Like his previous book, Steal Like an Artist, this book points pathways to new adventures for creative individuals — which is to say, PEOPLE — everywhere. Laid out in words and pictures chunked into 10 succinct pointers, sprinkled with supporting quotes and anecdotes, Show Your Work masterfully simplifies the beautifully complex creative impulse we all share. Kleon’s collected observations show us how to grow our own imaginations through sharing our work with the world — even in process.
Here’s the 10 pointers:
1. You don’t have to be a genius.
2. Think process, not product.
3. Share something small every day.
4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities
5. Tell good stories.
6. Teach what you know.
7. Don’t turn into human spam.
8. Learn how to take a punch.
9. Sell out.
10. Stick around.
My initial reaction: well, I feel like I’ve got #5 and #10 covered, so 2 down and 8 to go!
Kleon lives his ideal by openly sharing the book’s secrets in this article. Read this to learn a little more about each of the 10 “secrets.” This also demonstrates how showing your work grows your audience: you still want to buy the book itself after reading this summary, and even more, now you’re more likely to share his work — and your own.
The most exciting thing about reading this book? The prospect of putting these ideas into action — and then awaiting even more inspiration from Austin Kleon! He says he starts working on his next book as soon as he finishes a project. So even as he enters the swirl of release events and book tours and giving a keynote address at SXSW Interactive 2014, I know Austin Kleon has already begun working on his next great thing. Can’t wait!