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Entries in Steal like an artist (5)

Tuesday
Sep182012

"Steal like an artist" from Austin Kleon. Part 5

In his book “Steal like an artist”, Austin Kleon lists “10 things nobody told you about being creative”. Although Kleon writes from an artist perspective, I think that his guide –with the right interpretation - also perfectly fits the business world. Therefore I will – as Kleon calls it – emulate the rules and put them into my business perspective.
For the coming weeks, I will focus on one of his principles each week. This is week 5 out of 10.

5. Side projects and hobbies are important.

“A hobby is something creative that’s just for you.”

Like Kleon, I think it is important to do something that makes you happy just by doing it. You don’t need to make money with everything you do. It is also good to enjoy the process of doing something without having a clear view on what the end result will be. Taking some time to unwind, improves the results of all work you do.

In workshops, we always send our workshop participants outside after lunch to get a fresh start in the afternoon. We notice this highly improves the energy level and focus when they come back. There are no excuses for them to stay inside; if it rains they just get one of our big umbrellas. Depending on the company culture of the company you are working in, going outside for a walk might be difficult. But you can also try to find another way to take a small step away from the problem you try to solve. Get a cup of coffee, go for lunch or take a toilet brake. When your brain gets stuck on a problem, don’t try to force it to solve it. Going for lunch when you can’t think of what your next step will be and continue after, will probably lead to a faster solution then trying to force it when you’re actually distracted because you’re hungry.

This post is based on the guides to creativity in the digital age “Steal like an artist” from Austin Kleon. If you like this post, please come back next week for part 6: “The secret: do good work and share it with people.”
If you’re curious about the book, visit Austin Kleon’s website.
Tuesday
Sep042012

"Steal like an artist" from Austin Kleon. Part 4

In his book “Steal like an artist”, Austin Kleon lists “10 things nobody told you about being creative”. Although Kleon writes from an artist perspective, I think that his guide –with the right interpretation - also perfectly fits the business world. Therefore I will – as Kleon calls it – emulate the rules and put them into my business perspective.
For the coming weeks, I will focus on one of his principles each week. This is week 4 out of 10.

4. Use your hands.

"Step away from the screen"

Please do. You won’t find interesting new things when constantly distracted by your emails and you won’t find real customer insight reading research from behind your desk.



If you want to find new ideas and insights, get out of your office. If you want to come up with new ideas with your team, don’t go to a standard meeting room.

Making things tangible also helps. Tangible innovation tools are a great way to make complex matters simple. Tangible tools help to make the discussion more focused and get an overview of the problem. Just by structuring your ideas by putting them on the wall can create an overview you can never on your screen. Just look at the picture below to see what I mean. The computer is a great tool to process ideas and finalise them, but behind your screen is probably not the best place to come up with them.

So to repeat Kleon once more: “step away from the screen”.

This post is based on the guides to creativity in the digital age “Steal like an artist” from Austin Kleon.
If you like this post, please come back next week for part 5: “Side projects and hobbies are important.”
If you’re curious about the book, visit Austin Kleon’s website.
Monday
Aug272012

"Steal like an artist" from Austin Kleon. Part 3

In his book “Steal like an artist”, Austin Kleon lists “10 things nobody told you about being creative”. Although Kleon writes from an artist perspective, I think that his guide –with the right interpretation - also perfectly fits the business world. Therefore I will – as Kleon calls it – emulate the rules and put them into my business perspective.
For the coming weeks, I will focus on one of his principles each week. This is week 3 out of 10.

3. Write the book you want to read.

Work can (and should) be fun! If you are truly passionate about an idea, it is so much easier to work on it. You know the feeling that you are really into the flow and suddenly 3 hours have passed while it felt like 15 minutes. And I don’t mean that in the stressful, deadline sense; I mean this in the loving your job sense.

That is why I believe in working in a multi-disciplinary project team. That way, the people that came up with an idea continue working on the idea. They choose this idea because they believe in it and not because somebody else said they should do it. In addition, this also prevents miscommunication because people working on the project have created a shared view in the beginning. Making me think of this picture I dug up from my swipe file.



This post is based on the guides to creativity in the digital age “Steal like an artist” from Austin Kleon.
If you like this post, please come back next week for part 4: “Use your hands.”
If you’re curious about the book, visit Austin Kleon’s website.
Friday
Aug242012

"Steal like an artist" from Austin Kleon. Part 2

In his book “Steal like an artist”, Austin Kleon lists “10 things nobody told you about being creative”. Although Kleon writes from an artist perspective, I think that his guide –with the right interpretation - also perfectly fits the business world. Therefore I will – as Kleon calls it – emulate the rules and put them into my business perspective.
For the coming weeks, I will focus on one of his principles each week. This is week 2 out of 10.

2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.

Although I think a company or a project team should always have a common sense of where they are heading to, you should not be afraid to just start going. Don’t be afraid to write down your stupid ideas, don't be afraid to explore different directions and don’t be afraid to look beyond your current business.
Kleon explains we should just start copying our heroes. But we shouldn’t copy them blindly. We should look at what things could be better and improve those. And we should look at ourselves to make what they do really our own.

It is important to get your inspiration from other business, other markets and what your customers do. Then emulate those things you like into something that fits you instead of just copying. You should try to find a solution that fits your customer but also your company and your brand. This way you can create true differentiation in today’s competitive market. If you just copy the companies you admire, the only way you can compete is by lowering your prices.

This post is based on the guides to creativity in the digital age “Steal like an artist” from Austin Kleon.
If you like this post, please come back next week for part 3: “Write the book you want to read.”
If you’re curious about the book, visit Austin Kleon’s website.
Friday
Aug172012

"Steal like an artist" from Austin Kleon. Part 1

In his book “Steal like an artist”, Austin Kleon lists “10 things nobody told you about being creative”. Although Kleon writes from an artist perspective, I think that his guide –with the right interpretation - also perfectly fits the business world. Therefore I will – as Kleon calls it – emulate the rules and put them into my business perspective.
For the coming weeks, I will focus on one of his principles each week. This is week 1 out of 10.

1. Steal like an artist.

“What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.”

I couldn’t agree more. No idea originates out of nowhere. It’s like asking somebody: “come up with an idea”. That’s really difficult. To come up with a new idea, you need some context. For example: trying to come up with an idea to stay dry from the rain is much more easy. You just need something to build on.
Adding a new perspective to your ideas helps you to come up with ideas different from the safe ones, the things you already know. Everybody wants to come up with those “out of the box” ideas right? Well, you need to define your box to get out of it.
Going out of your box is what I would call getting inspired. Kleon advices us to keep a swipe file, a file where you put everything you find interesting, or worth stealing as he calls it. Whenever you are in need for inspiration, just refer to your swipe file.
Developing a swipe file takes time, something that many people don’t allow themselves. Therefore I keep a swipe file to be able to inspire my clients in the projects we are working on. However it is nice and important for everyone to open your eyes and discover new opportunities wherever you are.

This post is based on the guides to creativity in the digital age “Steal like an artist” from Austin Kleon.
If you like this post, please come back next week for part 2: “Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.”
If you’re curious about the book, visit Austin Kleon’s website.