If you liked Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, then you’re going to love Show your Work! Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered follows the same format as Steal Like an Artist, a quick read but one you’ll find yourself going back to time and time again.
You’re creative and you know how to promote the things or people you like. You’re all over that, but somehow it all falls apart when it comes to promoting yourself. You can figure out how to create a blog and ask your family and closest friends to go to it, but that’s only going to take you so far. Today you need to self-promote on social media. Did that just send chills down your spine… self-promote on social media? I feel like I’m trying to show-off… what will I say?… what if someone says something mean.
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I teach graphic design at the college level and I notice a similar traits with my truly creative and talented students. Doubt and fear. My most talented students all doubt and question themselves. Creatively you can see they naturally just get it and the talent is there for them, however when they talk about getting work in the field out comes the doubt and fear. Now on the other hand, some of my less talented students talk up a storm and I’m convinced they must be the most creative person in the room. Until it comes time to produce. They can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Doubt and fear aren’t the problems, creative ability is. So why is it they have no problem promoting themselves and my other students do? I doesn’t really matter why, what matters is we figure out how to get past the fear and doubt and get the work out there. The world needs more amazing work, not big talkers!
“I don’t like publicity—it embarrasses me—but as most people buy pictures more through their ears than their eyes—one must be written about and talked about or the people who buy through their ears think your work is no good—and won’t buy and one must sell to live—so one must be written about and talked about whether one likes it or not—It always seems they say such stupid things.”—Georgia O’Keeffe
Pre-social media, Georgia O’Keeffe was right. She was also lucky to have her art promoter/husband, Alfred Stieglitz, to do that talking which got those ears listening and buying. If you don’t have a famous art promoter husband that’s ok, you’re in luck… all you need is the internet and Austin Kleon‘s book Show your Work!: 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered.
Show Your Work! takes away that chill down your spine feeling when you think about self-promotion. You’ll read it and say ‘oh, I get it and it’s not so scary.’ I truly liked this book and I already bought an extra copy for a friend. I plan on buying more! Give it a read and let me know what you think. What stuck with you? What piece of advice helped you the most?