3-2-1 Book Review: Austin Kleon's "Show Your Work"


When it comes to putting yourself or your work out there in the world, sometimes it feels like standing on the edge of a bridge waiting for the right moment to bungee jump.  Both of Austin's books "Steal Like and Artist" and "Show Your Work" feel like a kick in the back.  I've heard it said that great writers give people permission, and this book gives creators permission to do the things they feel inspired to do. Thanks Austin!

3 Big Ideas:

1.  Be an Amateur

Amateurs do things because the love them, are willing to take chances, look stupid, experiment, fail, and learn.  Austin says that the best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to,  "Think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning in front of others."

2.  Vampire Test

Vampires literally suck the life out of you.  There are people, jobs and projects that are vampires.  Spend time with people and work that gives you life, not with the vampires.  Run your work and relationships through the vampire test and adjust accordingly!

3.  Find a "Scenius"

Some people think that to be creative you need to be some sort of a genius.  Instead of relying on your own "genius," create a "scenius" what Austin calls a scene of people that become your collaborators and co-conspirators.  Start meeting with and dreaming with people who love what you love.

2 Things I'm going to do:

  • Share something small every day - What I'm working on, my influences, things that I have learned etc.
  • Throw out old work - Getting rid of old work makes room for new and better work.  Bob Goff says to "Quit something every Thursday."  I need to get rid of some Pickle Vintage stuff to make room for new stuff.  Make sure to check our Instagram (@picklevintage) for some giveaways!

1 Quote:

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

Check his stuff out at austinkleon.com