Most artists and creatives, especially budding ones, hesitate to put their work out there. We are a lot more cautious than we should be and I was no different. But the book Show Your Art by Austin Kleon changed my perspective and helped me understand that there is more to showing your art than just getting discovered.
In this article, I am going to briefly share my learnings from this book. If you want to know more about how this book helped me put my work out there more confidently, then definitely check out my video!
I discovered this book through Ali Abdaal, a YouTuber that I follow. When he spoke about how the book changed his life, I had to check it out. It also helped that it’s a very quick read.
This book is broken down into 10 different sections and here’s what I learnt from each of them:
- As an amateur, you’ll find that you’re able to empathise better with the challenges of a fellow amateur who is a few steps behind you in their journey compared to a professional who is farther along in their art journey. So by sharing your learnings, however basic, you add value for them.
- Share not just your product but also your process and journey. It’ll help your audience connect with you and your art more.
- Share something small every day. Small is the operative word there, this means you don’t have to create something elaborate just to share but little things that educate, inform, or entertain works. The idea here is to get consistent and therefore confident.
- Share your inspirations and techniques without the fear of being copied. No one but you can do you. Only by sharing will you find your voice, discover yourself better, and help others with similar interests discover you.
- Don’t hesitate to talk about yourself but make it a good story. How can you tell a good story? By doing it over and over again till you get there!
- You learn more by teaching. No matter where you are in your journey, you’ve got something to teach and when you do, you learn more about your own process and discover how you can make it better.
- Focus on quality over quantity and don’t chase numbers. Don’t share or post just for the sake of sharing and once you’ve built your community, work on finding a way to listen to them and nurture a relationship with them.
- Learn to take criticism and while you can’t control what people say, you can learn to control how you respond to it.
- There’s no shame in “selling out”. Get over the idea of the starving artist and start charging for your work. Start small but start. It helps both stay motivated and fuel your future work. And remember to pay it forward.
- Show up and stay consistent. Everything we’ve talked about in the previous points is taxing and takes effort but the key is to stick with it and stay consistent.
A bonus tip: Take time off. It’s important to rest and rejuvenate, especially if you're an artist or a creative. And plan it so your body and mind don’t have to force you to.
I hope I inspired you to read this book since it was extremely helpful for me and I keep going back to it when I feel a little down. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear more about it. If you’d like to know more about this book, check out my video where I share in more detail how it’s impacted me!