Creativity as craft


Creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials.

Kirby Ferguson, Everything Is a Remix part 3

Creativity feels like magic, but it’s actually the result of craft and habit. That’s the message in this week’s readings: “Steal Like an Artist” and “Everything is a Remix.”

Journal reflection questions

  1. This is a book written by an artist on the creative habits that young artists need to develop to do good work. What did you think were the three most important habits?
  2. How would you adapt those habits for journalism?
  3. What’s your advice to next year’s MCOM 407 students? Use Kleon’s book as inspiration to come up with your own creative habits for success that Capstone students should adapt at the beginning of class in the fall.

More “Steal Like an Artist” discussion questions

  • What quotes stood out to you, and why?
  • Is it true that artists steal?
  • Why does the author say “your job is to collect good ideas”?
  • What is good theft? What is bad theft?
  • What does it mean to “stand next to talent”?
  • Explain rule #9. Isn’t the secret to good art NOT to be boring?
  • Explain the “life of the project” timeline. Does this ring true for your past projects?
  • Is journalism art? Why or why not?
  • What three rules did you adapt for journalists, and why?

Kirby Ferguson: “Creation requires influence”

Austin Kleon: “You are a mashup of what you let into your life”

Everything is a remix, so steal like an artist

A 2012 SXSW panel featuring both Austin Kleon and Kirby Ferguson.

The discipline of creative habits