I have read a bunch of self-help styled books.  As a young man just joining a business you tend to want to find your own direction or cause some sort of massive change for the benefit of everyone, looking for some validation for the education you have received or the opportunities given to you. So I decided to pick up a book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon about the art of theft.  I assumed that it would be like any other self-help or motivational book, albeit with a more interesting title, but I was so very wrong.

You pick it up, and decide “well this is more of a picture book.”  It is small, square and all black with the title in what looks like white pen on the front and has lots of sections with pictures.  Curiosity overwhelms and I delve right into one of the most fascinatingly motivating book I have ever read.

I read it twice in two days.  It is filled with quotes from famous artists, businessmen, authors and athletes. These are quotes you have heard before but framed in a way that makes you think about the person behind them and their style of thought as they progressed through their own field of expertise.

It is 140 pages and 10 chapters of motivational glory.  Chapter titles include “Be Boring,” “Use Your Hands,” and “Creativity is Subtraction.”  The book is hard to describe in full because I think everyone who chooses to read it should come away with a different opinion about how to be creative in their everyday life.  Whether an artist, programmer, engineer, or business man, this book will help you to look at yourself in a more creative and balanced way.

This is a must read on anyone’s list, but I guarantee it will change the way you think about what creativity is and that emulating the people you admire is good but emulating the thinking and style of many of the people you admire allows you to create a style that is all your own and will pertain to every aspect of life.

Max Daniel

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