'Show Your Work!' by Austin Kleon Book Review


Way back in 2013, I wrote a book review on 'Creative Inc.' by Ilasco & Cho, it helped me process everything a little bit further, and it also help others get the best parts of the book at a quick glance. I thought I’d do another book review today, because I’ve finally finished a new book! And no it didn’t take me this long to read. I just never have time set aside for reading. (Ahem, excuses!) 

So, while I was away on my honeymoon, I finally had time to pick up Austin Kleon’s ‘Show Your Work!’ If you haven’t heard of Austin Kloen before, you my friend are missing out. He’ll deliver in a small book, the most simple yet mind blowing advice as to how to up your game creatively. I picked up his first book ‘Steal like an Artist' about two years ago. In that book he defaces the pressure of trying the be original by simply taking apart and showing us how real artist's actually think. So when he released 'Show Your Work!' in April this year I knew I had to get my hands on it quick to get another glimpse into his genius mind. What I love most about the way Kleon writes, is that it really can't get much easier than a bullet point like style of writing and also the visuals help. You can easily get through both his books in a day.

One of the hardest problems for an artist is to get the world’s attention and have people notice your work. You can have all the talent but if no one is watching, what good would that be of getting noticed? In this book Kleon helps break down how an artist should get one self noticed in a straightforward and palatable way for anyone and everyone to do. It’s the next step forward from ‘Steal like an Artist’ “If ‘Steal like an Artist’ was a book about stealing influence from other people. This book is about how to influence others by letting them steal from you.” He shares the steps to getting noticed with practical advice like how to find your voice/style, getting into the flow of sharing online, to using the beast of social media to your advantage. 

Key quotes from ‘Show Your Work’:

"You can’t find your voice if don’t use it."

"By letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move more of our product."

"Overnight success is a myth. Dig into almost every overnight success story and you’ll find about a decade of hard work and perseverance."

"The act of sharing is one of generosity- you’re putting something out there because you think it might be helpful or entertaining to someone on the other side of the screen."

"The trick is no caring what everybody thinks of you and just caring about what the right people think of you." -Brian Michael Bendis

"Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough." - Alain de Botton

It’s a simple must read, and cost less than £7 to get quick pointers on how to take your creativity to a whole new level and start influencing the world. Go get it asap!

I’m going to try to read more, which means possibly I’ll be doing more of these review shindigs. What are you reading currently, any good recommendations worth the read?

Ps. some of you guys have told me that you’re reading this book for school, don’t cheat by using this summary- just go read it.