The Steal Like an Artist Journal, by Austin Kleon, is a refreshing workbook for the creative side in all of us. The journal is filled with prompts to get you started working on projects that range from artistic to self-help. The journal is easy for the average person to pick up and work through even for those without any kind of special skill. Often we think of “creative” as the same as “artistic.” However, it is easy with other journals to become frustrated because of a lack of practiced artistic skill. A perceived inability to draw allows the reader to set the journal down and never look back. Set against these other journals, Kleon’s journal is wonderfully unique.
As an artist, it was fun to work through the drawing sections. As an academic, it was fun to use pictures and words to create something new, such as a comic or poem. As a regular person, there are exercises that help you to identify strength and weakness, new goals, and connection to the outside world. This book comes highly recommended. The only drawback is a somewhat misleading title. As an artist, I understand the value of “stealing” ideas and elements to transform into my own. The title sub-heading, A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs really has no important meaning and may deter a potential reader from ever picking up the book.
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