Steal like an artist

10 truths about the creative process, which nobody told you.

Many have read nashumeshy manifesto "10 rules of art." Its author, writer and artist Austin Kleon wrote gorgeous book "Steal like an artist. 10 lessons of creative expression "(in the original" 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative "), we recommend you read carefully. In the US, the book became a bestseller. In Russian book released by "Mann, Ivanov and Ferber".

Cleon believes that every new idea - it's just a jumble of old, and the main thing for a creative person - do not hesitate to experiment, to mix all you like, give yourself complete freedom.

Here are a few tips from the book with illustrations by the author.

Steal like an artist

Steal like an artist

All the artists are asked "Where do you get ideas?". Honest artist answers: "I steal them." As an artist looks at the world around you? He decides whether or not to steal something, and then switches to the next thing. That's all.

Every artist knows that nothing comes from nothing. All results are based on creativity created earlier. Nothing is absolutely original. Someone may find this idea depressive, and I hope it inspires. As the French writer André Gide, "all that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one heard, it is possible to say anything again. "

Dropping the burden of striving for absolute originality, stops trying to create something out of nothing and start to encourage foreign influence rather than avoid it.

Artist - collector. He collects good ideas. Legibly, it is that truly loves. The more ideas - the more the accumulated baggage that will affect you. Keep a folder for stolen. Yes, that's right - a folder to store what you have pulled together from others. Paper or virtual - does not matter; the main thing that it was. Newspaper reporters call this folder "mortuary" - and I like that name. Your mortuary folder - this is the place where you keep the "dead", which has revived later in his works.


Steal like an artist

No one is born with an individual style and your own voice. We do not emerge from the womb with a precise knowledge of who we are. At first, everyone learns to be like their heroes. Learn by copying. We learn to write by copying the alphabet. Musicians learn by playing scales. Artists learn by copying the masterpieces of painting.

Even the "Beatles" started with covers. Paul McCartney recalled: "I copied Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis. All we have to do. " McCartney and John Lennon became one of the greatest musicians in the world, but as Paul confessed, own songs, they began to write only in order "to other groups did not copy our program." In the words of Salvador Dali, "the one who does not want to imitate anyone, not create anything."

Firstly, you need to decide who to copy. Second - that.

Who copy - with this simple. Copy their heroes - the people that you like, that inspire you, where you want to be like. As once said songwriter Nick Lowe, "you start with rewriting the catalog of his character." But at the same time, there is one important rule: you must not steal from one of his heroes, and all at once. According to the writer Wilson Mizner, copying a single author, you are engaged in plagiarism, copying many - to carry out research. Once I heard the phrase animator Gary Panther "If you influenced someone one, everyone will say that you are a follower. But try to rob a hundred people, and you will be called the original! " That copy - the question is more complex. Do not steal a style per se, borrow the underlying mindset. You do not need to look like your characters, you need to see them.

Do not wait until dismantled a

Steal like an artist

If I had not decided to "start creating" until Understand yourself until you understand who I am and why I live, it still would be engaged in soul-searching, not the case. From my own experience I know that a man understand his own nature is capable of only doing something, doing some work.

You may be afraid to start. This is normal. There is a very real character trait pronounced among many educated people. it is called "impostor syndrome." Here's his definition of health: "impostor syndrome - a psychological phenomenon in which a person is unable to take their own achievements." This means that you feel a fraud, do you think that the act off the cuff, and do not have a clue about the purpose of their actions.

You know what? Everyone feels it. Ask anyone who has created anything really creative, and he will answer you honestly, that is not where it comes from correct decisions. He's just doing his job. Everyday.

Write about what you love

Steal like an artist

Every aspiring writer once asked: "What shall I write?" And the standard answer is: "Write about what you know." This advice leads to horror stories in which there is nothing remarkable.

We are engaged in the arts, because we love art. Drawing in a certain style, because inspired by those who create such works. In fact, any work of art - a "fan fiction".

And so the best advice is - do not write about what you know and what you like. Write such stories, which are themselves like that themselves would like to read. This principle applies to his personal life, and career, whenever you do not know what to do next, just ask yourself: "What story would be better than this?" Think about your favorite works and their authors - your heroes. What do they miss? What did not? What could be done better? If they are still alive, on what might work today? If all of your favorite creative people come together and do some one thing, under your leadership, that could happen?

Go and do it.

So, my manifesto is as follows: Draw a picture you would like to see; start a business that would like to control; play music that would like to hear; write a book that would like to read; come up with products that would like to use - does exactly what case, which would like to see done.

Take the time to idleness

Steal like an artist

During his short career, I have learned one thing: a truly successful are only a side project. In this case, I mean what do you do with idleness. So, for fun. But that's what it turns out well. And then begins the real magic.

Take the time to idleness. Once one of my colleagues said: "When I'm too busy, I'm stupid." Is not it so? Creative people find it useful to just sit idly by. The best thoughts come into my head just in those moments when I'm not busy with anything, because something, I think I will never give shirts to the cleaners. I like to stroke their own - it's so boring that occurred almost always come good ideas. So when you run out of ideas, wash the dishes. Embark on a really long walk. Sit down and look at one point as much as you can. As an artist Maira Kalman said, "putting aside the work, I focus my mind."

Take the time to idleness. Walk in unfamiliar places. Hang just like that. Well do not know where the road will lead.

away from home

Steal like an artist

At some point, as soon as the opportunity arises, all of us have to leave the house. You can always come back, but at least one time you need to leave.

In familiar surroundings brain feels too comfortable. You need to buck up, take it out of the usual equilibrium. For example, it is useful to spend some time in another place, among people who live a different life. During the trip, the world seems different, and when the world seems different, our brain works harder.

You can consider a number of factors that help the creative process - and they all depend on your taste. For example, I personally think that the work of helping the bad weather. I do not want to go out, so you sit at home and work. When I lived in Cleveland, then a lot of time to do during the cold winter months. Here in Texas, all the work I was doing the scorching summer. (Winter and summer in Cleveland in Texas have approximately the same length - for six months.)

It really helps if you live among interesting people, and they do not necessarily have to do the same thing that you did. I felt almost incestuous feeling, communicating only with writers and artists, so I like that live in Austin so many filmmakers, musicians and computer scientists. Oh, and a kitchen. Kitchen should be good. We need to find a place that will feed you - creatively, socially, spiritually ... and in the literal sense of the word.

However, even if you have a new home will be, it will need to periodically leave. And at some point, maybe even move again. I am glad that in our time in touch with many friends at the same time is not interrupted, because they remain where they were, - on the Internet.

Stay close to the talented people

Steal like an artist

You can be good only as good as the people around you. In the digital age, this means that you need to communicate on the Internet with the best people - those who are much smarter and more talented than you; with people who are doing something really interesting. Pay close attention to what they say, what they do, what are addicted.

Actor and film director Harold Ramis, that people of my generation is known for her role Eagon in the movie "Ghostbusters" as a rule shared his success: "Find the most talented person in the room and if it's not you, stay with him. Follow him everywhere. Try to be useful to him. " Ramis was lucky in his "room" turned out to be the most talented of his friend Bill Murray.

And if one day it turns out that the most talented people in the room - it is you have to look for another room.

Do not be afraid to be boring

Steal like an artist

I am a boring person, I work from nine to five, I live in a quiet suburb with his wife and dog. The image of the full romance of genius creator, crazed on drugs, hanging out anywhere and sleeping with everyone, has long gone out of fashion. It is for supermen, and those who want to die young. The point is simple: creativity requires a tremendous amount of energy. Wasting it on the small stuff, you will not leave on personal creativity.

It is best to start from the fact that for some time you will live also. (It is for this reason that Patti Smith advised young artists still visit the dentist.) Regularly for breakfast. Do exercises. To walk alot. To sleep a lot.

Neil Young sang: "It's better to burn out than to dissolve." And I say that it is better to burn slowly and live up to the grandchildren.

Do not throw most of the work

Steal like an artist

The truth is that even if you are lucky and you will earn a life you love, it can happen at once. Until then, you need some work.

The main work - it's money, the relationship with the world and a certain mode. Freedom from financial pressure means the freedom of creative expression.

Due to the basic work you are among the people. Use this - learn from them, steal from them. I tried to find a job that gave new knowledge and skills for my own creative process. For example, working as a librarian, I have learned to conduct research; working as a web designer, I learn how to build websites; working as a copywriter, I figured out how to sell with words.

The main work of the worst of it is that it takes time, but this is compensated by the lack of a timetable, which is quite possible to set aside some time for creativity. Availability and compliance with the schedule may even be more important than a large amount of free time. Inactivity kills creativity.

The trick is to find such basic work that tolerably paid, does not cause nausea and leaves enough power for creativity in their spare time. A good job of this type are hard to find, but it is possible.

to do a good work and share it with people

Steal like an artist

I'm getting a lot of messages from young people with the same question: "How do I get famous?". If I knew the secret formula is known, he would have said it to you. But I am familiar with only one, and not particularly secret: to do a good job and to share it with people.

My formula consists of two parts. The first - a "do a good job", which is extremely difficult. And there are no short cuts. Work hard every day. Know that failure is inevitable. Mistaken. Correct errors. Follow the advice of the second - "share it with people" - it was difficult to even ten years ago. Now, nothing could be simpler: post your works on the Internet. When I tell people about it, ask me, "What is the secret of the Internet?" Step One: surprised anything. Step Two: Invite others wonder with you.

Surprised at what else no one was surprised. If all interested in apples, oranges interested in. The more open you will be sharing his passion, the will appear closer to people your work. The artist is not a magician. No one will punish you for what you share your secrets.

"Do not worry that someone will steal your ideas. Even if they are really good, you have to push them to the people's throats "Howard Aiken, a pioneer in computer building.