Dixie Darr

Nothing New Under the Sun

In Books, creativity, Lent - Season of Change on March 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Lent – Season of Change, Day 13

I wait eagerly for Austin Kleon’s newsletter every Friday morning. He’s a writer who draws, and his book, Steal Like an Artist, is a favorite. Like artists from David Bowie to Pablo Picasso, he believes that “nothing is completely original” and finds hope in that idea. “If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.”

He suggests that we have a genealogy of ideas, that we are a mashup of our influences.

Here’s an exercise from his book:

(C)hew on one thinker—writer, artist, activist, role model—you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them. Repeat this as many times as you can. Climb up the tree as far as you can go. Once you build your tree, it’s time to start your own branch.”

Whom would you choose in your tree? I’ll start. I choose Studs Terkel, Maya Angelou, and Anne Lamott. I might choose someone different tomorrow.


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