Show Your Work

A book by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work!
In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey…
Share ideas and knowledge to create an audience for the future.

The Main Takeaway

  1. You don't have to be a Genius.
  2. Think process, not Product.
  3. Share something small every day.
  4. Open up your cabinet of Curiosities.
  5. Tell Good Stories.
  6. Teach what you know.
  7. Don't turn into Human Spam.
  8. Learn to Take a Punch.
  9. Sell Out.
  10. Stick Around.

‌‌You don't have to be a Genius.

Creativity is collaborative work resulting from a mind connected to other minds.

Today I learned

Scenius is not a genius... "a whole scene of people who were supporting each other, looking at each other's work, copying from each other, stealing ideas, and contributing ideas."

Be always immature and always seek learning, and don't be afraid to make mistakes or look stupid in front of people.

Best ways to share your new work:

  1. Think about what you want to learn.
  2. Learn it in front of others.
  3. Find a Scenius and follow them.
  4. Keep an eye on what they are sharing.
  5. Find the gap in what they have.
  6. Share your idea‌‌s.

Think process, not a product

People want to see your process of how you got there. Become a documenter of your life/work, record audio, or write it down.
Share something small per day (focus on the daily activity for the long vision)

What to Share?

  • Early-stage: Share what influenced you.
  • Mid-stage: Share your method and your style.
  • Later stage: Share your learning or the Product you are working on.
💡
Every day at the end of the day, go back to your documentary about that day and find something worth sharing.
Find your audience and stick there to share your daily work.

Tips to keep

  • Nothing should be perfect from what you share. Don't be a perfectionist.
  • Balance the time between working and sharing your work (Put 30 minutes on the internet).
  • Don't post anything you don't want to be public to everyone on the internet.
  • Active sharing, not oversharing .. Don't give away everything.
  • Before sharing anything, if you are unsure, let it sleep for 24 hours, then look at it again and ask yourself now, wanna share?‌

Open up your cabinet of Curiosities.

Stay curious and share other people's work; share your influencer's work.

The trash museum is an example of showing your work and being open about it. Sanitation worker Nelson Molina curated it from over 20 years of collecting New Yorkers' garbage.
Don't feel guilty about what you love. Do it with passion.

Tell Good Stories

People will Chang their view on objects just if the story about the object change.

You have to explain your work and product to a Kinder garden and they should understand it.
Write your bio; keep it short, and remove adjectives.

‌‌Teach what you know

Don't stick with the details; share and teach what you know. Example: Franklin BBQ on YouTube

Share your reading list.

Don't turn into Human Spam.

People will tell you things if you listen.

Tips to Keep

  • Any work is incomplete without feedback.
  • If you want fans, be one of your work.
  • Stop worrying about the number of followers rather than the quality of them.
  • Don't ask people to follow you on the internet. Instead, join meet-ups and social events to share your ideas and work.
  • Being good at what you do is the best way to connect and build connections with people... They will find you if you are good.

Learn to Take a Punch

Don't take bunches personally and Celebrate other people's victory

When criticism happens, breath and ignore it. Learn to meditate

Sell Out

  • Use the donation model to get support
  • Charge with a fair price
  • Keep mailing list (with signup and permissions to use)

Stick Around

  • Use the end of one project to start the next project (🔗 Chain Smoker)
  • Every seven years, take a year break to recharge that can be shrunken by months or days... Etc.

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