Austin Kleon

A friend of mine recently linked to Austin Kleon‘s blog post featuring his “Steal Like An Artist” advice, and I was hooked. He has both creativity and clarity going for him, which is a potent combination. As he so rightly notes in #6 of his 10 observations, making art is a two-part process – the creation and the sharing – and I think many artists (myself included) have a much harder time with the second part, the part that involves self-promotion and schmingling and not just sitting in a room letting your imagination run wild…and the heck with everyone else. He seems to be talented at both aspects!

He has a couple of books out, one based on his “Newspaper Blackout” work (trailer – yes, trailer! – below)


And the other – the new “Steal Like An Artist” – that caught my attention in the first place.

You can even buy an original print through his online store, which links out to the 20X200 project (where many cool artists display).

This is my personal favorite. It’s going up in my studio any day now.


As I mentioned in a recent post, the idea of making something new by cutting away something old is certainly not original – but he does it extremely well.  I love his use of positive and negative space, his sentiments, his overall approach.  I find myself exploring positive and negative space a lot in my own work recently, and also making a lot of collage-esque pieces with my photography, and this seems in a similar vein – not just writing (or printing photos, in my case), but taking an original product as raw materials to make something else out of as well.

I just saw Maria Popova adores Austin as well. Anytime I am on the same wavelength as her, I sigh in contentment. (I have a wee intellectual crush on her, as previously detailed in this post.) And wait! I just saw Austin Kleon posted on Maria and an interview with her the month after I posted.  I’d call it a mutual admiration society, but I don’t think I’m invited. ; )
(And wait, again! I just popped over to Brain Pickings today, a few hours after posting this, and Austin Kleon is in Maria’s post from earlier this very day. Crazy.)

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