"You don't need permission to make art, but you do."

In 2011, a 27-year-old Austin Kleon gave a talk to college students outlining a simple list: 10 things he wished someone had told him about being creative when he was their age. Austin posted the advice to his blog after the talk, and the list went viral. A year later, his New York Times bestselling book Steal Like an Artist was born.


Now, in 2022, Austin joins returning guest host (and Book Dreams producer) Gianfranco Lentini to muse on the 10th anniversary of the publication of Steal Like an Artist, as well as on its bestselling sequels, Show Your Work and Keep Going. Austin explores where to find the inspiration for art and the permission to create it, whether from without or within. He also shares his reservations, a decade after writing his initial book, about using the word “steal” in the title, and his thoughts on the nuances of “like an artist,” which some of his readers have seemed to miss. Finally, Austin gives a brief, impromptu workshop–much to Gianfranco’s excitement–on the difference between imagination and creativity.


Austin Kleon is the author of the New York Times bestselling trilogy of books on creativity: Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work, and Keep Going. He is also the author of Newspaper Blackout, a collection of poems made by redacting the newspaper with a permanent marker. His books have been translated into dozens of languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide. He's been featured on NPR Morning Edition and PBS NewsHour, as well as in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He speaks for organizations such as Pixar, Google, South by Southwest (SXSW), TEDx, and The Economist.




Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative


"Brilliant and real and true." -Rosanne Cash


"Austin Kleon is positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet... Kleon makes an articulate and compelling case for combinatorial creativity and the role of remix in the idea economy." -The Atlantic


"Breezy and fun and yes, scary. Scary because it calls your bluff." -Seth Godin


Go Deeper


Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (10th Anniversary Edition), by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, by Austin Kleon

Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad, by Austin Kleon

“25 Quotes to Help You Steal Like an Artist,” by Austin Kleon (blog post, 2/10/10)

“Letter to a Young Collage Artist,” by Austin Kleon (blog post, 1/17/08)

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, by William James

The Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker

Austin Kleon’s newsletter

Eve Yohalem

Julie Sternberg

Book Dreams Podcast

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