Austin Kleon—the self described writer who draws—brings us a great new addition to the library of creative rah, rah, rah books.
“What’s that?” you ask. Creative rah, rah, rah books are the ones you read that get you all fired up about being an artist. They remind you why you do what you do and give you that shot of inspiration. Some of my creative rah, rah, rah books include Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and On Writing by Stephen King. They’re the kind of books you should re-read every so often, the books you underline and quote and remember.
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is one you should add to your library. It’s a great little kick in the pants for creative types. And even if your title doesn’t include designer, writer or creative something, these words still apply:
“These ideas apply to anyone who’s trying to inject some creativity into their life and work. (That should describe all of us.)” (1)
A pastor is likely the last person to pick up this book, but they’re arguably the person who needs it the most.
A big chunk of Steal Like an Artist is exploring that idea of how artist create, by borrowing, imitating and stealing. There’s nothing original under the sun (sound familiar?), everything is drawing on something else. Whenever somebody says something is original, they’re usually just not familiar with the influences.
Of course that doesn’t mean we have a free pass to copy. It’s not about plagiarizing, it’s about stealing an idea and making it our own. That ‘making it our own’ part is something churches often miss out on.
Another great line in the book is something Kleon’s wife shouted at him one day:
“Quit picking fights on Twitter and go make something!” (105)
Instead of being distracted by all the in-fighting and the need to correct everybody we disagree with, maybe we should just go make something. It’s the perfect challenge for the church. Instead of critiquing society and complaining about everything we’re against, maybe it’s time to go make something better.
Steal Like an Artist is a quick read (seriously, you can finish it in 45 minutes) and a friendly inspiration. Grab a copy and add it to your creative rah, rah, rah library.