Review: Steal Like an Artist | Austin Kleon

A humble, yet honest review created by someone who does know a lot.


Oftentimes, we can feel as if our creativity is locked away and inaccessible, or that we are not doing enough, or being enough, to be creative. We get stuck on the desire to be “original” and often perceive borrowing from other artist’s ideas as being inauthentic. Throughout Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon vouches for the idea that we all can be creative, and originality is simply impossible. Kleon states that the best and brightest thinkers, creatives, and artists have always borrowed and reverse engineered ideas from others in their industry. He provides ten helpful and encouraging points, in the form of chapters, that guide us towards unlocking our creative potential:

· Steal like an artist

· Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started

· Write the book you want to read

· Use your hands

· Side projects and hobbies are important

· Do good work and share it with people

· Geography is no longer our master

· Be nice

· Be boring

· Creativity is subtraction

I have read similar pieces of work that attempt to help the reader discover their creativity, although none before having ever been so simple, enjoyable, and helpful.


Steal Like an Artist encouraged me in ways that I did not think a book could. It was as if the book had been tailor-made for me. The author does such an amazing job at being transparent, honest, and helpful. Most of the time, I read a book and hone in on what I think could be applied practically, while a lot of the content feels out of my wheelhouse. In this book, I found myself wanting more, chapter after chapter, I felt that every word written was applicable to where I have been, and where I will be going in my creative process. I do wish that the book was longer, and that a few of the chapters, and their respective real-life examples were more detailed. Although, I should concede that the “simple and short” aspect of the book was very attractive. It’s length at times made me feel like I was reading a blog post on a website, rather than actually reading a book.


I believe younger creatives would benefit the most from this book. Individuals that are in a stage of life where they are struggling to figure out who they are, and what they want to create. Although, anyone could pick Kleon’s work up, learn a lot, and apply it. As a younger creative I feel like I have been encouraged in ways that people who are farther along the way couldn’t be.

Through my internship with Access Ventures I was able to acquire this book and study it’s content. Access Ventures is an impact investment firm located in Louisville Kentucky. You can learn more about them here.

If you’d like to purchase Steal Like an Artist, you can do so here.

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