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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 March 2014
‘Show Your Work’ written by Austin Kleon in some way is a sequel of his earlier work ‘Steal Like an Artist’ where author gave numerous simple though useful advices how to unleash own creativity by borrowing ideas from the people around you.

In this sequel it appears that the author wanted to give more to people who liked his approach still offering format that proved successful – quotes from people you heard of, small chapters with black and white photos intertwined with some great tips the author is selflessly giving.

Kleon begins his book with his 10 very simple tips that are at the heart of his work – “You don’t have to be a genius”, “Think process, not product”, “Share something small every day”, “Open up your cabinet of curiosities”, “Tell good stories”, “Teach what you know”, “Don’t turn into human spam”, “Learn to take a punch”, “Sell out” and “Stick around”. And when you look at this list you see these are not some great wisdom, but the more you think of them you’ll see that this are great advices that we often ignore.

The author emphasizes how important is for each creative person to dive into own artistic personality and make those necessary changes in order to be better able to present to those people you see and want them to be your audience. It is important to note that this is not a classic self-help, which provides the steps you need to follow but more about the tips that every creative person will translate in what we do best and what we don’t do therefore paying attention to become more successful.

‘Show Your Work’ is book extremely easy to read, a reader can open it on any page, read few paragraphs and leave it at any time, because each part is the whole for itself. Given the above mentioned, Austin Kleon book can be recommended to anyone who wants to awaken the artist in him/herself or get the answer in which areas we are making errors in our approach; that is what often happens to artists engrossed in their world wondering what's wrong with the audience not seeing many opportunities provided.

The author calls on the sharing of ideas and works, and particularly with this book he deserved a good voice to be shared about it.
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on 7 March 2014
Austin Kleon's last book "Steal Like An Artist" still sits on my "favourites shelf' beside my bed. Perversely, I'm glad I only gave it four stars, because this new one deserves even more. It's a thoroughly enjoyable and insightful take on the vexed subject of how to share one's creative work with the world at large. Highly recommended for those of us who think we'd quite like to "get our work out there" but are spooked by the whole idea of self-promotion. In fact, it's rather more than that - its guiding philosophy is about contribution and being a part of something bigger. Don't imagine that it's 'holier than thou', it's anything but. It's a funky little book, with a generous heart.
It does assume, though, that 'getting the work out there' means getting it on the Internet. Austin, when you do a second edition, how about some thoughts on sharing work in the non-cyber world?
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on 20 September 2014
I'm a consultant and self employed and have read a lot of books on topics related to what Kleon talks about here. What particularly stood out for me about Austin's perspective is that when we are writing about our work, people want to see behind the veil. Others want to know how we do what we do almost more than what we do and this is a distinction I find really useful. Kleon writes with verve and heart and by writing in this way, the whole book embodies what he is teaching. And he brings a sense of lightness to showing our work that is a refreshing alternative to most other business development writers. Highly recommended.
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on 18 October 2015
I suppose if you have no one to converse with regards a creative slump then this book is like your best friend who understands all too well the doubts that arise for most creative practitioners.
The 'friend' is saying all the things you know already deep down but when you are stuck in the proverbial rut, you just struggle to realise them. So if its a kick up the behind that you need with a good dose of down-to-earth common sense then this little read is for you.
I found myself nodding in agreement and recognition throughout and it did give me a push forward and reasonably priced too.
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on 30 May 2014
This is an interesting book full of ideas of how to go about getting your work displayed or shown. It gets you thinking along the right lines and it's amazing how many more ideas, or versions of the ideas given, that come into your head. A really useful book and a great help.
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As Austin Kleon explains, his previous book, Steal Like an Artist, "was about stealing influence from other people" whereas "this book is about how to influence others by letting them steal from [begin italics] you [end italics]." I agree with him that "all you have to do is to show your work" but only if (HUGE "if") it's worth stealing and you know how to do that in terms of what, when, and where. Actually, he wrote this book "for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion." It's not enough to be very good. "In order to be found, you have to [begin italics] be findable [end italics]. I think there's an easy way of putting your work out there and making it discoverable [begin italics] while [end italics] you're focused on getting really good at what you do."

Kleon's two books can be of incalculable value to those who need help with creating content (whatever its nature and extent may be) and then help with attracting the interest and support of those on whom the success of the offering depends. It could be a product, a service, or both. Its target market could be singles, seniors, the unemployed or under-employed, new parents, do-it-yourselfers, beginners at whatever...you get the idea.

So, how to become findable? First, Kleon explains the need for developing a new mindset, one that will enable the reluctant self-promoter to think differently so that she or he can then operate differently. Here's his key point: "Almost all of the people I look up to and try to steal from today, regardless of their profession, have built [begin italics] sharing [end italics] into their routine. Next, he urges his reader to find what the musician Brian Eno characterizes as a "scenius": a group of creative individuals who make up an ecology of talent. "What I love about the idea of scenius is that it makes room in the story of creativity for the rest of us: the people who don't consider ourselves geniuses."

Then Kleon suggests ten specific observations and initiatives, devoting a separate chapter to each. The purpose of the first, "You don't have to be a genius," is an important reassurance that David and Tom Kelley also provide in their recently published book, Creative Confidence: Believing that only geniuses are creative "is a myth that far too many people share. This book is about the opposite of that myth. It is about what we call 'creative confidence.' And at its foundation is the belief that we are [begin italics] all [end italics] creative...Creative confidence is a way of seeing that potential and your place in the world more clearly, unclouded by anxiety and doubt. We hope you'll join us on our quest to embrace creative confidence in our lives. Together, we can all make the world a better place."

The other nine call for initiatives that almost anyone can take. Kleon suggests the most important do's and don'ts to keep in mind. Two key elements are repeatedly emphasized. First, share generously and continuously with those who comprise an appropriate (key word) ecology of talent: people who share common interest and goals, yes, but also common questions and concerns. Share what will be of greatest interest and value to them. Also, be yourself. Why? I like Oscar Wilde's response best: "Everyone else is taken." Each person is a unique work-in-progress. That's hardly an original insight but well-worth repeating.

Let's allow Austin Kleon the final observations: "Human beings are interested in other human beings and what other human beings do. Audiences today not only want to stumble across great work, they, too, long to be part of the creative process. By showing people your 'behind-the-scenes footage" [i.e. portions of incomplete and imperfect work], they can see the person behind the products, and they can better form a relationship with you and your work." So show it...and your authentic self in process.
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on 11 May 2014
Distilled unapologetic wisdom. Great read in one or two sittings. Feeling free to just be and share now more than ever. Thank you, Austin.
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on 15 June 2014
A great book; easy to read and with some really great actionable steps.
Made me really think differently about self-promotion.
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on 8 May 2014
Really enjoyed this book found it interesting and inspiring. Would recommend this book to friends and aspiring artists. Good value
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on 10 April 2016
At first I was thinking I know all this, but after reading it, it helped plant ideas about being visible in my mind in a way one can't forget as Kleon writes in a memorable way. A positive and realistic book that aids the sowing of seeds for any artist/creative person trying to put themselves and their work out in the world.
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