I am a book lover at heart. I've always been. It runs in the family. My grandpa had a book in his hand all the time, wherever he found a good spot, he sat down and read with a tinny cup of coffee. There is a hard- to-describe feeling after you finish a good book that makes you want more. Unfortunately, finding good books isn't an easy task. Some books talk to you in different ways and really get inside you. I believe books allow us to live alternative realities; they allow us to dream, get rescued from routine and find inspiration to be whoever we want to be. Today, thanks to Ashley Castro's personal library :) I read two books that brought up that hard-to-describe feeling; both by the same author: Austin Kleon. "Steal like an Artist" & "Show your Work." At the beginning I thought they would be specific to designers, but these books talk about artists. No matter who you are, musician, paintor, writer, or creative in general, these books have so much to offer. It didn't take me long to finish reading them; not because they were short, but because they were so GOOD! His voice was approachable, friendly; but at the same time blunt, realistic and honest. I really admire that. Honesty. Every piece of advice was exactly what I needed and afterwards I just felt motivated to do whatever I felt like doing. I felt like I could achieve anything. There were several quotes along both books and I made myself write a few that meant a lot to me.

"You are only as good as the stuff you surround yourself with. Garbage in, garbage out."

Not in the sense of BE MATERIALISTIC!.. but in the sense of.. if you want to be happy, don't surround yourself with negative people. Made a lot of sense to me, even thought it is actually harder to realize than what it seems. Another quote I felt very drawn to was:

"Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, built the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done."

This was probably one of the most relevant messages to me. Being passionated about what you do is essential in any work environment. If you don't feel it, then you might as well change jobs. And be innovative, active; don't just follow, be the change you want to see. Lastly...

"Creativity is not a talent it is a way of operating."

It is not that I work all the time, is that I don't work at all. My work is who I am (in my case) and that doesn't stop when I clock out. My creativity is present in everything I do, it is the way my brain is wired; probably with multicolor cables and pink switches. :) 

You have to read these books. If you don't have time, try making some. They are worth it.  

Image Source: http://austinkleon.com/

Image Source: http://austinkleon.com/



You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side. 

When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination. (Source: Amazon)



In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey―getting known.

Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery―let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive.

In chapters such as You Don’t Have to Be a GeniusShare Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user’s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity― what he calls the “ecology of talent.” From broader life lessons about work (you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it) to the etiquette of sharing―and the dangers of oversharing―to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it’s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age. (Source: Amazon)

Source: http://austinkleon.com/