No matter who you are, no matter how bad things look, you can rebuild your life.

In 2012, Craig Stanland made a choice that would cost him everything. After exploiting the warranty policy of one of the largest tech companies in the world for almost a year, the FBI finally knocked on his door.

He was arrested and sentenced to 2 years of Federal Prison, followed by 3 years of Supervised Release, and ordered to pay $834,307 in restitution. He lost his wife, his homes, his cars, his career, and even his identity. He wanted nothing more than to die.

Blank Canvas is a meditation on our remarkable capacity to rebuild and reinvent our lives. Through powerful storytelling, it is a testimony that our greatest adversities do not have to be the end. Sometimes, they can be our greatest beginning.

Praise for Blank Canvas

Craig has lived a story nobody would ever want to live. I was riveted to each page because I kept asking myself, ‘How would I handle this?’ And I didn’t know the answers. Craig takes us into hell and then we ride with him on the journey back. Great story, great writing, and great human being.

James Altucher, best-selling author of Skip the Line, Choose Yourself, and Reinvent Yourself

I cannot put down your book. Best book I’ve read since Tuesdays With Morrie. Jaw dropping.


I am so grateful for this book. Craig Stanland has written such a truthful and personal tale, one of hope and strength. Blank Canvas has truly helped me to sort through my own story and find some peace.


Blank Canvas is a harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of a life brought low only to be reclaimed and redeemed in a stunning and startling fashion. Craig Stanland recounts in compelling, episodic chapters the events and choices that led to his arrest on fraud charges and his subsequent guilty plea, conviction and incarceration. Set adrift and having lost everything, Craig tells the story of finding the courage to accept the circumstance of his confinement and how it becomes the foundation for his reawakening, learning to live life on the terms upon which it is offered. This accessible and enjoyable read belies the frank honesty and the depth of reflection imbued within the pages. While a gem of a memoir, Blank Canvas lives more comfortably within the company of the inspirational classics Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Alchemist.

Jeff K., New York City

Verified Reviews of Blank Canvas

chris Adams
inspiring book Well done: compelling story. It is interesting to hear the journey of someone who “had it all” and then went to prison. The perspective of gratitude and possibility he shared after prison is inspiring. You don’t need to go to prison to benefit from his message.
The book is about rediscovering your values, your worth. Inspiring read! The author did a wonderful job sharing his journey on what led to his downfall, how he had lost everything, and how he found the strength to stand up again. The book is an inspiring read.One of the chapters that really stood out was the author’s simple description of integrity: it’s like a house - its gradual erosion can make you feel like the roof will collapse on you anytime. Self forgiveness is also one of the greatest gift to yourself.
Lori Russo
I highly recommend this book The author is very brave to share his journey. So many powerful messages. My guess is he will help many people by sharing his story. I highly recommend this book.
Dave Buffington
Riveting! I could not put this book down. It is very well written and conveyed in a way that you can feel his fear and angst. I almost wished it was fiction so I could find other books by Craig Stanland. Very, very good book!
Blank Canvas - Fascinating Read This book held my attention start to finish. It was an honest recounting of the author's failure, paying for the failure, and fighting his way back. I highly recommend this book.
Robin and Kevin
Anyone can reinvent their life I like how hooked I was in this book from the VM from the FBI to the epilogue.I just had to know his next step/decision to the point I actually finished this book in 2 days.Then I read it again.It was thought provoking and I’ve realized I have some reinventing to do myself. I will too. One day at a time.
Becky Orr
Extraordinary Read! One of the most thought provoking books I have read! And a beautiful reminder that despite our vast differences what truly matters is the same: self acceptance, self worth & to know we are not alone. Well done!
Well written, compelling story. I love to read books but I have very limited time in my day. So when I find a book that piques my interest, it better be good from the first chapter or I will put that book down and it most likely won’t ever be picked up again.From the first page of chapter one of Blank Canvas, I became completely engrossed in the story. Craig Stanland starts off with a dramatic description of how his life began to unravel which then kept me reading and needing to know what happens next.This book is an extremely well written and enthralling page turner. Every page held my interest.I had not ever heard of this author until I saw a post about his book on his cat’s Instagram page. I am so glad I read that Instagram post because this book was time well spent. If you’re looking for a good book to read, I highly recommended this one. You won’t be able to put it down.
Inspirational read!! I thought this was a very inspiring story. I think everyone can relate to this book as we’ve all experienced very low points in life. I found several passages and quotes that I will refer to again and again! I highly recommend reading Blank Canvas!!
amanda cox
Honest, humbling, could not put it down! Great read, honest, raw, humbling, redeeming, couldn’t put it down!