Steal Like An Artist : Book Summary

A fun and short read for creative souls.

Harshita Kasera
Book Nook
2 min readMar 20, 2024


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 :)