Reading This Book Will Make You Reconsider Stealing


32 things I learned from 'Steal Like an Artist'

[Visual Created via XMind by the Author]

There is an age-old myth that creativity is unique, and only a few selected people have creative genius, whether it’s painting, writing, singing, acting, designing, filming, or some other thing.

In fact, that’s not true!

The reality is that creativity and the ability to innovate are like muscles — the more we use them, the stronger they get.

There are specific habits and traits which anyone can use to unlock their creative genius.

Austin Kleon is one of the researchers that studying the different aspects of creativity.

Here are the 32 things I learned about creativity from ‘Steal Like an Artist’ that nobody has told you about.

Ps: Just like the book, my learnings from the book is also presented in an unusual way :)


  1. Look at the world like artists: Is it worth stealing or not.
  2. There is no such thing as the original. Everything is built upon what came before.
  3. Every new idea is a mixture of old ideas.
  4. The more you collect good ideas, the better outcome you can get
  5. Start with one role model. Study everything about the role model. Then move to the next one. Repeat studying as much as you can.
  6. Educate yourself. Chase your curiosity. Never stop learning.
  7. Jot down your ideas in your notebook. Whenever you find something interesting, write it down.
  8. Whenever you need inspiration, go back to your notes.
  9. Even if you’re scared to start, just start! Unless you start moving, you’ll not reach where you want to be.
  10. “Pretend to be something you’re not until you are. Pretend to be making something until you actually make something.” — Austin Kleon
  11. Copy your idols, but do not plagiarize. Reverse engineer your role models, but do not plagiarize.
  12. Copy the technique, not the work itself.
  13. Imitation → Emulation. Adapt the things to make them your own.
  14. “I have stolen all of these moves from all these great players. I just try to do them proud, the guys who came before, because I learned so much from them. It’s all in the name of the game. It’s a lot bigger than me.” — Kobe Bryant
  15. There are things you know. And, there are things you like. Go make the stuff not just because you know that thing, but you like it.
  16. Do not just sit in front of a computer all day even though you create something. Find a way to use your hands (body) in your work.
  17. Don’t underestimate the side projects. Move between them.
  18. It’s OK to have multi-passions.
  19. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.” — Steve Jobs
  20. The formula for success = create good work → share it → create good work → share it → create good work → share it → create good work → share it → create good work → share it → create good work → share it
  21. Produce every single day. Early productions will be garbage. Iterate. Get better.
  22. In Austin Kleon’s words, to be successful on the internet, “Step 1: Wonder at something. Step 2: Invite others to wonder with you.”
  23. Internet is the new world. Don’t stuck in anywhere. Be where you want to be.
  24. Leave your comfort zone. Make yourself and your brain uncomfortable. Look for new things.
  25. Surround yourself with talented people. Doesn’t matter if it’s the online or real world.
  26. Don’t waste your life in pointless fights. Quit them. And, go create something.
  27. Just ship it. Don’t wait for validation from someone.
  28. Creativity requires energy. Don’t waste it. Take care of yourself — mentally and physically.
  29. Consistency DOES matter. Plan your work, keep track of your work.
  30. Not just plan your future. But also, keep a logbook. Record what you’re doing every day. You can go back and look at what you were up to 5 years ago in the future.
  31. What you include in your work is important. What you leave out is more important.
  32. Constraints are not your enemy.


These are but a few of the many lessons I learned from Steal Like an Artist.

Just don’t forget “Creativity and the ability to innovate are like muscles — the more we use them, the stronger they get.”

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