With all the books out there waiting for me to read (I have over 200 on my Kindle at the moment), it’s rare that a non-fiction one hold my attention long enough for me to actually finish it.
It’s only the special ones that can masterfully hold my attention and give me valuable information that my soul has been yearning for that I finish. In under a week is even better.
This is one such book.
It’s called Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Show Your Creativity and Get Discovered and it’s phenomenal!
If you are an artist or creative of any kind, you need this book!
I’ve had conflicted feelings about showing my work for the whole world to see. I feel it’s messy and yet fun at the same time. The conflict comes from not wanting anyone to steal my ideas and yet I love to share because I want to involve others in the joy of the process so they can give their creative side permission to come out and play.
My friend Laura West posted up a picture on Facebook of her traveling with the book and it reminded me that I had it. I couldn’t believe I had bought it and then let it get lost in the sea of books I have waiting for me to read. Thanks for the reminder Laura!
I knew I had to read it right away.
As I read through this book it was like a breath of fresh air for my inner sharer. It helped me to realize that no matter how original my ideas might be, no one can make it quite the same way I can. So, by sharing my work I’m able to involve you, my dear friend, in my process of fun, messy art that sings to my soul and hopefully yours too.
The book is broken out into these 10 inspiring chapters.
It’s also full of fun drawings and diagrams that help keep you engaged in the concept. Like this one, which having the fear of sharing some of my most intimate work is laid out in a diagram. It made me realize that if I think something is useful or interesting, you might as well.
He also talks about the fact that credit is always due. Always. Why? Because we all get inspiration from others. If the idea comes to me from somewhere and I don’t share where it came from, I essentially rob you of not knowing more about it on a deeper level and your natural need to satisfy your curiosity.
Besides, if I didn’t give credit to someone and you find out about it later, you will essentially lose trust in me. That’s no way to be in a relationship.
I also think of this as if I’m back in math class taking a test. If I don’t show my work to the teacher, I will be docked points and we both lose. I lose points and get a lower grade and the teacher loses because it’s a bad reflection on them that they could not teach me correctly.
In order for everyone to win, work and credit must be shown.
This book also helped me to open up more about teaching you what I know. It’s not fair for me to keep it all to myself, you know. 😉
As I dive more into the process of sharing my work, I’ll show it to you so you can learn how to embrace it for yourself.
And last, but not least, he reassured my inner perfectionist that the process is messy. I have also been experimenting more with watercolors, which I find a very messy process and find that the messier it is on paper, the better it turns out.
If for any reason you are struggling with showing your work to others, yet want to build a following (not just as an artist, but in any form) I encourage you to grab the book on Amazon HERE.
If you already own this book and have read it, tell me about it! I want to hear your point of view too! Because sharing is fun. 🙂
p.s. All of these images were used with permission through Austin’s genius marketing idea of having them all available on a Pinterest Board. I am in awe of the simple brilliance of it. It IS possible for a guy to use Pinterest the right way. Bravo!