Author: Austin Kleon
Highlights and Notes
How does an artist look at the world?
First, you figure out what’s worth stealing, then you move on to the next thing. That’s about all there is to it.
Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.
Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by. “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination".
School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.
You have to be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else—that’s how you’ll get ahead. Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don’t ask a question before you Google it. You’ll either find the answer or you’ll come up with a better question.
In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are. You’re ready. Start making stuff.
Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.
The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career: Whenever you’re at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, “What would make a better story?”
The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use—do the work you want to see done.