Saturday, August 18, 2012
Book Review: Steal Like An Artist
I know this book has been around for a little while now and plenty of good things have already been said about it, but one more person urging you to buy this or borrow it from your library can't hurt. Now, this book is not solely based on gaining your ideas from other places as the title may suggest. While it does wonders to make you feel better about your inspirations finding their way into your work, it also touches on the way a creative person thinks and works. It urges you to stretch and grow in ways that will ultimately help you to improve.
Steal Like An Artist struck a real cord with me because I often struggle with whether I am too heavily influenced by what inspires me. When I was drawing my sci-fi piece for the last winter art show, I caught my doctor character sharing too many similarities with the professor on Futurama. When I was working on the first piece for the Rust Belt Monsters, I noticed that my Monster drawing was leaning far too close to Clayface from Batman: TAS. And most prevalent, I am hugely influenced by Bruce Timm and his work on the DC Universe cartoons and am always tortured that its too obvious. It was actually pretty recently that I saw a picture of Space Ghost (Which Bruce Timm has sited as an influence) and noticed that the original Batman designs look pretty spot on to that character.
This book did a lot to help me alleviate that guilt and learn to accept my influences as a part of my process. I highly recommend the book.