“Fake it till you make it” comes with a lot of controversy especially from Intellectuals who are adamant on a strict definition of originality.

Austin Kleon’s, “Steal Like an Artist” flips ‘fake it till you make it’ on it’s own head by reiterating the fact that we are a product of our influences and we need to embrace the fact that who we steal from shapes our mind and work. So, go ahead – steal like a pro. Steal. Infuse your own idea or opinion and voila! Originality emerges.

Here are my 10 favourite quotes/images from the book, Steal Like an Artist:

1) “We were kids without fathers, so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history, and in a way, that was a gift. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves.” – Jay Z, Decoded



2) “Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas. You are infact a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. The Sum of your influences.”

3) “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.” – Jim Jarmusch

4) “The great thing about dead or remote masters is that they can’t refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.”

5) “Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy, you will find yourself.” – Yohji Yamamoto



7) “Scratch your own itch – Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, build the products you want to use.”

8) “If you love different things, you just keep spending time with them. Let them talk to each other. Something will begin to happen.”

9) “Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something on our mind has been changed and that changes everything. ”

10) “Be nice. The world is a small town.”