Episode 241: Austin Kleon – How To Steal Like An Artist

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An ArtistNewspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work! His latest release is The Steal Like An Artist Journal: A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs. His work has been translated into over twenty languages and featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street JournalNew York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks about creativity in the digital age for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. He grew up in Ohio, but now he lives in Austin, Texas.

Episode 241: Austin Kleon – How To Steal Like An Artist

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

The Learning Leader Show

“Reading is so essential to writing… I don’t even think about it.  I just always do it.”

Show Notes:

  • Sustained Excellence =
    • “I wrestle with jealously about others who do better work than me… Until I realize it’s very rare to see someone who doesn’t deserve it based on how hard they work.”
    • The people who sustain excellence are typically the hardest workers over the long term
    • “If you want to do better, work harder.”
  • Austin’s ritual
    • Write a page a day like Stephen King
      • Little bits of work add up over time
      • When you do something you love, you’re always working… It’s an endless stream
      • “I try to be a good boss to myself” — But there is no punching the clock in and out… It’s always in
  • Steal Like An Artist
    • Wrote an article titled “10 things I wish I had known when starting out” — That became the best-selling book
      • The blog post and speech that went with it went viral
  • The Creative Process
    • Daily writing… Eventually show the audience to test if it’s useful for them
  • “It’s like a factory”
    • Collect
    • Make time to write
    • Gather longer piece to essay
    • Put it out to the world
    • Collect feedback (live audience sometimes)
  • A daily blog helps the book writing process
    • Collect, synthesize, make, share — “Stealing & Sharing”
  • Reading is a massive part of the writing process… Must read a lot
    • “Reading is so essential to writing.  I don’t even think about it, I just do it.”
  • “My job as an author is to point people to things people haven’t seen”
  • “Being a leader… You have to be curious… You have to find great stories and examples.” — You must read a lot to do this
  • What advice do you give to others?
    • “You need hobbies… People used to have hobbies, now they have Netflix.”  Try to restore something, do work, have a hobby — It will build creativity
  • The two desks
    • Analog desk — pens, markers, paper, scissors… Make stuff
    • Digital desk — computer
  • “Walking is an insanely creative activity”
  • Enjoying captivity — Be useful on train rides, flights… No wifi
  • The open office plan is a nightmare for an introvert like Austin
  • “You want hearts, not eyeballs.” — Focus on engagement of your audience, not just the size of it.
    • “The number of people doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the people who follow you.”
    • “Becoming a friend of someone you look up to is one of the best things that could ever happen”
      • Creating great work gives you the opportunity to do this

“You want hearts, not eyeballs.” — Focus on engagement of your audience, not just the size of it.

Social Media:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why