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.
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.)