Featured Friday: The Creative Genius of Austin Kleon (@austinkleon)

I’m starting a new series called Featured Friday. The idea is to explore artists, writers and thinkers outside of education who have shaped what I believe about creativity and design thinking. So, my first person is Austin Kleon. I love how he turns the rules of creativity upside down.

In this sketchy video, I share some of his counterintuitive ideas on the creative process. Like what you see? Please subscribe to the channel. Curious about how to make sketchy videos? Here’s my process.

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The Creative Genius of Austin Kleon

In our world, we have these rules that creative types are supposed to follow. Austin Kleon, a self-described, “writer who draws,” takes those rules and tears them to shreds. Or maybe not. Maybe he turns them upside down or folds them into a paper airplane. Or maybe he blacks out certain parts, giving us something entirely new; a list of permissions instead of rules.

When everyone says, “don’t take ideas,” he implores us to, “steal like an artist” and geek out about everything you find interesting. When others say, “don’t sell out,” he says, “Sell out. Spread your ideas to the world.” When others say, “keep your creative methods a secret,” he says, “share your journey.” When others view creative work as addition, he reminds us that it is often about subtraction. In a world of digital production, he reminds us of the value in vintage tools.

Austin Kleon reminds us that creative work isn’t about genius or natural talent. It’s about curiosity and focus and hours spent on your craft.  He reminds us that creativity is for everyone. And that’s the creative genius of Austin Kleon.

If you haven’t read his stuff, I recommend you check out Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work and go check out his site, where you can subscribe to his newsletter.

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