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Photo credit: Clayton Cubitt
I’m a writer who draws. I make art with words and books with pictures.
Here’s a longer, more official-sounding version, suitable for copying and pasting:
Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital age: Steal Like An Artist, Show Your Work!, and Keep Going. He’s 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’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. New York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and sons. Visit him online at www.austinkleon.com
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Frequently Asked Questions
B. June 16, 1983, Circleville, Ohio
Education: B Phil. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University
Pronunciation: Austin, like the city. Kleon, rhymes with neon.
Origin of name: “Austin” was a family name before Texas was a state. “Kleon” is Romanian.
What advice do you have for young artists starting out? It’s pretty much all in Steal Like An Artist.
How do I get published, famous, etc.? My book Show Your Work! is a guide to getting your work out there, and my book Keep Going is how to stick with it for the long run.
How did you come up with the idea to make your newspaper blackout poems? There’s a brief history on the blog and the full story is in the book.
What are your favorite books? Here are my favorites from the past +15 years.
What kind of notebooks do you use? Here’s a bunch of gear I use in the studio.
This interview with photographer Chase Jarvis is a great introduction to my work, as is our most recent conversation.
You can watch more of my talks on my speaking page.
Selected Press & Interviews
- Print, 2022
- Ask Polly, 2021
- Slate, 2021
- The Broadcast, 2021
- Texas Monthly, 2019
- Lifehacker, 2019
- Good Life Project, 2019
- Book Riot, 2019
- Hurry Slowly, 2019
- The Great Discontent, 2014
- Fast Company, 2014
- NPR’s KQED Forum, 2014
- KUT.org, 2014
- CopyBlogger, 2013
- AdviceToWriters.com, 2012
- Kenyon Review, 2012
- Forbes, 2012
- PBS Newshour, 2010
- The New Yorker, 2010
More recent interviews on the blog.