Hey Austin Kleon

I totally stole your line.

Well, at least the template for your line… as the title of this writing project. But I feel like you’ll be fine with it since you wrote a book called Steal Like An Artist that said I could do this, and another book, Show Your Work, in which you wrote that you stole that line from cartoonist Saul Steinberg.

You also wrote to give credit where it is due so that’s what I’m doing here. Giving you credit for that line -- and thanking you for changing my life with your work.  

I appreciate your books, your art, your message. The way you present the creative process in manageable, practical steps makes it easier (and more fun!) to proceed through it. Your words helped shape and shift my perspective on work... and on life. "Creativity is subtraction." "Learn to take a punch." "Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started." Those are just as much life lessons as advice on how to work.

My well-worn copies of both your books are referenced often for guidance, reassurance and for reminders to do serious work but not to take it all so seriously. I’ve gifted copies of your books and forwarded blog posts to people who’ve said it has changed their lives. What a thing to behold. We can never give enough credit to those who inspire us to do good work and tell great stories.

Your post with the anecdote 'play til the ninth inning' got me back in the game when I was about to give up. Your post that declared Keep Working as a response to most questions inspires me to move forward despite be scared and not knowing what to do. It was pointed out to me once that life actually imitates art. Maybe it was just coincidental timing of those posts but given the impact they had, I’d say there’s plenty of truth in that statement.  

And so -- I keep working. Stealing. Creating. Showing my work. Pushing through the mud of doubt and uncertainty. I can only wrap my head around one day too. Sunrise, sunset. The only measurable increments of time that make sense. In a year, I’ll have done this for a year. So here it goes: pressing publish on this project. Thank you for the encouragement.

Thank you for your writings and drawings. Thank you for sharing them with a world that needs them.

To anyone reading this letter, buy these books. Read this blog. Follow this guy on the internet. He's got some good stuff to say. 

Photo stolen from Austin Kleon's website

Photo stolen from Austin Kleon's website