3 lessons from Steal Like an Artist & a recipe twist
The book, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, has been out for some time now, and it's been promoted as one of those books that all creatives should read. That's why I wanted to go ahead and see what all the fuss was about and check the book out for myself. As a super fast read, it's one of those books that you can easily mow through in a couple of evenings, and you actually feel like you're doing some productive, creative research somehow by seeing how his viewpoint relates to your work.
The basic premise is that there are no new ideas and everything has already been done before, so we're really all just stealing ideas and repurposing them to suit our needs and viewpoints. Now, this could be a bit of a touchy interpretation of where we get our inspiration, but I actually find it to be a very practical way to look at creative genius. I mean, ideas are meant to be shared over and over again, and you have to start with something to come up with another something. So it's in this way that Kleon talks about how we can evolve these repetitive ideas into something new and different by adding our own perspectives into the mix.
When I read through the book, there were three big things that I started to think about in terms of doing creative work, and I'm gonna cover those in the video below. And just in case you're feeling like you could use a bit of a treat while you read (who doesn't, right?!), I reinvent the chocolate chip cookie recipe with my own special ingredients as I discuss the book. It's only fair that I put into practice the idea of the book and add a new twist to an old classic.
So go ahead with the video, and when you're done head down to the comments to tell me where you find inspiration from for your work.
Topics covered in this book:
0:27 Our job as creatives
0:47 Why being an innovator isn't what we think it is
1:30 Do more than one thing to bring a different perspective
2:30 What is the code of ethics for being a creative?
2:54 Start with mutual respect between creatives
4:00 Stop stressing over creating something that's never been done before
4:50 Think about your own creative process and inspirational sources
If you'd like to make my Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies, then here's the recipe:
Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp orange zest
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick.
- Add the chocolate chips, cranberries, and orange zest and mix for about 5 seconds until evenly distributed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet.
Now don't forget to head down to the comments and tell me where you find inspiration for your work. Is it on other blogs and websites? Do you enjoy craft fairs? Do you have other hobbies that get your ideas flowing? Share the things that are part of your story that feed into your creativity.