Reading “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon
I was bored after work and decided to pick up a book I bought ages ago and give it a read.
I read the entire thing in one sitting – I was hooked!
The page layouts are beautiful, the illustrations and diagrams are intriguing. Everything written was so inspiring, and made me feel a lot more motivated to continue with the projects I am working on.
My Favourite Parts
I decided to back to some parts of the book that stuck with me, and write a quick blog post about them, because I think a lot of it applies to UX design work really nicely.
Garbage in, Garbage out. You are only going to be as good as the things you surround yourself with.
Be curious. Carry a notebook and pen with you everywhere you go, jot down ideas as they come.
This is something I’d like to start doing, because I do find inspiration around me everywhere, and I usually type it onto my phone notes – but it’s never easy to let ideas and concepts flow this way.
Fake it til you make it. Don’t wait to know you are to get started, this is something you figure out along the way. Recreate work that you like, pretend to make something until you’re actually making something.
I like this idea of pretending until you are where you want to be, because you’ll find your style along the way.
This chapter was one of my favourites!
Don’t create what you know, create what you like. Do the work you want to see being done.
I thought this was also really inspiring, as I always worry about creating things that I like, or that I want to exist. I understand that I cannot always do this in UX as there will be tasks set to me, and users to create for – but it’s certainly something I can do in my spare time.
Use your hands. Sketch and draw and write on paper.
When the computer is involved in idea generation, things are on an inevitable path to being finished. On paper, the possibilities are endless.
We have always been taught to start on paper first. Your ideas can flow and develop easier this way, and you can continue to scribble away to your heart’s content.
Keep your passions alive. Continue with your hobbies, they will feed into your work.
I always find that, when I’m feeling a bit of a creative block, once I take a break to draw or paint, I feel much more creative afterwards.
Share your work with people, get your ideas out into the world and expand your circle.
I love when we get to share our designs with one another in group feedback sessions, and I thought this applied here well.
Go online. Speak to other creatives, and share with them on the internet. There are many interesting artists to look up to, and communicate with online.
One of my favourite things to do when I’m bored is have a nosey through the UX Collective blog, or some of the UX , art, and graphic design accounts I follow on instagram. I can always learn something new from this, as well as draw inspiration subconsciously.
Be nice. Surround yourself with talented people, and learn from them.
I live with two other talented young creatives, and I would honestly say that I learn something new from them, or their work, every day!
Chapter 9 and 10
Be boring. Have a normal life, and allow yourself to go wild with your creative work.
Give yourself constraints, paint in only one colour or write using only a certain amount of words. This way, you can get really creative.
I thought this was a really valuable read, and I’m glad that I finally decided to pick the book up and look at it. I think I’ve learnt a lot from this, and I want to be able to carry this new-found knowledge with me as I continue with my work. I also think I will start creating fine art again, as I haven’t painted in a long time – and doing it to take a break from a project was always such a nice creative change for me.