Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Book Review: Show Your Work

show-your-workShow Your Work! by Austin Kleon, Workman Publishing, 2014.

After “Steal Like an Artist” Austin Kleon has some sound advice about how to market oneself and one’s work. As artists, creators and idea people we are regularly assured that it is one thing to produce the work, quite another to show and and sell it. Self-promotion is a tricky “thing” and generally represents an insurmountable obstacle most artists (more often than not self-described “extreme introverts”) find impossible to overcome. Austin Kleon turns around old mind-sets and introduces the idea of “self-discovery” by letting others into one’s creative process. Artists and creative minds will be tempted to “steal like artists”, by incorporating parts of one’s processes and ideas to create and eventually support a trend.

The book firmly supports the theory (and fact) that artists are not discovered by “just” spending time in their studio or work space creating. The author’s book is filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples. Show Your Work! offers a road map with ten transformational maps for becoming open, generous, brave, productive.

Chapters like Share Something Small Every Day and Stick Around provide a user manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity –  the foundation for an “ecology of talent.”

The book offers broad life lessons about work (you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it), the etiquette of sharing by avoiding oversharing, to the practicalities of Internet life, it is an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as an artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.

Reading the book I felt a strong connection with Austin Kleon’s philosophy. Teaching and sharing my passion for well over 15 years I always subscribed to being open and not holding back a technique, a special insight. My first teacher was my grandmother, if it wasn’t for her open sharing much of the knowledge would have died with her. I first started out teaching local workshops, always strongly believing in sharing what I knew. I continue to teach in this manner, and I strongly believe that this openness and commitment to keeping traditions and knowledge alive for future generations has served me well. It has brought me more teaching opportunities and exhibitions that I ever expected when I first started out. I so often detect the note of resignation among my artist friends, mentees and students with the statement “I want to show my work and have not idea about how to get my work out there…” Despair not more: Get your copy of “Show Your Work!” start reading and implementing the advice and you will not look back!

This entry was published on December 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm. It’s filed under Art, Book Review, Creativity Update, Design, Exhibition, In the News, Journaling, Motivational, Networking, Sharing Resources, staying in touch and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Show Your Work

  1. I have read both books too. They are definitely a must read for any creative person. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights, Anna. I always trust your recommendations.


    • Thanks for the comment, Susan. While reading both books I had several (do I dare admit – countless!!) ‘aha’ moments. I felt someone had been listening in on my lectures and workshops – it goes to show that what I have found out the hard way through experiences, Austin recognized early and was able to put the insights into a marketable product! 😉


  2. Carol Ewles on said:

    Thanks for sharing this insight as well Anna. I now know that I will have to read these 2 books very soon.


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