How To Make Art Before You Actually Make It
I’m reading this book (again) called “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon. I won it at a raffle in college. Didn’t pay it much mind at first but one day I had a 3 hour gap in in between classes so I cracked it open just to kill some time. Next thing I knew I was late to my 8 o’clock because I read the entire book. I liked the book, not because it was telling me anything I didn’t know, but because it confirmed and gave context to a lot of the creative instincts I was having at the time. I just didn’t know how to put words to it.
I recently reread the book and I laughed because it was still so relevant to where I am with my art. The first chapter sounds a whole lot like my last blog post about how to be original when everything has been done already. The next in this book that I am on is Fake It Till You Make It. Kleon’s interpretation to this is:
“Pretend to be something you’re not until you are.”
“Pretend to be making something until you actually make something.”
This was a very eerie description for me. Especially the second description because that’s exactly what I’ve done in multiple situations. Most recently my Extended Play Tour late last year. I didn’t tell a whole lot of people that I was going on tour because, well, I didn’t even know if I was or not. I didn’t have the money or any shows booked or a passport or a place to stay. But I acted and moved in a way that made it seem like I was without a doubt going to be on tour with a brand new book in 5 months time. Fast forward to 3 days before I was supposed to leave the country to tour in the UK for a month I actually got everything solidified. I wasn’t exactly sure how at the time but I pulled it off. I faked a whole 17 shows in 23 day tour in a country I’ve never been to!
All the worlds a stage." If you dress the part, talk the talk, walk the walk, and you're convincing, you can seem to be or seem to be doing anything you want and then before you know it...BOOM. You actually become that thing!
Now, I didn’t do it allll by myself. I had some people who believed in me enough to put in a good word for me here and there. I didn’t lie to anyone or cheat anyone of money or an experience. When I “faked” it till I made it to London I really was stepping out on faith. I was walking toward something I didn’t know for sure was there or not. I knew I could do it. I knew it was possible and slowly but surely, through a whole lot of stress and tears, It all became real.
I don’t apply this theory to every area of my life. I don’t think it works well in relationships or all professional settings but when it comes to my art, definitely. When folks ask what I’m working on sometimes I keep it to myself, sometimes I embellish a little, sometimes I flat out say something I’m not even doing at the moment but I want to. You’d be surprised at how many of the things that you put out there that actually come back to you. You never know who you’re talking to and where you’ll be an hour from now.
I challenge you to fake something you are dying to do for 30 days. Bring it up in every conversation. Research it. Go to events or talks. Bring all the positive energy you can to it. Speak it into existence for 30 days and see what happens.
Get you're copy of Austin Kleon's book Steal Like An Artist (10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative) if you need some help.
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