Austin Kleon – An inspiration


What makes you a creative person?

Uniqueness? Perceptions? Connecting the dots? Originality?


You are creative, because you know how to Steal like an artist.

Yes. That is what Austin Kleon said in his book which talks about 10 things nobody told about being creative. This book , Steal Like an artist, transforms the logical thinking of creativity to many person in this world. I am one among them.

I was under the assumption that to be creative one should have some uniqueness in them. There should be an USP for his creative skill. Yes. There is of course an USP is required. But it is important to note that our USP is not always our USP. It is something which we steal from someone and present it in a different way.

Austin says that Nothing its original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix and re-imagine to discover your own path.Discovering our own path is important in our life. And creativity is a key factor to discover it. But that creativity doesn’t need to be something unique or something associated only with you. If you try to remix or learn from the external world automatically creativity accompany us.

It takes a split second to like or dislike a person. But for a person to turn into an inspiration for others, it takes time. But Austin Kleon becomes an inspiration for me in just a split seconds. Yes on split second when I hear his book name i.e “Steal Like Artist”. It takes 2 hours in a stretch to complete this book, and from that day onwards this book has turn out to be my bible for creativity.

Upon completion of book , I say to myself that Yes, I found a person who will be my mentor throughout my life. I am confident that by end of this blog post, Austin Kleon may turn out to be an inspiration for many of them.

So, Why Austin Kleon an inspiration?

There are so many reasons why I like him. But let me list you my top 4 reasons for why he is my inspiration.


Transformation? But of what?

Do you think Austin Kleon is the first person to talk about creativity?

Or Do you think Austin Kleon is the first person to tell us to Steal for building our creative talent?


Steal Like Artist book start with a Quote from Picasso i.e “ Art is Theft “. Followed by T.S Eliot quote i.e “ Immature poet imitate, mature poets, Steal..”

Or even let’s say Steve jobs quoted, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”

So, definitely, Kleon is not the first person to teach us to steal. In fact, Austin Kleon steals like an artist is the collection of stoled references from many authors, bloggers, leaders with his touch.

Then what transformation he did?

Simple. He talks about his transformation. It helps to transform us.

He starts his book with sentences stating that “This book is me talking to the previous version of myself”

In latest interview Kleon words are,

“ I could be the guy who flies around, talking about being creative, gets a nice paycheck, and goes home. That’s not interesting to me. If there’s a reason people like my books, it’s because they came out of my practice and what I learned while I was working.

It is so easy for a person to talk about life experiences. But for that experiences to make an impact on you and transform you would be a difficult task. If that transformation happens then that person will remain your inspiration. So, that is how Austin Kleon turns out to be an inspiration for me.

His transformation transforms me and my thoughts.


If Robin Sharma is like my parents who advise me, then Austin Kleon is like a friend to advise me.

We all know what difference it makes. Parents advise us because it is their duty. But friends advise us only when there is a need. The impact of advice which a friend can give us can be more powerful than a parents give us. (It’s the universal truth.)

Image source:

So,  Austin Kleon pieces of advice always hit the head. He is so real.

My passion for graphic design has made me listen to Austin Kleon. I always thought that to be a designer and sustain yourself in this market we need to be creative. But there is a thin line which distinguishes between both. And he has helped me to understand this with his words.

“Usually, when we talk about creativity, it’s about self-expression, which is great, but for work to be art or design, there has to be someone on the other end. The audience makes the work come alive”

Personal Life First

Also, to succeed in your professional life you need to succeed at first in your personal life. The person who lost in professional life is ok. He misses just a part of it. But the person who lost is personal life, he loses the actual purpose of his life and his living.

In other words to say, There is no point in being Steve Jobs if your children don’t know whom you are.

Austin Kleon always expresses that important of personal life in all his work. That is the prime reason for me to inspire him.

Just view below snapshot. This is my favorite chapter in Steal Like artist.



For a person to speak about creativity, he has to ensure at first that he his creative. Austin Kleon first project newspaper blackout is nothing but the collection of poems by keeping only certain words which is required and striking of the rest. (Sample works shown below)


This is what Austin Kleon says in his Steal like an artist book i.e Creativity is Subtraction


So, finally, what should I say?

I published my first book name Get the grip on your Life… Though it is the self-help book, the book layout, design all inspirations start with Austin Kleon works. Probably I stole out from him !!

The world has so many good people. But there are very few people whom we think of as an inspiring person. We become better person day by day by hearing them, following them and above all trying to be them.

A touch of Austin Kleon will always remain in my work. I am waiting for his third book Keep going !!

PS: In case if you have not read Steal like an artist, you missing a great opportunity in your life. So read at least once in your lifetime.