Steal Like an Artist

10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
by Austin Kleon | 160 pages

This is a great little book packed with gems on the creative process we can apply to both our work AND our lives. As per the sub-title, Austin gives us “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Big Ideas we explore include the need to start copying, the importance of taking care of ourselves and establishing a routine as we set creative constraints and amassing a body of work as we consistently show up.

“All advice is autobiographical.

It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.

This book is me talking to a previous version of myself.

These are things I’ve learned over almost a decade of trying to figure out how to make art, but a funny thing happened when I started sharing them with others—I realized that they aren’t just for artists. They’re for everyone.

These ideas apply to anyone who’s trying to inject some creativity into their life and their work. (That should describe all of us.)

In other words: This book is for you.

Whoever you are, whatever you make.

Let’s get started.

~ Austin Kleon from Steal Like an Artist

This is a great little book.

It’s super quick-reading, inspiring, and beautifully designed—guaranteed to fire you up and it’ll look good on your coffee table. You and your guests will enjoy flipping thru the fun little doodles throughout.

The book is packed with little gems on the creative process that we can apply to both our work AND our lives. It reminds me of Steven Pressfield’s War of Art trilogy (see Notes on that + Do the Work + Turning Pro). (Get a copy of the book here.)

The idea to “Steal Like an Artist” is, as per the sub-title, just 1 of “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.”

Let’s take a quick look at the other 9 things and then a few of my favorites Big Ideas we can apply to our lives TODAY!

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial

About the author


Austin Kleon

Artist and bestselling author of three illustrated books.