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Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist

by Austin Kleon

A good example is genetics. You have a mother and you have a father. You possess features from both of them, but the sum of you is bigger than their parts. You’re a remix of your mom and dad and all of your ancestors

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Keep a swipe file. It’s just what it sounds like—a file to keep track of the stuff you’ve swiped from others. It can be digital or analog.

See something worth stealing?

Put it in the swipe file.

Need a ...

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Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find your self.”

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Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are.

We learn by copying. We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism—plagiarism is trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own

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“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”

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The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read.

The same principle applies to your life and your career: Whenever you’re at a loss for what move to make next, just...

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f you have two or three real passions, don’t feel like you have to pick and choose between them. Don’t discard. Keep all your passions in your life. This is something I learned from the playwright Steven Tomlinson.



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You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.” —

May 28, 2021

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what you have to share that could be of some value to people. Share a handy tip you’ve discovered while working. Or a link to an interesting article. Mention a good book you’re reading.

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