Share Your Work is about putting creative work out there and getting noticed. Written as a follow up to the bestseller Steal Like An Artist, writer and illustrator Austin Kleon lists 10 principles that guide his approach to publishing.
Share Your Work Summary
Share Your Work is a quick and easy read.
Illustrated throughout, Austin Kleon guides us through a number of ideas that govern his approach to creativity in the digital age. From teaching what you know to learning how to take criticism, it’s an upfront and honest guide to the creative process.
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- You don’t have to be a genius to be creative. Instead, most creativity happens as a result of a wider scene (scenius)
- Rather then focus on the product (artwork), the digital age allows you to showcase the process (art-work) which in and of itself prompts creativity and helps to publicise your creative endeavours.
- In art and design ‘doing is thinking’ so you can get better by simply sharing something of you work each and every day.
- Prompt curiosity by collecting things that stimulate your art. The New York City Museum of Trash was started by an everyday rubbish collector in this way.
- Telling good stories is paramount. Humans respond to narrative and are willing to pay more for items with good background stories. In the book Significant Objects a series of products worth $1.25 were sold on ebay for thousands of dollars purely as a result of writing good narratives.
- Teaching what you know to help other people learn is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate your expertise and ensure you can earn a living from your artwork.
- It’s important to stay humble and engage with other people’s artwork. All good writers have to be good readers otherwise they end up as human spam.
- Learning to take a punch is very important as all artwork will prompt criticism. Sometimes it’s good practice to lean into the punches by magnifying the things about your art that other people hate.
- Don’t be a starving artist. Everyone needs money to continue making their art. Walt Disney once said “we don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies”.
- The largest part of genius is actually just sticking around and persisting with your artwork. Every time Picasso mastered something he immediately dropped it and moved onto something else to keep his process going.