to my dummy book and said, “That one.” (I regret so much that we never got to meet.)

It’s very, very rare that an author gets to do the covers for his books, but much to the credit of the Workman design team, they’ve let me in on every part of the process. I think part of what made that cover work is that it’s too stupidly simple—I’m not sure any real book cover designer would dare suggest something so simple.

Anyways, when it came time for Show Your Work!, I really conceived of both books as a kind of “Robin Hood” box set — you steal, and then you share — so it made sense to make them the same trim size. (We’ll see about the box set…)

Jan 14, 2014
When I’m reading, I’m looking for something to steal. Readers ask me all the time the traditional question ‘Where do you get your ideas from?” I reply: ‘We are all having ideas all the time. But I’m on the lookout for them. You’re not.’

Dec 07, 2013

Nov 28, 2013
‘The true artist,’ Wilde wrote, ‘is known by what he annexes, and he annexes everything.’ One of the most naturally gifted intellects of the 19th century, Wilde nevertheless had the modesty to know that without a commitment to literature his genius would always be an adolescent. If Melville depended upon the Western epics to augment his adventure and provide the language-stimulus for his own literature, Wilde, like Emily Dickinson, seems to have needed no adventure at all, only reading. Many novice old-timers get ensnared in that fallacy, confusing their having had a full life with their ability to write a fully functional novel, while whippersnappers of every ilk spend a summer in the Orient because they believe that being in an interesting place will make them interesting people. Think of all those dippy authors’ bios which proudly declare that X has held dozens of jobs, from the esoteric (circus clown and train conductor) to the painfully quotidian (bartender and construction worker), as if having worked at peculiar and menial labor — or, worse, as if simply living in Brooklyn — ipso facto deems him a skilled writer. It does not.
— William Giraldi, “The Writer As Reader” (via)

Nov 04, 2013


Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is a small 150 page book of illustrated manifestos.

Sometimes it’s scribbles, or brainstormed charts. It’s a cool thing to have at your table when you need a kick of creativity. 

I keep thinking for the next book I should just send advance copies to good photographers and let them post pictures of their favorite pages…my Pinterest board is full of photos better than anything I could take.

(Source: )

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