Minneapolis, MN

Loch Ness MPLS, designed by Brian Ness, a Minnesota artist, houses an online portfolio, news, updates and personal blog.


Here's where I post a little about my life, my process, and my inspiration. Check in to learn about what's happening with Loch Ness MPLS, and get a sneak peek at new projects!


Book Report: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Brian Ness

I've been feeling the need to do some more personal development, and finally turn this little etsy hobby into a profitable business, so I leveraged my Amazon Prime membership to purchase some new reading materials..

The books arrived on Thursday night. It was a beautiful night outside, and we just bought a new patio table, so Jon and I decided to use it. We poured a glass of wine, I grabbed a book from the top of my stack, and Jon grabbed his ipad. He settled in to an old episode of Julia Child (ps isn't true love spending time together, doing our own separate things that make us happy, but still being together? it's the best) and I dove into this cute little book, called Steal Like An Artist.

30 minutes later, I was finished with the book, and felt a good kick in the pants that I didn't even know I was waiting for!

This book is brilliant! It's succinct, energetic, optimistic and realistic. Were most of his ideas legendary or groundbreaking? Not necessarily. But they were true, clear, and pointed.

Here are a couple of my biggest takeaways from the book:

All Advice is Autobiographical.  This was his first point, and it set the tone for the whole book. Kleon expands that "when people give you advice, they're really just talking to themselves in the past."

Next, the premise of the book: Nothing is Original, and all artists steal from people that they love. He encourages people to find those that inspire them, read up on anything you can about them, and when you're done, read up on all of their favorite people...and copy all of the stuff you love about them.

And then, once you start copying, write the stuff you love. Actually, don't just write the stuff you love - write (or draw, or act, or dance )the stuff that those you admire would love.

A lot of what Kleon talks about is filling your brain with the stuff that makes you motivated. Whether that's books, films, theater, music, TV, whatever... just keep showing yourself the stuff that keeps you going.

He also says, make sure the people you surround yourself does the same. I love this idea he has, that whenever you're in a room, find the most interesting person in the room and stand by them. And if ever you find yourself BEING the most interesting person, it's time to find a new room!

Lastly, here's a quote that really got me:

(it' got me so much that I had to circle it quite a few times)

As the "square kid" in art school, I have always felt this way. I'm weird enough in my head that I don't have the energy to be weird on the exterior, too!

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I loved the book. I loved the book so much that I wish I could buy a copy for all of you! (but as I mentioned earlier, I'm working on that whole profitable business thing...) So maybe treat yourself? It's really inexpensive on Amazon right here!

Read it and let me know what you think!