Steal Like An Artist : Book Summary

A fun and short read for creative souls.

Harshita Kasera
Book Nook
2 min readMar 20, 2024

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Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon inspired me to view others’ work as an inspiration, add my own spin to it and share it with the world.

Picture Credits: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

Describe the book in one sentence

Everything is inspired by something.

What I love about this book

The book is full of impressive doodles and magazine cutouts. There is a behind the scenes section in this book which is a must read. Austin talks about why he chose “Steal” in the book title. The imagination that went behind writing this book is fascinating. It’s a book that is perfect to go back to again & again!

What I love about the author

Austin’s bio on his website caught my attention — “I’m a writer who draws. I make art with words and books with pictures.”. The moment I read that, I knew he was going to become one of my favorites. If you are like me, who loves illustration and creative reading, you would love all his work.

Thought-provoking concepts in the book

Productive Procrastination : Choose productive activities (like learning a new language, cleaning up your workspace, writing a blog, etc) that are not the most important or pressing to recharge yourself.

Garbage In, Garbage Out : If you let good things in, good things will come out of it.

Creativity is Subtraction : Refine your work over time by editing it and focussing on what matters.

My favorite doodles in the book

The Life of a Project : A hilarious chart that shows how an idea turns into a project.

Logbook : Collecting your ideas in a creative way.

Books that this book inspired me to read next

Show your work by Austin Kleon

Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon

My Favorite Quotes in the book

  • “All advice is autobiographical” — Austin Kleon
  • “Art is theft” — Pablo Picasso
  • “What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.” — William Ralph Inge

What I plan to steal from this book

Keeping a logbook to note down my ideas.

Write thank you emails to artists whose work inspired me. A thank you note is coming your way Austin Kleon :)

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