“My whole outlook on life is, never judge a book by its cover.“– Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Last week I was at home with my girlfriend. As usual, we were fighting over which movie we would watch. She suggested Paddington. My first reaction was:”It will be total shit“. After a few minutes I surrendered. We watched to whole thing. To my surprise…it was good. Nothing amazing, but good entertainment.
I remember when my brother was reading Game of Thrones. He introduced me to the TV show right after the first episode was aired. I seriously thought it would be awful. I watch it and I was instantly sold. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since. I’ve read all five books of the series.
Why am I telling these little stories? Good question. As you can see, both these anecdotes as one thing in common: we make ignorant judgment. The same pattern repeat itself everywhere. This can go from people to cultures to ideas. We judge what we don’t know.
I could say that Winnipeg is a boring city (nothing personnal Winnipeggers). I’ve probably already said it in the past. The truth is that I’ve never set my foot there. I have no idea if it’s boring or not. In that case, I should simply shut my mouth. I could say that “it look boring“, but that I would need to see for myself to make a proper judgment.
The wise abstain from making judgment until he experience. That’s what we should aim for.
What is it about.
In Steal Like an Artist, you will learn that it’s okay to steal ideas. Nobody in history were original. All great musicians, writers, inventors has taken influences from someone else. Shakespeare inspired a great deal of modern authors. He himself took most of his influence from the Greek historian and essayist Plutarch. Do you know where Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin took his influence for the Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords? From Middle Age Scottish history (The Black Dinner). You don’t have to be a genius to create something. You just have to be yourself and be inspired by the world around you.
Why you should read it.
Most people don’t believe they can be creative. They think they have to be 100% original. Once you will read this book, you will understand a bunch of things about the creative process that you didn’t know before. It’s a game changer. It opened my eyes and it might open yours. The book is filled with great quotes from Kurt Vonnegut to Steve Jobs. You will surely be inspired by what you’ll find in it.
The Bottom line.
It’s a great book. The design is beautiful. It’s a fast and easy read. You could get through it in one evening. You will find a bunch of ideas and tools to apply for your inner creativity. I think it’s a great investment for your mind. On top of that, it’s a cheap book. Stay away from it if your name is Leonard Cohen or Irvine Welsh. In other word, if you are already creating a lot of stuff in your life, you won’t get much from that book.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Austin Kleon is also the author of Show Your Work and Newspaper Blackout. If you want to know more about him, I suggest you listen to the interview he gave at Unmistakable Creative.