Inspiration Overload

This past week I had the rare, and amazing opportunity to attend a 90-minute interview with Austin Kleon. The interviewer was Chase Jarvis, who I have also discovered is just as inspiring and interesting as Austin, so as you can imagine, I was a bit overwhelmed, in the very best way.

As I mentioned in book review week, Austion Kleon wrote the book, “Steal Like an Artist”. A little book that now lives on my dining table. I cannot recommend this book enough.  Austin is a very thoughtful man, his answers to the questions posed by Chase not only went deeper than the book, but also went beyond the book.  Here are a few of the things that I took notes on…

“Inspiration is for amateurs, real artists work hard everyday.”

Quite a bit of the focus was on the importance of working hard. Austin took us through his daily routine of being a part-time dad and a writer, the important point being that he sits down to write every single day. Deadlines are key, even the self imposed ones of knowing you only have 3 hours to work on your art that day.  Protecting this time is your job.

“The traditional view of creativity or genius is gone, now it’s about community.”

or “scenious” as Brian Eno calls it. We can share the process, not just the work, through social media. We can get immediate feedback, we can find out what people respond to.  We can work on small projects, share them and decide which small projects will become the next big project.  One of the most important tools for this is your smart phone (and this from world renowned photographer, Chase!)

“You can’t be the noun without doing the verb.”

Lots of people want to be the noun (writer, artist, photographer, etc.) without doing the verb (writing, painting, photographing, etc.). You have to train the animal, you have to be the verb everyday.

Here are some links that you might find useful if you want to find out more about Austin and Chase:

I’m so glad that my friend Mary (and my new friend Wyly) were at the event with me. After the interview we grabbed lunch at a cute diner and decompressed. It was a lot to take in and so nice to be able to compare notes and apply what we’d heard to where we are at as artists. 

Yes.  I am an artist, now to go make art.

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