More On Artistic Limits

While working in the studio I listened to the book Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. 

Illustration from book; Steal Like An Artist

It's full of good tips on staying inspired. He explains in the beginning of the book, that he wrote it as if he were writing to a younger version of himself...and that seems right. I wish I received this right out of art school. His tips are illustrated below:

Austin Kleon; Steal Like An Artist

I found number 1 and number 10 to be the most helpful.

Number 1: Steal Like An Artist focuses on the idea that there are NO truly original ideas and that all things are just combinations of other ideas. He encourages artists to take things they like and reinterpret them. I have heard artists beat themselves up time and time again thinking that they aren't original enough. That they think all paintings have been done before. He points out; "Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas." So he encourages the reader to find influences and copy those until they start to morph into an original voice.

Number 10: Creativity Is Subtraction totally relates to the quote I posted yesterday about Limited Spontaneity. This chapter is all about breaking free from creative block by setting some boundaries for yourself. This is not unlike the Surrealist Games or the creativity that art teachers gain from working within curriculum, budget, and material constraints.

These tips and many others shared about overcoming creative block feel so natural, and that's because they are. As artists we have these built up expectations that are self imposed or somebody told us about how art is supposed to be. It's reassuring to see artistic instincts supported in print.