While I was spending some time dizzy this weekend for tax purposes, I stole about half an hour to read a book called Steal Like an Artist. The book is an fast read and lays out several ideas for the creative in a whimsical way, with lots of little drawings and goofy pictures to back up author Austin Kleon‘s points. Thanks to Dana for lending it to me after dinner on Saturday. It was exactly what I needed.
I would recommend this book as a quick refresher for artists of all sorts. It’s easy to get lost in the world of shoulds in art. For example, I quit making costumes to write. This book would advise me not to do that. It assumes that since I have a couple of passions, I need the other art as well to be whole. The connection between the two kinds of art? Me.
Another snippet I found very interesting was an idea that I played with a couple of years back: enjoy your obscurity. You will never get this freedom back when you are less obscure. Makes sense to me.
Kleon’s focus on the idea of doing art, steadily and well, is worth remembering. The art itself, the learning of the craft and the success of the work, that should be the focus. Get used to no. Focus on making the work and believe that it takes a long time for the work to be good enough (like maybe 10,000 hours? 🙂 ). That’s where your head should be.
All of these are good things to remember. There’s more. You should read the book.