Show Your Work - by Austin Kleon




my notes

You don’t really find an audience for your work, they find you.

Today it is the amateur who has the advantage over the professional. Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results.
In the beginners mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind, there are few.

The stupidest possible creative act is still a creative act.

In this day and age, if your work is not online, it doesn’t exist.

Thinking about death every morning makes me want to live.

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

Take advantage of all of the cheap, easy tools at your disposal.

The day is the only unit of time that I can really get my head around.

I like to work while the world is sleeping and share while the world is at work.

Flow is the feed. It’s the pits and the tweets. Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. The magic formula is to maintain the flow while working on the stock in the background.

Don’t think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine.

Whether people show up or they don’t, you’re out there, doing your thing, ready whenever they are.

The number one rule on the internet: if you don’t include a link, no one can click it.

You’re never ‘keeping it real’ with your lack of proofreading and punctuation, you’re keeping it intelligible.

You should be able to explain your work to a kindergartner, a senior citizen, and everybody in between.

Tell the truth and tell it with dignity and self-respect.

Bios are not the plan to practice your creativity. We all like to think we’re more complex than a two-sentence explanation, but it’s usually what the world wants from us. Keep it short and sweet.

Strike all the adjectives from your bio. Don’t brag. Just state the facts.

If you want fans, you have to be a fan first.

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.

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 opinions.

You just have to be as generous as you can, but selfish enough to get your work done

Chain-smoking: use the end of one project to light up the next one.

Learn out in the open.