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May 25, 2012 / becca shayne

How to steal like an artist, part two

Austin,

Yesterday I presented my degree project to nine members of the Graphic Design faculty at Rhode Island School of Design. I’m done. And the first thing I did this morning? Finally make time to read your book, “Steal Like an Artist,” cover to cover. I bought it about six months ago and never opened it (RISD schedule is rather rigorous). I don’t remember how I found out about you and your work, but I do know that your web version of aforementioned writing was one of my first ever posts, a year ago.

I kind of actually have some followers now! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I find your advice valuable, and humorous, and I like the way you think. I’m writing you to let you know how valuable these little snippets are to me as a designer and to the friends I choose to share it with. I feel, in the same vein, a sense of accomplishment for finishing my degree at RISD, and a sense of worry, of how I will fit in to the design world without my peers and professors to turn to.

My blog is, in some senses, a swipe file, because it’s a place where I post work I find inspiring, which I am sharing with people, and then a place where I share the work I have been making, before I publish it to my portfolio site. I guess it would be interesting some day to have coffee with you and talk and learn and swap ideas. I (haven’t had time to read the whole thing yet) gave my second copy of “Newspaper Blackouts” to my favorite professor [Doug Scott], admittedly not for the content, but for the process of the work, and the way the words appear on the page. I wasn’t expecting anything in return, he’s already given me the best education anyone could ever get, but he turned around a few days later and gave me a book designed by one of his favorite American designers, W.A. Dwiggins.

I guess this isn’t really to you or to anyone, I just wanted to say to you how much I enjoyed your book, smiled at the lessons, nodded to myself as I read, was awed by some of the quotes you added, shocked and then not so surprised by some bald statements that I realize are true, and then warmed by things I wish to share with particular people later when I see them. I’ve already thought of about five people I plan to give this book to, and it hasn’t even been five minutes since I put it down.

Thank you. Thank you for making me feel like I’ve done something, and at the same time, reminding me how much left there is to do! Time to get making! All the best to you and Meg and your dog and your music and your art and your writing and your everything else. I hope our paths cross someday, however remotely.

Warm wishes from an exhausted design student

Becca

How to Steal like an Artist written by Austin Kleon. I originally posted about him on June 3, 2011, a few days after I started this blog you all read. Thank you so much to all of you for standing behind me :) it means a lot actually.

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