In this week’s newsletter: shooting arrows and drawing targets, finding ideas in stains, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
first you shoot the arrow, then you just take your paintbrush and

Hey y’all,

Greetings from Cleveland, my wife’s hometown, a city I think is terribly underrated. (Although, that might be changing.) Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. “You shoot your arrow and then you paint your bullseye around it.”
  2. I read Knotted Tongues: Stuttering in History and the Quest for a Cure(There is a long list of creative people who stutter — some claim the impediment greatly influenced their work.) 
  3. I also started Melville’s “Bartleby The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street,” which is much funnier than I expected. (Last week I was walking around Battery Park in NYC and I thought of the first chapter of Moby-Dick.)
  4. Need an idea? Leonardo da Vinci said you should look at stains on the wall. (Speaking of Leonardo, I can’t get over how much I prefer the unretouched Salvator Mundi.)
  5. Susan Orlean on growing up in the library, an excerpt from her new one, The Library Book. (If that’s not enough, here are 12 other authors + my pal Alan Jacobs on libraries they love.)
  6. A huge archive of Andy Warhol’s black and white photography is now available for free online.
  7. After hearing that Keep Going isn’t coming out until April, many people asked me why it’s gonna take so darned long. To answer the question, I made a timeline of the book.
  8. I had to call poison control last week because of the exact (benign) incident described at the beginning of this excellent Radiolab episode. God bless ’em!
  9. The first abstract painter was a woman.
  10. RIP Mary Midgley. (She published her first book at age 59, her last at 99!) And RIP translator Anthea Bell. (Here’s a 2013 profile of her work.) I’ve become really fascinated with the art of translation after following Emily Wilson (universally acclaimed for her translation of The Odyssey) on Twitter: @EmilyRCWilson.
Thanks for reading! If you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to a friend, tweet me some love, or best of all, buy a book!

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timeline of a book

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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Austin Kleon
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Austin, TX 78749

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