I read these two books by Austin Kleon “Steal Like an Artist” and “Show Your Work!” Austin is a writer and artist who lives in Austin, TX. Yes, Austin lives in Austin. I’m still looking for a town named Tom to move to. I know of a Tomball, Texas. I’ve been called Tombo and Tomo, never Tomball though.
They are both quick reads, one book took about half an hour to read, the other about an hour. “Steal like an Artist” basically says that there are no original ideas – everyone steals from each other. Truth be told, I have a couple of comic strips that I like, mostly the drawing styles, and I try to emulate them while designing and creating my new comic strip. I didn’t look at is as stealing, I see it more like inspiration.
In the book, Austin says, “”First you figure out what’s worth stealing, then you move on to the next thing. That’s about all there is to it.”
But isn’t Lana Del Rey having this issue with Radiohead and the “Creep” song? One of my favorites by Radiohead. Lana is being sued by Radiohead for similarities in Lana’s “Get Free” song.
Anyway, I love the Steal book, it has a lot of useful information for artists and creative people. William Ralph Inge said, “What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.”
I’m not for this plagiarism, I am more about getting ideas and studying those who inspire you.
The second book, “Show Your Work!” is all about that – sharing your work – not just the completed piece, but show how it is created, show your concept along the way. Don’t be stingy, reach out to your fans – interact. There’s a lot in the book about social media and how it influences people and puts people together. Austin is keen on Twitter Meetups, I didn’t know that was thing anymore, but I do remember going to a few in the early days.
Austin says that a good idea is to immerse yourself into someone or that inspires you. If it is an artist, learn about them, learn everything. Then find three people that this person loved and learn about them, and so on and so on. I love this idea.
The book gives quite lot of good info on how to get your work out there and how to interact with people and fans who will move you along your way and up the ladder to success. But the object is not to dwell on money or success, that will come with time if you Show Your Work!