'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Steal Like an Artist.

Here is someone who I have recently discovered: Austin Kleon. This guy has an ability to distill a great deal of what (good stuff) I have learnt in art schools. But it's not just relevant to artists by any means.
You might enjoy this clip. The original clip I posted is no longer available, but here is an interview with him.


  1. Super!

    Somewhere I read that creativity is the art of not revealing your sources.

  2. I read about this Austin Kleon years ago and thought it sounded like fun. I used to use the technique in my classroom. It was a great aid and motivater, especially for kids who had trouble figuring out what to write. Another fun thing was to give students a drawing and ask them to turn it upside down and draw the lines they could see...not the picture. Both processes give left brain users a way to access their right brains and thus stimulate their creativity.

  3. Robert... He speaks well, doesn't he? By that I mean, not all slick, by sincerely and naturally.
    The vast majority, perhaps all, art/ creativity stands on the shoulders of that which has gone before, I guess.
    I mean; one has to have something in one's mind to build upon. Ideas cannot come from a vacuum, even if sometimes it looks from the outside that they do.

    Judy, Good on you! We did similar things in art school. And the turning the picture upside down, or looking at it in a mirror, and then drawing the negative shapes, are all ways of disrupting the previous thinking patterns... very useful!

  4. I thought this was really interesting - I have tried the drawing upside down exercise as well - learning in the process to draw what is there, not a symbol of what I think something should look like!

    I guess we all have aspects of our lives that have been copied from somewhere else - the authentic thing is I suppose to use the inspiration from someones elses art or life and integrate it into our own and make it our own - which is exactly what this guy is talking about - I like the post Katherine - great.

  5. Yes, Alden. The trick is in making the learning your own. What every good teacher tries to encourage his/her charges to do.
    Glad you liked the post.

  6. Fascinating. [I wonder how many times I've used that word in relation to your posts?] I had an acquaintance who taught drawing with the left side of the brain. She reckoned anyone could learn to draw. I'd have been fascinated to see if she could have succeeded with me. Back to AK. Looking at things I've done over my life I find it quite illuminating to see how many ideas I've 'stolen' and amalgamated and re-hashed. I used to have a little plaque on one of my office walls which read 'There is nothing new in the world' It was (I don't really know why) under my huge Dali, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, at which I would stare when I had a problem with which I was wrestling.

  7. Yes Geeb. I do think drawing is related to seeing, and seeing can be trained.
    Re new ideas... mostly (perhaps always?) new ideas grow out of old ones.