Austin Kleon Is Not a Creativity Guru

“For me to be a guru or an expert, I have to have something that I’m super certain about to tell you, to impart to you, some sort of wisdom. That’s not how art works.”


Episode Notes

This week, host Rumaan Alam taps into the well of creativity that is Austin Kleon, author of books like Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work! In the interview, Austin talks about his distaste for the “guru” label and the uncertainty it takes to be a teacher and student of creativity. He also weighs in on whether creativity is teachable and sprinkles the whole conversation with quotes and other nuggets of wisdom from his favorite writers and thinkers.

After the interview, Rumaan and co-host Isaac Butler hear from a listener who’s trying to find a good writing group. (Here’s the Karan Mahajan Twitter link to Denis Johnson’s writing quotes that Rumaan mentions.)

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Austin talks about his email newsletter and what he plans to work on next.

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


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Slate interviews creative people about their work.

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