This is a book about permission. Permission to stop hiding behind your own shadow. Permission to start creating something that actually matters. Permission to stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before you and take advantage of their great ideas. The idea isn’t to “steal” other people’s work. So don’t do that. Stealing is bad. Just take bits and pieces from other people’s work and make something of your own out of that. If you use someone else’s stuff to make something of your own, then let them know about it. It’s usually (but not always) flattering. This isn’t a book for artists creating art. It’s a book for anyone creating anything.
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” —Gustave Flaubert
“You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”
“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.”
“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”
“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.”
1. STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST
2. DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE TO GET STARTED
3. WRITE THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ
4. USE YOUR HANDS
5. SIDE PROJECTS AND HOBBIES ARE IMPORTANT
6. DO GOOD WORK AND SHARE IT
7. GEOGRAPHY IS OBSOLETE
8. WRITE PUBLIC FAN LETTERS AND KEEP A PRAISE FILE
9. FIND A DAY JOB
10. GET A CALENDAR AND A LOGBOOK
11. CREATIVITY IS SUBTRACTION
1. Steal like an artist.
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
When people call something “original” or “unique,” most of the time they just don’t know about the references or the original sources involved.
Real artists understand that nothing is truly original. Nothing comes from nowhere, and everything builds on what came before it.
- Instead of being concerned about whether you’re copying (or duplicating) another person’s work, look for ways to build upon the work that came before you. The key is to embrace influence rather than run away from it. Learn from the work of others… and then, if you’re so inclined, make it better. Make it different. Make it yours. Make it “original.” New ideas are nothing more than remixes of old ideas.
- Carry a notebook with you wherever you go so you can jot down ideas for later.
- School yourself and be curious about the things that inspire you — maintain a library of books (even if you don’t plan on reading any of them yet), Google everything, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
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