Recently I read Austin Kleon’s (@austinkleon) manifesto Steal like an artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative and I found myself nodding along with every single page. The basic premise of the book is that you are a mash-up of all the influences in your life – basically, no one is truly *original*. I don’t know about you, but I find this idea so freeing – I don’t have to come up with something totally original, but instead expose myself to an eclectic mix of influences & remix them in a new & fresh way! Hopefully that is what this blog is…
So I love this list here where he talks about the difference between good theft & bad theft – we may start off with imitating our heroes, but we mustn’t stop there… Kleon (2012) notes:
“At some point, you”ll have to move from imitating your heroes to emulating them. Imitation is about copying. Emulation is when imitation goes one step further, breaking through into your own thing.” (p. 38)
It made me think about academic study – well, I work in an academic library after all! The main thing that we, as librarians, try to get through to the students, is that they can’t just use one resource, or one point of view for their whole assignment. Their task is to read the literature, hear a variety of voices, and synthesize their points into their assignment. We are looking for nuances & understanding; not just a list of 20 different academic resources correctly cited in APA format. That’s NOT what academic study is about – just citing resources correctly – but contributing to their research field. It’s an uphill battle, but a worthwhile one – hopefully we may contribute to producing creative scholars of the future!
Here’s a full list of the 10 things from Austin Kleon’s book – I could write a blog post about each one (not sure if I will, but it may well provide some more inspiration for #BlogJune).
Seeing as this post does discuss academic writing *and* APA references, I figured I should put in a full & correct reference to Austin Kleon’s delightful book Steal like an artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative. 😛 I know the hanging intent won’t play nice, and should I leave in the words “Publishing Company” or not? Anyway, here goes:
Kleon, A. (2012). Steal like an artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative. New York, NY: Workman Publishing Company.