If you’re a creative, or if you make things for a living, and you want to hear a very interesting talk about art, music, craftsmanship, making things and stealing things, then you have to check out Austin Kleon’s speech at Google way back in 2013.
HIs talk is so brilliant that I often laugh while I'm watching him. He's so refreshing and simple, I like his references and insights to the cliche of the struggling artist, slaving away in their workshops to make the next great thing.
He takes the pressure off having to feel like you need to come up with original ideas and be brilliant. in fact he debunks the idea of the term ‘Original’ citing David Bowie who said when asked back in the 1970’s if HE was original, Bowie said, “No not at all, I’m more like a tasteful thief.” Bowie also went on to say “The only art that I’ll ever study is the stuff that I can steal from…”
Those are real quotes. Those aren’t made up. One of the most brilliant artists of our generation, David Bowie, he understood what Kleon was talking about so many years later.
He's saying that all of our ideas, all of our inventions, are really just coming off the heels of what has been done before. But of course we put our own stamp on it. We imbue it with our own personalities and styles and flavor. We don’t just rip it off by the numbers, that’s not the point. To point is to be inspired by others and then take that inspiration and go make something up. The more you do it, the more you will craft your own voice, and your own style will come through.
So watch this video. I think you'll love it.
Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think about Austin, his books, or this talk.
'Steal' is just the first in a series of 3...
Here's a link to buy 'Steal Like An Artist' HERE