Where was this one when I needed it?
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Took the family to Houston last weekend to see some new Wayne White paintings. (Owen’s first art show!) While we were there, we stopped at the terrific Brazos Bookstore. The folks there were super nice and asked me to be part of #FirstLineVine—so I read the first line of Steal Like An Artist. Shortest bookstore reading ever!
“The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.”
Anybody who tells people to “do what you love no matter what” should also have to teach a money management course.
Low overhead + “do what you love” = a good life.
“I deserve nice things” + “do what you love” = a time bomb.
A good life is not about living within your means, it’s about living below your means.
When Instapaper creator Marco Arment was asked about his business model, he said, “I sell an app for money, then I spend less than I make.” Sell something for money, spend less than you make. Is there a better model?
“The trick is,” film executive Tom Rothman says, “from the business side, to try to be fiscally responsible so you can be creatively reckless.”
The 80s underground band The Minutemen used to call this “jamming econo.” They knew the music they wanted to make would probably never be mainstream, so they kept their day jobs, made their records for cheap, learned how to fix their own tour van, and hauled their own equipment.
Live frugally so you can do the work you want to do. Save up some “screw you” money, so you can quit a job you hate to take a job you like better. Turn away venture capital money and bootstrap so you can keep control over your business.
To “jam econo” might not be the flashiest way of life, but it’s the best way to stay free.
This week my publisher sent me author copies of the Czech, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Swedish, and Turkish editions of Steal Like An Artist. (For some reason, the Spanish publisher hasn’t sent us copies yet.)
You can find out more about all the translations available here.
It’s very strange to have versions of your book that you can’t actually read.
Translation is always a creative challenge, but probably more so for Steal, which is a book not just full of writing, but pictures of writing.
I never made a font of my handwriting (all the headers in the book are a scan of my actual writing), so the foreign designers had to start from scratch.
Some of the publishers had an illustrator swap out words in the blackout poems so it would make sense:
The Dutch publisher, Lannoo, actually went to the trouble of finding different signs for the de-sign pages:
I’m not sure whether the Japanese publisher’s choice to switch the red accent color to a lime green was a purely aesthetic choice or if red has some meaning in Japan that I’m unfamiliar with. Their edition has a cool dust jacket with nothing but the arrowhead man on the cover of the actual book:
We’ve sold the rights in several other languages, but I should note that I have next-to-nothing to do with the foreign editions, so I don’t really know in advance when they’re going to drop. I’ll announce new editions on Twitter when they do: @austinkleon
Folks ask me a lot for signed copies of Steal — the demand is just a little to high for me to handle myself, but the good folks at BookPeople, one of my favorite indie bookstores right here in Austin, TX, have offered to keep a bunch of signed copies in stock. (Yesterday I signed almost 100 copies!) Each one comes signed with the little arrowhead man doodle. You can order in store or online — they even ship overseas.