Live like an artist with Austin Kleon – Ep 3
November 10, 2021
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
I am super excited today to share this conversation I had with the writer, artist Austin Kleon. What I love is that Austin’s process of creation is as important as the art he happens to be making. The vibrant potency of what he makes, whether it’s his books, drawings, writings, or talks, has everything to do with his thinking and how he creates. Today we are diving into some of the most fundamental, valuable ideas of artmaking. Whether you’re just starting out or far along the creative path, this conversation will fire you up. It did me. We dive into sustaining the juice in your artmaking, delightful missteps, and how to keep curiosity and wonder at the forefront of your art and life.
Austin 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 also has a superb blog where each week, he shares what he finds inspiring and moving. In addition, Austin 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.
Join me in this fantastic conversation with Austin. He is a student of life and art, first and foremost, a fellow explorer who so generously reports back to us all he is learning in his beautifully simple quest to creatively do a little bit better than he did yesterday. He is truly finding his way as he goes, and today we get to go too.
Listen if you are interested in…
- Learning from guest artist Austin Kleon [2:30]
- Maintaining the momentum [4:00]
- Why you need a “Youth spy”[9:00]
- Working against limitations [15:00]
- Inviting chance and mistakes [20:00]
- Intelligence in the body [31:00]
- Sharing in a sustainable way [37:00]
- Executing your final product [45:00]
- Falling in love with your work [50:00]
- Don’t be your hero – be you [57:30]
- Closing thoughts [59:00]
Stay connected to what energizes you
When you first start out as an artist, you usually find yourself shy and timid about your artwork. You want to create something that resonates with others but you aren’t sure how it will be received. According to Austin Kleon, that is the best space to be in! That time of exploration and experimentation is often an asset of youth – as we age we tend to lose that spark – but what if there was a way to continue to fan those flames of creativity?
In our conversation, Austin mentioned a great line by the director, John Watters.
“I have youth spies, people that report to me…good information. But mostly I’m still interested in life. I don’t think it was better when I was young…I’m still curious.”
Do you have a “Youth spy?” More importantly, are you staying connected to what energizes and excites your creativity? Tune into this episode with Austin to learn more about cultivating your connection to creativity!
When you go to your art space and you begin creating, what is your goal? Are you striving to emulate your favorite artists? Where does the “You” come out in your artwork? Over the years I’ve seen many artists work so hard to be the best imitator of their art heroes – but where is the spark? What sets them apart from all the rest?
What you already have in you is what makes you unique. It might sound simple but striving to be like you more than anyone else is the fastest, most direct path to creating powerful art and life.
When Austin Kleon puts pen to paper to write a book – his goal is to be the best version of himself – that’s it. He’s not trying to be the next Henry Mellville, he’s trying to be the best Austin Kleon possible. How do you maintain your focus and stay on track creatively? What centers you as you create your art? Tune into this episode as we explore the topics and so much more with Austin. Get ready to juice your creativity.
Resources and Links Mentioned
- Steal Like An Artist, a book by Austin Kleon
- Show Your Work! a book by Austin Kleon
- Austin’s Newsletter
- John Waters
- Pablo Picasso
- Richard Diebenkorn
- David Hockney
- Billy Collins
- Lynda Barry
- Amanda Palmer
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.