From “Show Your Work:” Quotes Pt.1

Reasons why you should show what you've got.

Author Austin Kleon describes himself as a “creative kleptomanic.” He’s shameless about his habit. He wrote a book called Steal Like an Artist. In a Ted Talk, he urged the entire audience to steal from everyone they encountered.

But it’s not a one-way flow. Kleon also believes good creators should share. That’s what his book Show Your Work is about.

The Internet is full of voyeurs. In Show Your Work, he encourages creators to take advantage of that for exposure. Sharing allows you to and build audiences for “fellowship, feedback and patronage,” he said.

Here’s more from the book about why you should share:

On the people he looks up to…

“instead of maintaining absolute secrecy and hoarding their work, they’re open about what they’re working on, and they’re consistently posting bits and pieces of their work and their ideas online. Instead of wasting their time “networking,” they’re taking advantage of the network.”

About online presence…

“It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.”

 

Quoting journalist David Carr…

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

 

On the myth of the lone genius…

“If you believe the lone genius myth, creativity is an antisocial act, performed only by a few great figures, mostly dead men…The rest of us are left to stand around and gawk in awe at their achievements.”

 About The Creative Process…

“…good work isn’t created in a vacuum, and that creativity is always, in some sense, a collaboration, the result of a mind connected to other minds.”

On doubts about interest…

“…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.”

 

On Human Nature

“Human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made and who made them. The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it.”

About the audience’s desire…

“Audiences not only want to stumble across great work, but they, too, long to be creative and part of the creative process.”

 

Quoting author Paul Arden…

“The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually, you become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish…Somehow the more you give away, the more comes back to you.”

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