Monday, October 10, 2016

61 Books: #52

The project: to read 61 books, of whatever sort—short, long; literature, schlock; prose, poetry: you name it—before December 4, 2016.

The first ten books can be seen here. The second ten are here. Nos. 21–51 are below this post.

52. Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative (2012) (10/10/16)
A quick little artist book full of drawings, newspaper blackout poetry, diagrams, quotations, a few photos, making the task of reading the ten tips that much more fun. The target audience is probably someone just starting out in a creative career, but I enjoyed the quotes and some of the author's insights.

The ten things?
1. Steal like an artist
         Nothing is original; school yourself: "The only art I'll ever study is stuff that I can steal from." —David Bowie
2. Don't wait until you know who you are to get started
          Fake it till you make it: "Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find your self." —Yohji Yamamoto
3. Write the book you want to read
         "My interest in making music has been to create something that does not exist that I would like to listen to. I wanted to hear music that had not yet happened, by putting together things that suggested a new thing which did not yet exist." —Brian Eno
4. Use your hands
         Step away from the screen: "I have stared long enough at the glowing flat rectangles of computer screens. Let us give more time for doing things in the real world . . . plant a plant, walk the dogs, read a real book, go to the opera." —Edward Tufte
5. Side projects and hobbies are important
          Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it's going to lead you.
6. The Secret: Do good work and share it with people
7. Geography is no longer our master
          Leave home: "Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything." —Jonah Lehrer
8. Be nice (the world is a small town)
         Make friends, ignore enemies: "There's only one rule I know of: You've got to be kind." —Kurt Vonnegut
Also: Stand next to the talent.
9. Be boring (it's the only way to get work done)
         "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work." —Gustave Flaubert
10. Creativity is subtraction
          Choose what to leave out.

"Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn." —T. S. Eliot

1 comment:

  1. Number 7 is so true. Number 9 is an interesting idea.