Who I'm Stealing From

No, it's not what it sounds like. It's just one of those quippy titles to peak your interest. 

So I'm reading this book Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon (you've probably heard of it), and boy have I been learning a lot. It starts with a quote from Picasso stating "Art is theft," and walks the reader through the creative process and the myth of originality.

I've been starting to branch out of photography and graphic design to explore painting and drawing. But in this new world, I'm lost. I know what I like, but I don't know how to make my own thing. But Austin has been there and told me that the first step is to start copying the art I love.

Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.

We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism—plagiarism is trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.
— Austin Kleon

Here are some of the artists I've been reverse-engineering:


Spencer Harrison

Melody Hansen

Christiane Spangsberg

Frédéric Forest

Alexa Coe

Pierre Voisin

Giulia Rizzi

Niels Kiené

Kyle Steed


Lukas Frischknecht


Cody Hudson

John Zabawa

Michael Wall

Thomas C. Bradley


Giacomo Bagnara

Safwat Saleem

Carissa Potter Carlson

David Powell

Geoff McFetridge


Who are you stealing from?