“Every artist,” Austin Kleon said, “gets asked the question, “Where do your ideas come from?” The honest artist answers, “I steal them.” Inspiration is that spark of genius that sets your heart to racing, and your hands to moving. It propels you forward as you strive to create something genuine and true. At least, that’s the way I see it. You may have a varying take on what inspiration is, but there it is striking as it will. It has no master, no owner. It comes and goes as it wishes, leaving behind only that which we make of it.
My sister-in-law gave me a copy of Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon for Christmas. I’ll share some of what I’m enjoying and learning from this great read with you in a few weeks. Today I want to talk about another product Austin’s put out there, The Steal Like An Artist Journal. It's filled with exercises and creativity prompts to bring out the creative in each of us. I noticed it online while reading Steal Like An Artist, and decided to order it.
I’ve always struggled to call myself an artist, writer, or creative. It’s been a lack of confidence on my part, with a dash of imposter syndrome thrown in for flavor. Who am I to publish? Who am I to claim the mantle of an artist? Doubts like these have plagued me, as I’m sure they have you at one point in your life.
The greatest help I've found is to show up every day and put something down on paper. It gives me confidence, and hope that I’m getting better. Sitting down to create something—anything—is more important that the finished product. The journey is more important than the destination.
The journal has served as a helpful tool in training my mind to be on the lookout for new and different ideas. To make connections between things that at first glance have nothing in common. “We are all having ideas all the time.” Philip Pullman said, “But I’m on the lookout for them. You’re not.”
The Steal Like An Artist Journal has helped me improve at being on the lookout for good ideas. In short, it is where inspiration finds me each morning before I write.
Enough about me and my journey for one day. What about you? Where do you find inspiration? Are there any tools, or routines that you find helpful?