Get signed and personalized copies of my books

signed Steal Like An Artist journals

Just in time for the holidays: If you order any of my books from Bookpeople here in Austin, Texas, before December 12 I will sign and personalize them!

Even better news: Bookpeople ships everywhere!

How to order: Go to, add any or all of my books to your cart, and in the comments field during check out, indicate the name of the person to whom you would like the book(s) signed.

I will sign as many books as you order! They make great, affordable gifts for the office, classroom, or friends and family!

Order here.


You probably don’t deserve it

what you owe: all you took and more

“Creative work is very hard,” wrote Sidney Lumet in Making Movies. “Some sort of self-deception is necessary simply in order to start.”

In the beginning, you have to trick yourself into believing you have something worth saying.

So when you’re first starting out, you surround yourself with people who will provide you with helpful criticism, but who will also be cheerleaders — people who will root for you and tell you to keep going, even if you’re not any good yet.

BUT! If you achieve success, it’s CRUCIAL that you have people in your life who will be real editors, keep you grounded, and push you. People who will support you, sure, but will also be honest with you about the quality of the work you’re doing.

It’s also crucial to be honest with yourself. No matter how far along you are, maintaining a certain amount of impostor syndrome can be a healthy thing.

“I think most of us feel like fakes,” wrote Lumet. “At some point ‘they’ will get onto us and expose us for what we are: know-nothings, hustlers, and charlatans. It’s not a totally destructive feeling. It tends to keep us honest.”

You probably don’t deserve what you have. So keep moving and earn it.

Problems of output are problems of input

problems of output are problems of input

I often get the question, “What do you do when you’re blocked?”

The best course of action is to not get blocked in the first place. If you set up a good daily routine in which you do something small every day and chain-smoke on your projects, there’s less chance of stalling out and getting blocked.

Schedule the little chunk of time every day to do your work, set a timer for as long as you have, and if it’s not going well, when the timer goes off, you walk away, forget about the work, and go about the rest of your day, knowing you’ll take another whack at it tomorrow.

That said, blocks will come, and at times you’ll stall out and feel stuck. What I find is that problems of output are usually problems of input.

[Read more…]

The Steal Like An Artist Journal Talk

If you didn’t get to see me on tour, here’s video of the 30-minute talk I gave about the notebooks and journals that influenced The Steal Like An Artist Journal, filmed during the last stop of the tour at BookPeople in Austin, Texas.

A couple of links I mention in the talk:

Get a copy of the journal.

Innovation Hub interview

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Kara Miller at Innovation Hub about being an artist in the digital age:

“I get impatient with artists today who still want to pretend like they’re living in the 19th century,” Kleon says. “This isn’t the 19th century and you’re not some French painter. A big part of being an artist is understanding what context you were born into, what the surrounding culture is like, and how you can add to it.”

Read more from the interview here.