Show Your Work

The benefits of showing your work, regardless of what it looks like

See Live Project

Link to a Book Review:

My Comments:

I love the creative book style and easily readable text. I finished the book in a couple days and I'm a really slow reader.

Book Exports: 

  • "The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "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. Take a lot of photographs of your work at different stages in your process. Shoot video of you working. This isn’t about making art, it’s about simply keeping track of what’s going on around you. Take advantage of all the cheap, easy tools at your disposal—these days, most of us carry a fully functional multimedia studio around in our smartphones." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“Carving out a space for yourself online, somewhere where you can express yourself and share your work, is still one of the best possible investments you can make with your time.” —Andy Baio..." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "When she was young and starting out, Patti Smith got this advice from William Burroughs: “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 that name will be its own currency.”" (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you f---ing like something, like it.” —Dave Grohl..." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "When you share your taste and your influences, have the guts to own all of it. Don’t give in to the pressure to self-edit too much. Don’t be the lame guys at the record store arguing over who’s the more “authentic” punk rock band. Don’t try to be hip or cool. Being open and honest about what you like is the best way to connect with people who like those things, too." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Find the right credit, or don’t share." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Art forgery is a strange phenomenon. “You might think that the pleasure you get from a painting depends on its color and its shape and its pattern,” says psychology professor Paul Bloom. “And if that’s right, it shouldn’t matter whether it’s an original or a forgery.” But our brains don’t work that way. “When shown an object, or given a food, or shown a face, people’s assessment of it—how much they like it, how valuable it is—is deeply affected by what you tell them about it.”" (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "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." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“‘The cat sat on a mat’ is not a story. ‘The cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is a story.” —John le Carré..." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“Whatever we say, we’re always talking about ourselves.” —Alison Bechdel..." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it. When you teach someone how to do your work, you are, in effect, generating more interest in your work. People feel closer to your work because you’re letting them in on what you know." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“When people realize they’re being listened to, they tell you things.” —Richard Ford..." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“The writing community is full of lame-o people who want to be published in journals even though they don’t read the magazines that they want to be published in,” says writer Dan Chaon. “These people deserve the rejections that they will undoubtedly receive, and no one should feel sorry for them when they cry about how they can’t get anyone to accept their stories.”" (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "If you want fans, you have to be a fan first. If you want to be accepted by a community, you have to first be a good citizen of that community." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "If you’re only pointing to your own stuff online, you’re doing it wrong. You have to be a connector. The writer Blake Butler calls this being an open node. If you want to get, you have to give. If you want to be noticed, you have to notice. Shut up and listen once in a while. Be thoughtful. Be considerate. Don’t turn into human spam. Be an open node." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "If you want followers, be someone worth following. Barry Hannah said to one of his students, “Have you tried making yourself a more interesting person?” This seems like a really mean thing to say, unless you think of the word interesting the way writer Lawrence Weschler does: For him, to be “interest-ing” is to be curious and attentive, and to practice “the continual projection of interest.” To put it more simply: If you want to be interesting, you have to be interested." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“being good at things is the only thing that earns you clout or connections.”" (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Relax and breathe. The trouble with imaginative people is that we’re good at picturing the worst that could happen to us. Fear is often just the imagination taking a wrong turn. Bad criticism is not the end of the world. As far as I know, no one has ever died from a bad review. Take a deep breath and accept whatever comes. (Consider practicing meditation—it works for me.)" (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Strengthen your neck. The way to be able to take a punch is to practice getting hit a lot. Put out a lot of work. Let people take their best shot at it. Then make even more work and keep putting it out there. The more criticism you take, the more you realize it can’t hurt you. Roll with the punches. Keep moving. Every piece of criticism is an opportunity for new work. You can’t control what sort of criticism you receive, but you can control how you react to it. Sometimes when people hate something about your work, it’s fun to push that element even further. To make something they’d hate even more. Having your work hated by certain people is a badge of honor. Protect your vulnerable areas. If you have work that is too sensitive or too close to you to be exposed to criticism, keep it hidden. But remember what writer Colin Marshall says: “Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide.” If you spend your life avoiding vulnerability, you and your work will never truly connect with other people. Keep your balance. You have to remember that your work is something you do, not who you are. This is especially hard for artists to accept, as so much of what they do is personal. Keep close to your family, friends, and the people who love you for you, not just the work." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "Do you have a troll problem? Use the block button on social media sites. Delete nasty comments. My wife is fond of saying, “If someone took a dump in your living room, you wouldn’t let it sit there, would you?” Nasty comments are the same—they should be scooped up and thrown in the trash. At some point, you might consider turning off comments completely. Having a form for comments is the same as inviting comments. “There’s never a space under paintings in a gallery where someone writes their opinion,” says cartoonist Natalie Dee. “When you get to the end of a book, you don’t have to see what everyone else thought of it.” Let people contact you directly or let them copy your work over to their own spaces and talk about it all they want." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "You just have to be as generous as you can, but selfish enough to get your work done." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "“Work is never finished, only abandoned.” —Paul Valéry..." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)
  • "You can’t be content with mastery; you have to push yourself to become a student again. “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough,” writes author Alain de Botton." (Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!)

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