I not so recently went to New York City. My mother (Virtudes Alvarez) was presenting her recent book (Mujeres: Huellas, Mirada y Resistencia) and I thought would be a good idea to meet her there, at least would be cheaper than getting a flight down to Dominican Republic.
During one too much free time afternoon I decided to go down by the 5th Ave and walk around for a place with internet (data on roaming is a whole in the pocket). I saw the famous public library that people always talk about but I never been there. So I said why the heck not! I saw an amazing photography exhibition #inthepubliceye after teasing my photographer friend Alexander Fortuna I decided to buy some stuff from there to my friends and do what any other person in this consumer culture… I visited the gift shop.
After selecting a bunch of weird postcard, fridge magnets, compare notebooks and them remember I still have one needed to be full and saw this book called “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. I have to admit the tittle sounded a bit weird and have this je ne se qua that gave me some doubts. When I turned the book and read the back there was this list to “unlock your creativity” when I got to the advise number 9 “Be Boring. (It is the only way you can get work done)” I thought I definitely need to buy this book.
For those who know me since I learned English 3 years ago, know that I have a hard time choosing books in this new language and sometimes I buy them and they bored me after the third chapter.
Well, I finished this book in less than 3 days, first just on the subway and them during a heavy rainy day. Is not that it is a big book but the way Mr. Kleon wrote it make it an easy and fun reading. With a lot of good quotes and personal stories “Steal Like An Artist” is a book for every person that feels stock in their creative work.
I have to admit that the idea of using procrastination to work on side projects so things get done in other aspects of my life is genius. With the help of this little friend (the book) I am finally giving shape to a little big theatre piece I have been working on in the past year and half. I was trying so hard to be different and “Original”. Trying to work base on things I though were right but I was not totally convince.
Now I am involving one of my day job in my performance. Just like Liliana Suarez (one of my theatre heroine) did on her performance of “ El Refugio de Freidel (The Refuge of Freidel)”. In other hand, I would be adding some multimedia aspect like Beatriz Pizano (my other theatre heroine) did with “What I Learned from a Decade of Fear” (Aprendizaje de Una Decada de Miedo).
I am stealing from two great theatre writers and performers and experimenting with.
So now, I am sitting on my sister little studio apartment in Manhattan during a cold, fall weekend writing this to say Thank you Hurricane Joaquin and thank you Austin Kleon for giving me the boredom weekend to finish the book and put my artistic shit together.
Sooooooooooo!!!!!!!! If you have the time, artistic block and are down for some cool, fun and straight forward reading you really need to read this book.