Book Title: Show Your Work
Author: Austin Kleon
What is the key message in this Book?
Work is about process not product. By sharing your process, you can gain a following of like-minded people and form a unique bond with your audience. It’s the alternative way to self-promote!
Why should you read this Book?
e-Learning designers and creative people who are not typically big fans of self-promoting but know it’s something they really should be doing to build their business and grow in their careers.
My key takeaways from the Book
- Stop asking what others can do for you but focus on what you can do for others. Everyone has the ability to contribute.
- Great work doesn’t take place in a vacuum; creativity is a collaboration.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Contributing something is better than contributing nothing.
- Share what you love and those that love the same thing will find you.
- If you work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.
- See every day as an “extra day.” Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen.
- What matters is the process; the experience of shaping your artwork. It’s not about the product.
- You can share your sketches, work in process, pictures, what influences or inspires you, and the tools you use.
- Showing your work allows others to see the person behind the product(s). In general, humans love seeing what others are doing.
- Whatever you do, there is an art to what you do. There are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way.
- Sometimes, sharing the process may be more valuable than the product.
- Share something small every day! “What you are working on today” (e.g., email, blog post, YouTube video, animated GIF). You can turn these into something much bigger and substantial later.
- If you are early in the process, share your influences or what’s inspiring you.
- If you are in the middle of the process, share the methods you are using and samples of the work in process.
- If you at the end of your process, share what you learned and show the final results.
- If you have lots of projects out there, share what people are doing with them.
- Don’t let sharing take precedence over doing the actual work. 30 minutes a day should be sufficient for sharing what you are doing.
- Always credit others! Who did it? Why are you sharing it? Add some context and leave a few breadcrumbs back to the original source.
- The stories behind your work have a huge impact on how people feel about your work.
- Share your frustrations with things. Personal stories make the complex more tangible and spark associations.
- The minute you learn something, turn around and teach it to someone else. Share you reading lists. Share your resources.
- Engage with people who have the same passions and mission as you do.
- Your work is something you do, not who you are. Roll with the punches! Care about what the right people think of you, not what EVERYONE thinks.
If you are struggling with how to get noticed and get your name out there, read this book. I think it provides a ton of great advice and encourages you to think about your work as a never-ending process, teaches you how to share your process in a way that helps attract others that might be interested in your work, and how to deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out into the real world.
If you found this summary review useful, check out my Book Summaries page for more examples.