Book: Steal Like an Artist

I read Steal Like an Artist (Amazon) a while ago, but reread it as part of the reading list I’ve been working through. It’s a short read and enough time had passed that I didn’t mind re-reading it. The thesis is that no art is original, although it does distinguish between being inspired by the work of others and outright plagiarising it. My other favourite points were that productivity requires being boring – ultimately it’s about sitting down and working. It also talks about finding your tribe on the internet. I think Better Than Before is better overall for this kind of insight, however. In many ways it’s a less aggressive version of The War of Art. It’s a pep talk from a dude based on his own experience and YMMV. At least this book mentions some women – although not that many.

4 replies on “Book: Steal Like an Artist”

Spooky! I read this book yesterday and I agree with your observations.

I would add that I was pleased to see a discussion on “limitations”. Before I was a programmer I was a guitarist, and my teacher told me at age 9 that the reason the guitar is such a suitable instrument for kids as well as adults is the fact that it only has 6 strings, and 20 (ish) frets. There are only so many notes one can play. The art is in HOW you play them.

In my sad adult life the inverse is true for programming. For any problem there are N^Avogadro solutions. SOmetimes I hate that, and become crippled by it. This also means I totally get the need to produce “patterns” books; on a day to day basis one simply has to start somewhere!

So yeah, this book resonated for me on lots of levels.

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