showyourworkWith the Pattern Observer Book Club members, this month (or rather in one day) I finished reading Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon.

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I’ve been a longtime fan of Austin Kleon, who is well known for his blackout poems. It’s actually really fun to try for yourself and I’ve always had fun doing so when playing in my art journal, see below.

blackout

I’ve been following him for quite some time and it was no surprise that his books are popular with the creative crowd. I’ve already read Steal Like An Artist and knew it would be easy to read Show Your Work! 

To be honest, I don’t think you are going to learn a whole lot of new stuff from him books – at least if you are a creative junkie and have probably read many creativity-type books. It’s actually pretty funny, since his work is based on “stealing work” so it should be no surprise that his ideas have been around.

Obviously, if you are unfamiliar I don’t mean that he plagiarizes! His point about stealing work is more about how there is nothing original and we all build upon our influences and the masters before us. It’s actually part of the process. So Kleon certainly presents the ideas in his own way, with his own examples.

The thing about Kleon’s writing is that it’s really easy to digest. It’s like going out for a cup of coffee with a friend that decides to tell you about the 10 reason why you should show your work. It’s straightforward, easy to understand – simple. As I’ve mentioned, you can definitely read through his books in a sitting! Where you take it from there is up to you.

My takeaways in quote form include:

the best way to flourish is to retain an amateur’s spirit and embrace uncertainty and the unknown.

 

“You’d like to think that nearly getting killed would be a permanently life-altering experience,” Kreider writes, but “the illumination didn’t last.”

 

But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way.

 

Of course, don’t let sharing your work take precedence over actually doing your work.

 

thing about keeping notebooks is that you have to revisit them in order to make the most out of them. You have to flip back through old ideas to see what you’ve been thinking.

 

Don’t feel guilty about the pleasure you take in the things you enjoy.

 

“When shown an object, or given a food, or shown a face, people’s assessment of it-how much they like it, how valuable it is- is deeply affected by what you tell them about it.”

 

most of life is messy, uncertain, and illogical

 

The Vampire Test works on many things in you lives, not just people

 

Keep your balance. You have to remember that your work is something you do, not who you are.

 

We all have to get over our “starving artist” romanticism and the idea that touching money inherently corrupts creativity.

 

Yet a life of creativity is all about change – moving forward, taking chances, exploring new frontiers.

 

Even if it’s not all brand new ideas, I’ve definitely taken away good nuggets of wisdom from the book and enjoyed the quick read – satisfying!

If you would like a quick and easy read to get you inspired on how sharing your creative work can be simple and straightforward, definitely check out Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon.

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* Please note this post has affiliate links. That means if you purchase after clicking through, I might receive a small commission (at no cost to you). All opinions are my own and thank you for supporting me!

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