Show your work – Austin Kleon


To put your work out to the world as an artist and how to properly share it

The book in one sentence

Summary:

Austin Kleon goes over 10 ways on how to properly share your work with the world

1 – You don’t have to be a genius

  • „be so good they can’t ignore you“
  • do networking
  • be an amateur → if you tell your story instead of your outcome people can follow better
  • share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you
  • „I’m going to make them happen, and if people think I’m an idiot I don’t care“

2 – Think Process, Not Product.

  • „A lot of people are so used to just seeing the outcome of work. They never see the side of the work you go through to produce the outcome.“ – Michael Jackson → true + although therefore must be at least good
  • distinction between the painter’s process, and the products of her process.
  • take advantage of social media and the internet. Share whenever, whatever at almost no cost
    • share sketches
    • works-in-progress
    • post pictures
    • have a blog
      • write about inspiration and tools
  • form a unique bond
  • „People really do want to see how the sausage get’s made“
  • don’t just show the glamour, also the day-to-day activities
  • you have to turn invisible into other people can see
  • „No one is going to give a damn about your résumé; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers.“
  • become a documentarian of what you do. Start a work journal: Write your thoughts down in a notebook, or speak them into an audio recorder. Keep a scrapbook.
    • Things to keep track of
      • research
      • reference
      • drawings
      • plans
      • sketches
      • interviews
      • audio
      • photographs
      • video
      • pinboards
      • journals
      • drafts
      • prototypes
      • demos
      • diagrams
      • notes
      • inspiration
      • scrapbooks
      • stories
      • collections

3 – Share something small everyday

  • „Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you’ll start meeting amazing people.“ – Bobby Solomon → doesn’t matter what it is ; just some documentation or fun pics…?
  • The day is the only unit of time that I can really get my head around. Seasons change, weeks are completely human-made, but the day has a rhythm. The sun goes up; the sun goes down. I can handle that
  • Once a day, share a little piece of your work
    • if your at the beginning → share your influences + what’s inspiring you
    • in the middle → write about your methods + share works in progress
    • if you’ve completed a project → show the final + show scraps from the cutting-room floor + write what you’ve learned
    • if you have multiple projects → share their status + how people are interacting with it
    • daily dispatch is better than a résumé or portfolio → it shows what we’re working on right now
    • „When I ask them to show me work, they show me things from school, or from another job, but I’m more interested in what they did last weekend“
    • the form of daily sharing doesn’t matter
      • can be anything → blog post, email, tweet, YouTube Video, or other bit of media
    • where to reach people
      • Filmmakers → YouTube + Vimeo
      • Businesspeople → LinkedIn
      • Writers → Twitter
      • Visual Artists → Tumblr + Instagram + Facebook
    • Sturgeon’s Law: 90% we create is crap and only 10% are not crap
    • don’t say you don’t have enough time. We’re all busy, but we all get 24 hours a day.
      • how do you find them? Look for them! (reference book: Make Time)
    • be open, share imperfect and unfinished work that you want feedback on, but don’t share absolutely everything.
      • big difference between sharing and oversharing!!
      • Things to show
        • dogs
        • cats
        • babies
        • selfies
        • sunsets
        • lunches
        • lattes
        • WORK
    • run everything your share through the „So What?“ Test. Don’t overthink!
      • if your unsure to send it, wait for 24 hours
      • and ask these questions:
        1. Is it helpful?
        2. Is it entertaining?
        3. Is it something I’d be comfortable with my boss or my mother seeing it?
    • Flow is the feed. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people you exist. Stock is the durable stuff. The content you produce is as interesting in two months (two years) as it is today.
    • the magic formula: maintain your flow while working on your stock in the background
    • blog → ideal machine for turning workflow into stock
    • don’t think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine. Fill your website with your work and your ideas and the stuff you care about.
    • „Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work…and if you can build a good name, eventually the name will be it’s own currency.“ – William Burroughs

4 – Open up your cabinet of curiosities

  • what if you want to share something and you don’t know where it came from or who made it? Don’t share things you can’t properly credit!! Find the right credit or don’t share.

5 – Tell good stories

  • every fairy tale:
    • Once upon a time, there was___. Every day,. One day,. Because of that,, Because of that,. Until finally,______.
  • stick to non-fiction
  • keep it short and sweet
  • Don’t get cute. Don’t brag. Just state the facts.

6 – Teach what you know

  • the minute you learn something, turn around and teach it to others.
  • Share your reading list.
  • Point to helpful reference materials.
  • Create some tutorials and post them online.
  • Use pictures, words, and video.
  • Take people step-by-step through part of your process
  • Learn → Teach → Learn → Teach → Learn → Teach → …

7 – Don’t turn into human spam

  • I call some people human spam
    • people who don’t like to read although they are a writer → those people make no sense to me
  • shut up and listen once in while
  • „What you want is to follow and be followed by human beings who care about issues you care about. This thing we make together. This thing is about hearts and minds, not eyeballs“ – Jeffrey Zeldman → this is a community
  • 100 true followers are better than 1000 fake ones
  • if you want to be interesting, you have to be interested.
  • Follow me back? – is the saddest question on the internet.
    1. create something you love → in my control
    2. share some you love → in my control
    3. people who love your stuff too will follow you → not in my control
    4. this will build a community → not in my control
  • „Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it“ – Derek Sivers
  • when you pin your kind you get your team

8 – Learn to take a punch

  • the more people come across your work, the more criticism you’ll face → the more people, the more reviews (good + bad)
    • Relax and breath
      • consider meditation
    • strengthen your neck
      • put out a lot of work
      • then make even more work and keep putting it out there
    • roll with the punches
      • keep moving
      • criticism is an opportunity for new work
      • can’t control sort of criticism → can control the way you react to it
      • having your work hated by certain people is a badge of honor
    • protect your vulnerable areas
      • have work that is too sensitive to share and keep it hidden
      • „Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide“
      • avoiding vulnerability you and your work will never connect with other people
    • keep your balance
      • your work is something you do, not who you are
    • „The trick is not caring what EVERYBODY thinks of you and just caring about what the RIGHT people think of you“ – Brian Michael Bendis
    • use the feedback from people who care about you and what you do

9 – Sell out

  • „Sellout…I’m not crazy about that word. We’re all entrepreneurs. To me, I don’t care if you own a furniture store or whatever – the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.“ – Bill Withers
  • Paul McCartney and John Lennon (from the Beatles) said before each songwriting session: „Now, let’s write a swimming pool.“
  • don’t write off your friends because they’ve had a little bit of success. Don’t be jealous when people you like do well – celebrate their victory as if it’s your own. → this is great
  • crowdfunding is damn powerful
  • don’t be afraid to charge for your work, but put a price on it that you think is fair. → I would start for free and level up with the growth of my community
  • collecting email addresses from people who come across your work and want to stay in touch
    • keep your own list
    • be clear on what they can expect → sending monthly, weekly, daily or infrequent
    • the people who sign up = your biggest supporters
  • „We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies“ – Walt Disney → interesting approach and thought actually

10 – Stick around

  • every career is full of ups and downs
  • „In our business you don’t quit!“ – Joan Rivers
  • „Work is never finished, only abandoned.“ – Paul Valéry → or it’s paused
  • you don’t count on success; you can only leave open the possibility for it
  • Just keep going
  • instead of taking a break in between projects, waiting for feedback and worrying about what’s next, use the end of one project to light up the next one. Just do the work that’s in front of you, when it’s finished, ask yourself what you missed, what you could’ve done better, or what you couldn’t get to, and jump right into the next project
  • „We work because it’s a chain reaction, each subject leads to the next.“ – Charles Eames
  • everything that we designed in the seven years following the first sabbatical hat its roots in thinking done during that sabbatical.
  • we can all take practical sabbaticals – daily, weekly or monthly → walk away from your work completely
    • Commute (train, subway, car…)
      • perfect to read, write, doodle or just look out of the window
      • audiobooks are perfectly safe for car and bikes
    • Exercise
      • relax your mind → new thoughts
    • Nature
      • go to a park, take a hike, dig in your garden, fresh air → disconnect
    • separate your work from your home → If you never go to work, you’ll never get to leave work…→ home office during COVID-19
    • I need to tear it down and start over again → sometime really effective
    • become an amateur again

Best quotes:

Be so good they can’t ignore you

I’m going to make them happen, and if people think I’m an idiot I don’t care

A lot of people are so used to just seeing the outcome of work. They never see the side of the work you go through to produce the outcome. – Michael Jackson

People really do want to see how the sausage get’s made

No one is going to give a damn about your résumé; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers.

Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you’ll start meeting amazing people.

When I ask them to show me work, they show me things from school, or from another job, but I’m more interested in what they did last weekend

„Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work…and if you can build a good name, eventually the name will be it’s own currency.“ – William Burroughs

„What you want is to follow and be followed by human beings who care about issues you care about. This thing we make together. This thing is about hearts and minds, not eyeballs“ – Jeffrey Zeldman

„Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it“ – Derek Sivers

Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide

„The trick is not caring what EVERYBODY thinks of you and just caring about what the RIGHT people think of you“ – Brian Michael Bendis

„Sellout…I’m not crazy about that word. We’re all entrepreneurs. To me, I don’t care if you own a furniture store or whatever – the best sign you can put up is SOLD OUT.“ – Bill Withers

„We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies“ – Walt Disney

„In our business you don’t quit!“ – Joan Rivers

„Work is never finished, only abandoned.“ – Paul Valéry

„We work because it’s a chain reaction, each subject leads to the next.“ – Charles Eames


Best thing about the book:

Be so good they can’t ignore you

No one is going to give a damn about your résumé; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers.

Veröffentlicht von Maxm Md

I have everything you’ve ever wanted

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