Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Steal like an Artist!

I was feeling bored today. Taking a self imposed short break before the next build, I headed down to a local book store hoping to find some interesting reads. And what do you know? I was in luck. While scanning the shelves, this book caught my eye. 

Tucked in one corner, this palm sized book with black cover titled simply,  "Steal like an Artist". " A very intriguing title", I thought. I flipped through a few pages and was immediately sold. Bought it and read the book while I walked home. 

"What was that all about?" By Austin Kleon, this book basically tells me what makes one ticked and how to make one even better by understanding the nature of his/her work and creativity. It lays out 10 things nobody told (me) about being creative:- 

1.   Steal like an Artist 
2.   Don't wait until you know who you are to get started 
3.   Write the book you want to read 
4.   Use your hands 
5.   Side projects and hobbies are important 
6.   The secret: Do good work and share it with people 
7.   Geography is no longer our Master 
8.   Be Nice (The world is a small town) 
9.   Be Boring (It's the only way to get work done) 
10. Creativity is Subtraction 

I believe you guys can relate to some of the points. I have always strive to be better in my hobby and readily share with anyone who is keen. "It's NICE to be NICE to everyone" But that's not always the case for some of course. 

Well, here are some extracts from the book that I want to share with you guys... 

"We learn by copying. We're talking about practice here, not plagiarism- plagiarism is trying to pass someone else's work of as your own. Copying is about reverse engineering. It's like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works." 

"The writer Wilson Mizner said if you copy from one author, its plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it's research." 

"Imitation is not Flattery" 

"In the end, merely imitating your heroes is not flattering them. Transforming their works into something of your own is how you flatter them." 

That makes absolute sense to me. I started by copying. I "borrowed" ideas from really good modelers and bring them up a notch with my own interpretations limited by my skill level. Only by trying out the different techniques and methods, then you will learn and understand. Never settle for people's advice. I know everyone said it is wrong or even foolish to try "this". But I insist on it. Why? If I don't, how do I ever going to learn from my mistakes? You ARE only as good as the experience you gained.

 A new adventure awaits me when I go home everyday. That's where my hobby starts. My workroom is the Orchestral. I am the conductor and the tools are my musicians. With them, I can conjure beautiful music to awe, to thrill or even inspire. That keeps me going. 

To conclude, I leave you with these two statements which effectively, sums up how I feel about this hobby. 

"It's so important to have a hobby. A hobby is something creative that's just you. You don't try to make money or get famous off it, you just do it because it makes you happy. A hobby is something that gives but doesn't take." 

"Don't throw any of yourself away. Don't worry about a grand scheme of unified version of your work. Don't worry about unity - what unifies your work is the fact that you made it.One day, you'll look back and it will all make sense..." 

Like this  if you agree with me :) 


I agree with you totally sir, esp about the importance of having a hobby. nice!

Thanks for the suggestion on the book! Seems like an interesting read, I bought a copy myself!

Hi Shinobe, it is a really good book! Let me know your thoughts after you read it! :)

By seeing the extracts u took out from the book, omg i immediately loved it. IT'S SO TRUE!

It's sad school is no time

Nice post.
Shared your post on Facebook as well. :)

Might try to look for the book as well. Thanks.

Thanks for the recommendation! it was a very good read, while I didn't find the advice as insightful/ as my favorite book of all time: "It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be" and "Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite" by Paul Arden, I found the book to remind me and validate what I've learn as a designer / artist. I especially like the part where he reminds me that almost nothing is original. Once you stop worrying about creating something new, you are free to create! That in itself is the most important part for creative types! Keep on trucking!

If you get a chance read those books I mention, I highly recommend it!

This one is good too but Religion can be a touchy subject so I would tread with caution and I certainly don't want to offend you or your readers:

Thanks for the recommendations Shinobe! I will definitely get them as soon as possible.

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