Steal Like An Artist is a New York Times best-selling manifesto for creativity in the digital age.

The book has been translated into over a dozen languages. Get a signed copy here.

Steal Like An Artist cover

Writing about Steal?
Download the cover, author photo, and flip through the book in the blogger kit →

Buy it now:


Barnes and Noble

IndieBound Powells

iBooks ebooksdotcom

ISBN: 9780761169253

Ordering FAQ

Subscribe to my newsletter

Get new art, writing, and interesting links delivered to your inbox every week. Top Best-Selling Books of 2012 Brain Pickings Brain Pickings Best Art Books of 2012 Goodreads 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards Nonfiction

About the book

“Brilliant and real and true.” —Rosanne Cash

“Immersing yourself in Steal Like An Artist is as fine an investment in the life of your mind as you can hope to make.” —The Atlantic

“Filled with well-formed advice that applies to nearly any kind of work.” —

“Equal parts manifesto and how-to, Steal Like An Artist aims to introduce readers to the idea that all creative work is iterative, no idea is original and all creators and their output are a sum of inspirations and heroes…” —Forbes

“The book is filled with engaging anecdotes and helpful tips taken from Kleon’s experience learning to walk on his own creative feet.” —Fast Company

“Skip about 10 years of trial and error as an artist.” —Christopher Moore

“Beautiful.” —Chris Anderson, curator of TED

“Alarmingly cute.” —CNN

“A short, easy, very personal read that’s packed with practical tips to help kickstart creativity.” —Business Insider

“ Breezy and fun and yes, scary. Scary because it calls your bluff.” —Seth Godin

“Engaging, inspiring and practical advice on becoming a successful artist, advice that applies well beyond artistic pursuits… This is a quick, easily digestible read that is particularly relevant in today’s digital world.” —School Library Journal

“Amazing.” —Stephen Elliott

* * *

When I was asked to talk to students at a community college in upstate New York, I sat down and wrote a talk based on a list of 10 things I wished I’d heard when I was starting out:

  1. Steal like an artist.
  2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.
  3. Write the book you want to read.
  4. Use your hands.
  5. Side projects and hobbies are important.
  6. The secret: do good work and share it with people.
  7. Geography is no longer our master.
  8. Be nice. (The world is a small town.)
  9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)
  10. Creativity is subtraction.

The text and slides from the talk “rocked the creative world” (GalleyCat) and went viral—since it’s been online, the original blog post has reached millions of readers.

I expanded the post into a book-length work stuffed full of brand-new writing and illustrations, published by Workman Publishing in February 2012.

A book is never finished, only abandoned, so I’ll be posting a lot of my continuing research on my Tumblr.

To get updates about events and new projects, subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Twitter: @austinkleon

To book me for a speaking engagement, see my events page.

Questions? Contact me.

About the author

Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas. Read more→

Images from the book

Steal Like An Artist 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative Garbage in, garbage out Good theft vs. bad theft What we are vs. what we want to be Back Cover

Writing about Steal? Download print-quality images in the blogger kit →

Read my other books

Show Your Work

Show Your Work! is the followup to Steal Like An Artist. It’s a book about sharing what you do with the world. Learn more→

Newspaper Blackout

Newspaper Blackout is a bestselling book of poetry made by redacting newspaper articles with a permanent marker. Learn more→

Amazon Barnes and Noble IndieBound Powells iBooks