Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

Everything we did or will do in the future are actually been done before. The new idea that we claim as a brightly new born idea is actually just a mash up/ a remix from the previous ideas. But finding a new idea is not that easy. Unless we read more, dig more or observe more. It’s scattered everywhere, on the billboard, on the bus or next to your favorite café. Since we’re working in Kemang, maybe sometime it is good to go for a long walks to the nearest café when we get stuck of getting idea in the middle of brainstorming.

“Everything is up for grabs,” he said. Yes, it depends on how we collect good ideas and recreate them with a touch of our personality. Before we start a creation there is a ‘stealing’ process we unconsciously go through. In this step, people turn out to be either a bad theft or a good theft. A good theft rips off from hundred people to make his original signature, but a bad theft only influenced by one or two to be the next whoever. Once you have found the way to glimpse into your heroes’ minds to internalize their way of looking at the world, you are one step ahead to be next hero.

This book tells us how to copy/imitate our heroes’ way-of-thinking to create a masterpiece without throwing any of ourselves away. But he also tries to convey that it is important to re-evaluate our every aspect of life if we want to make a masterpiece. For example: leave home (to restrain your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings), marry well, keep a logbook (the small details will help you remember big details), make friends not enemies, do have a side projects/hobbies, etc.

After all, whatever he told us will make no difference if we don’t have the gut to change. In Islam there is a word “Hijrah”. It means that if you have the courage to change to be a better person inwardly and outwardly there will be a great reward awaits you.


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