I finished Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon a few days ago and I enjoyed it so much that I just went right to the next one, Show Your Work. Both have been very helpful to me personally and I’m sure if you are creating anything at all you’ll find this book, Show Your Work, very beneficial. There may be some things that you already know but Kleon has a great way of putting things so that you’ll feel reaffirmed in your strategy.
“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 getting known. Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time networking. It s not self-promotion, it s self-discovery let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive. In chapters such as You Don t Have to Be a Genius; Share Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity what he calls the ecology of talent. From broader life lessons about work (you can t find your voice if you don t use it) to the etiquette of sharing and the dangers of oversharing to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.” (GoodReads)
I really enjoy Kleon’s voice and he has a great sense of humour which makes for great reading. This book really expands on a point (the main takeaway for me) that he touched on in Steal Like An Artist. “Share the dots but don’t connect.” In other words, share your process, share snippets of how you do what you do. Don’t give everything away but don’t just share the end product. Share your process, inspire others, teach others, create a conversation, and thereby connect more deeply with people. The internet has changed the game and connecting with people by letting them into your world is the best way to get people to care about what you do/create.
I highly recommend this concise book. There’s great advice and I’m sure you’ll be left feeling inspired or recharged. I think Steal Like An Artist and Share Your Work are best read together in that order and at 200 pages combined you’ll be through them in no time. I know I’ll be going back to these books because there were such great quotes throughout and the advice really is great.
This is another book about creativity and how to get on living a life in the creative industry. I thoroughly enjoyed it as it is concise, very cool, and full of good advice structured under 10 main points. It’s really a quick and easy read. It has lovely drawings and really great quotes. I jotted down a few notes while reading this. Kleon has a great writing voice too so all in all a must read for anyway working in any creative field or anyone who pursues creative endeavours of all kinds. It’s actually a book for us all because we’re all creative in some way and this little book will help you get back into it or dive deeper into it.
“You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.“ (GoodReads)
I especially liked that there’s a recommended reading list at the end. I love further reading lists! I particularly liked this line in the book: “…you are a mashup of what you choose to let into your life…” This book left me feeling full of energy to pursue my projects with zest and joy and I’m sure it’ll do the same for you if you have a creative project or hobby.
I know of Elizabeth Gilbert from her Eat, Pray, Love success. The cover of her latest book Big Magic completely drew me in and then the “Creative Living Beyond Fear” subtitle really spoke to me too.
I consider myself a creative person (but really we all are) and I always have my hand in some kind of creative pursuit but since I am a self taught creative (my tertiary education is in the social sciences) there tends to be a bit of fear or anxiety surrounding my freedom to create without feeling like a complete fraud. Just like when I began this blog years ago I felt I had no right to do so because I knew nothing about the world of blogging. But it has turned out to be a wonderful creative outlet.
If you recognise yourself then this book is for you. It is just as much for anyone working professionally in the creative arts as anyone enjoying working on creative arts in a non professional way. I really enjoyed this book and it is chock full of great lines that you will no doubt see as affirmation style images on Pinterest. It is inspiring and realistic. More importantly it is a guide to just how we should be treating our creativity to enjoy it more fully as well as foster it.
This is not about being successful in the creative arts; this book is about creative living for the sheer love of it. No doubt there will be those that dislike this book but I am not one of them. I have a number of creative passions that I love working on and this book has given me the boost to keep on keeping on. My biggest take away from this book is a personal one. Your creativity (and ability) is no less legitimate than the next person’s regardless of education or any other external factor. Your experience is unique so get stuck in.
I really enjoyed this book, it’s a quick read and if you’re intrigued by it go ahead and read it. If you’ve read it what did you think?