Be nice (the world is a small town)

This post is part 8 of an adaptation of How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)this engaging and instructive essay by Austin Kleon, a Texan artist and writer. Kleon states that “when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.” What follows here is me talking to a previous version of myself, one 10 years younger, hopelessly naive and about to embark on a life in architecture.

8. Be nice (the world is a small town)

Being nice can sometimes be difficult, particularly when confronted with all the greedy pigeons you will inevitably meet in your professional life, however it’s an unfortunate truth that positive recommendations spread slowly while negative recommendations spread like wildfire.

Besides, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how brilliant your ideas if you can’t find someone to pay for them to be built. This is another way of saying, to be an architect you need clients.

Your next client could be your old high school teacher, the girl who looks after your books, the guy who makes your coffee. You never know how who you know will matter until you answer the phone one day and receive that most rare and satisfying call: an enquiry about a new project.

So be nice and, eventually, ye shall be rewarded.

Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: