I recently read a great book titled SHOW YOUR WORK by Austin Kleon. I thought I would share my notes.
How to make a career as an artist? “ Be so good they can’t ignore you!” ~ Steve Martin
To build a career as an artist we have to share our work. You don’t find an audience, they find you. But it’s not enough to be good at what you do, you have to be findable. “In this day and age if your work doesn’t exist online it doesn’t exist.”
“Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your resume because he/she already reads your blog.
Imagine being a student and getting your first gig based on a school project posted online.
Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work and ready to help find you a new one.
Imagine turning a side project or hobby into a profession because you had a following that would support you. SHOW YOUR WORK” ~ Austin Kleon
The issue of creativity
“Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating” ~ John Cleese
Cultivate creativity by joining a community of practice, be apart of a creative scene. Don’t try to be the lone genius, join a “scenius!”
Discover with your peers the solutions to creative problems. It’s about contributing and helping others and the internet is a community of practice that you can join and contribute to easily.
- Read obituaries. Thinking about death makes you want to live and do something with your life.
- Think process not product
- Write a blog and contribute contact to other blogs and social media groups.
“The best way to get started on the path of sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn and make a commitment to learning it in front of others” Blogging about what you want to learn and sharing your research is a great way to develop an audience of people who are interested in similar issues. “Share what you love and the people who love the same thing will find you!”
There is the artwork and the work to make the art. We need to share our creative process. We need to share every step of the way in making our art. Process is messy. “By putting things out there consistently you can form a relationship with your customers. It allows them to see the person behind the products. Audiences want to be part of the creative process”
Become a documentarian of what you do.
- Start a work journal. Write, record, photograph and scrapbook at different stages.
- Shoot video of you working.
- Share something small every day.
- Once a day find a piece of your process to share.
Where you are in your process determines what you share.
- Early Stages: Share your influences and what inspires you. “We can share our taste by talking about the work of others while we build up our skills. Be sure to give credit and attributions such as back links to the sources of your influence and inspiration.
- In the middle: share your process, methods, or works in progress
- Just completed: Share the final product, share rejects, scraps, and reflect on what you learned
- Post completion: If you have lots of projects you can share how they’re doing and how people are interacting with your work.
Tell good stories!
“You might think that the pleasure you get from a painting comes from it’s color and shape and it’s pattern… but it doesn’t work that way. (Paul Bloom) It depends on what you tell them about the work.” Sharing this way is better than a resume.
“YOU WANT HEARTS, NOT EYEBALLS”
Social media is where we share these updates. Filmmakers like youtube and vimeo. Business people like LinkedIn. Writers love twitter. Visual artists love tumbler, instagram, and facebook.
- Spend 30 minutes once a day on social media
- Social media is not your diary… it’s about your work.
- Research hashtags that have the most followers and try to incorporate some of them in your posts
If you work on something a little bit each day you will end up with something massive.
Economics of FLOW and STOCK
Flow is the social media feed that reminds people that you exist.
Stack is the durable stuff that is still just as interesting two months or two years later. It is what people discover in a search query.
Creating flow allows you to look back and find patterns in your work. When you detect patterns you can turn them into something bigger and more substantial.
Tweets or facebook posts become blog post that become portfolios or books. Blog posts are an ideal way to turn FLOW into STACK. Blog posts are how people will find you on the internet.
Register a domain name and build a website with a blog feature. “Don’t think of it as a self promotion machine.” Think of it as a self invention machine because online you become the person you want to become. If you build a good name online eventually it becomes its own currency.
Use your website to teach what you know. Don’t be a human spam. Listen and cultivate active participation by your finds using social media as a two way exchange.
“Read more than you write, live more than you read” JunoT Diaz