I found this book in a museum gift shop and was interested in how direct and short it is. It has been one of the most useful books to my creative process, not only has it given me advice on how to strengthen my creativity muscles but it has given me confidence in my ideas.
What I learned from this book, is how to start creating via copying, establish an effective routine and a steady workflow. It's an excellent stage-by-stage start to self-discovery. I used to think that, to find my artistic identity, I have to create a lot of things from scratch and define my purpose or thesis. Austin challenged this view. He proposed the idea of finding artistic identity though copying and collecting work from other people.
Copying and collecting says "here's my artistic style," while "this is who I am, and this is what I want to do" comes from refining the work that you've copied. Refining is done best with a steady workflow and routine. Austin explains the most important aspects of having a workflow and routine so that you can design your own, rather than trying to fit into a mold.
This book is what gave me the confidence to start this website and use the tools that I've gained it to search for my artistic identity.
Nuggets of knowledge
Take copying a step further - instead of stealing ideas, improve upon them.
Combine ideas. Minimize ideas. Expand on ideas.
Instead of being a textbook with lessons and guidelines, it's more of a here's my experience and observations - take it or leave it. Each chapter is saturates with interesting experience and knowledge. It only takes a few minutes to read each chapter, but much longer to process and quite a bit longer to apply.
Notice that's the title is Steal Like an Artist, not Stealing For and Artist. The book is for anybody and everybody that needs to have ideas.
Check out more of Austin's work at his website.