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Thread: Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Thumbs up Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon

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    I can recommend this little book by Austin Kleon. It is probably the best book on the subject "creativity" that I have read so far. If you have not read it yet, give it a chanse, it is cheap and it is worth a lot. The chap also have a good speech at TED.
    My Art Blog : Pennstreck
    My Instagram: Instagram

  2. #2
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    Jul 2006
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    Thanks for this TED lecture. I think he was able to find a deep history of his personal process with the black outs and words because we do it naturally.

    Humans learn by imitation, and there comes a point at which the accumulation of patterns fall together in a way to suggest the next step applied to a personal circumstance. They use this in IQ tests in their pattern recognition questions. It hopes to show one's aptitude to be creative in this way.

    I maintain that each step along the way is valid whether copying closely, or combining random finds, or working without structure because the way people manage their accumulations of ideas and experiences is true to their personal nature and evolution. It's impossible to say that because one person is tightly focused that there isn't some breakthrough gestating inside. It's a journey, not an end point, despite those moments when we have big creative jumps which make it look like the only real accomplishment.

    I think Creativity by nature defies being constrained by a method. There's a lot of minor creative time using things we know without vast creative jumps. We need to do the things that keep us limber and ready for when inspiration hits. Not every moment is an epiphany though and flopping around waiting for it is foolish. So we rehearse and practice and work within a normal, familiar range firming up the base upon which we build to the next level.

    Your point is well taken though. Creative inspiration can be found anywhere. I'm also a big fan of the notion of setting an intention. Things often fall into place with clarity and using the things we have come to us. Industriousness is key though.

    Good find. Stimulating notions. Thanks for posting it.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    Perhaps I can add to this thread from my own recent experience. Some months ago I was assigned by my boss in the newspaper to illustrate a weekly column on economics. the assignment required not to draw my usual stuff (caricatures) but to play with the columnist ideas, which I knew is a uncomfortable position for me. More so, when dealing with boring numbers of inflation, budget deficit, etc. To do it more funny, it was a column opposing the government I support. So, how to deal with all this?
    Here enters the magic word: Google. I started by googling images with the core words representative of the column, be those words present at the column title or implied in the body. Then after some pages of images I choose some ideas associated by others to these words and keep googling these new words until I collected and combined two or three images (completed with some drawing) to give the column an illustration which related with the column ideas in a diagonal way. Now I'm about to buy a new computer, so I can buy ArtRage 4 to add the new graphic capabilities to my stuff. Here are a couple of samples:
    The budget, The National Oil company, The presidential speech
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    Last edited by Bob Row; 03-12-2013 at 06:49 PM.
    Nulla die sine linea
    http://bobrow.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    England
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    Hi Henry, thanks for bringing this book to my/our attention. Have you found it useful with your work since reading it?

    I've only read the free sample on the kindle (book reader), but from what Ive seen so far, it looks interesting and full of stimulating ideas.

    On a related theme, Iíve just finished reading a short book called íA Technique for Producing Ideasí by James Web Young. He proposes a formulated 5 step approach to coming up with original creative ideas. In his case, it was for producing advertising campaigns, but the process could easily be applied to other artistic endeavours.

    Iím quite exited to consciously give his technique a try. I say consciously, because I think to some extent I work this way already. The book was written a while ago (50+ years I think) so some physical aspects, like the use of index cards, may need adapting to the computer and internet age. Anyway, itís all nourishing food for thought.

    All the best, Jono
    Good planets are hard to find - help look after ours.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    22,517
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Row View Post
    Perhaps I can add to this thread from my own recent experience. Some months ago I was assigned by my boss in the newspaper to illustrate a weekly column on economics. the assignment required not to draw my usual stuff (caricatures) but to play with the columnist ideas, which I knew is a uncomfortable position for me. More so, when dealing with boring numbers of inflation, budget deficit, etc. To do it more funny, it was a column opposing the government I support. So, how to deal with all this?
    Here enters the magic word: Google. I started by googling images with the core words representative of the column, be those words present at the column title or implied in the body. Then after some pages of images I choose some ideas associated by others to these words and keep googling these new words until I collected and combined two or three images (completed with some drawing) to give the column an illustration which related with the column ideas in a diagonal way. Now I'm about to buy a new computer, so I can buy ArtRage 4 to add the new graphic capabilities to my stuff. Here are a couple of samples:
    The budget, The National Oil company, The presidential speech
    I really like the cartoon images. Clever. Literate. Clear. Interesting to hear your process. And yes, the financial world is a generally dry topic, but you have found fertile soil. Just careful that if they decide to dig for oil on it, that you get your solid gold Cadillac in the bargain.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    England
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    298
    Ooops, yes, sorry Bob, I forgot to say how much I also enjoyed your illustrations and hearing about your technique. The expression on that giant tortoise is spot on.
    Good planets are hard to find - help look after ours.

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