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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works...." Matthew 5:16
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...
Published 10 months ago by Robert Morris

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139 of 147 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great writing style, fairly empty book
Kleon has an engaging writing style. His illustrations are cute. He is an able curator of interesting quotations. But this book is mostly devoid of meaningful or useful content. Here is some of the advice you'll receive:

- Put your work out there, share it with others regularly
- Meet up with people in real life, not just on the Internet
- Don't be...
Published 10 months ago by Evelyn


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139 of 147 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great writing style, fairly empty book, March 13, 2014
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Kleon has an engaging writing style. His illustrations are cute. He is an able curator of interesting quotations. But this book is mostly devoid of meaningful or useful content. Here is some of the advice you'll receive:

- Put your work out there, share it with others regularly
- Meet up with people in real life, not just on the Internet
- Don't be afraid to make money off your creative work
- Keep going
- Maintain an e-mail list
- Give proper credit when you refer to other people's work

I won't spoil the rest--if you do read the book, you'll see that I'm not simplifying anything in that list. He goes into zero detail about *how* you should do any of those things, which leads me to believe that he considers the suggestions themselves as worthy of paid publication. Even as free blog posts, most of these chapters would leave me asking, "And...?" This is a catchy write-up of the most banal common knowledge on the topic.

I loved Steal Like An Artist (and still do), but this book was not worth the money or the time I spent on it. Big disappointment. I will probably still buy his next book, but I hope I won't have to return it like this one.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works...." Matthew 5:16, March 18, 2014
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This review is from: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Paperback)
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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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this, then write, February 28, 2014
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This review is from: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Paperback)
I study innovation, and one of the most common misunderstandings of that process is thinking that it is all about having ideas. It's not. To innovate, you have to have great ideas, but then you have to execute them & make them real. And once you've done that, you have to get the idea to spread. All three parts are essential.

Steal Like an Artist is great for the first part - having more, and better, ideas. But that's actually the easiest part. Making things real and getting ideas to spread are both harder. Show Your Work gives excellent guidance for how to approach these two steps. The idea part is glamourous, so this book will probably be less popular than Steal Like an Artist. But Kleon has done outstanding work with this book - it's actually more important, and more valuable.

If you're interested in actually having an impact with your ideas, then you should read this book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hit!, March 8, 2014
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One thing I've always strived to improve has been my transparency. It's also one of the things I've always struggled most with. It's just not instinctual to me. I literally have to pour my time and energy into showing pieces of myself and my work to the world. And it's not even just my work--I don't even update my personal Facebook on a regular basis.

When I realized what Austin Kleon's newest book was about, I knew I had to have it. The theme is Show Your Work. How apropos. Once I had it in my hands, there was so much for me to learn. Here are a few of my favorite lessons from each chapter:

1. You don't have to be a genius.

Anyone can share their art. There are no limits here.
"You can't find your voice if you don't use it."
"Raw enthusiasm is contagious."

2. Think process, not product.

It's not about the final product; it's about the journey.
"We're not all artists or astronauts. A lot of us go about our work and feel like we have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way."

3. Share something small every day.

You don't have to post something big. Share small things on a regular basis and you'll keep up your momentum.
"Put yourself, and your work, out there every day and you'll start meeting some amazing people." - Bobby Solomon
You should be continually asking yourself this question: "What are you working on?"
Whatever you do, do not overshare.

4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.

If someone shares something and you like it, share it, too.
"Your influences are all worth sharing because they clue people in to who you are and what you do--sometimes more than your own work."

5. Tell good stories.

If someone asks you about yourself, tell the truth and tell it with dignity and self-respect. You have to own who and what you are.
Ultimately, humans just want to connect.

6. Teach what you know.

Pass it on. By teaching, you may learn something yourself.
"The minute you learn something, turn around and teach it to others."

7. Don't turn into human spam.

Just because you have the power to share does not mean you should overshare.
"Make the stuff you love and talk about the stuff you love and you'll attract people who love that kind of stuff."

8. Learn to take a punch.

Learning to take constructive criticism is one of the most important skills you can learn. You need to be able to put yourself out there and take a hit once in a while.
"Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide." - Colin Marshall
"Your work is something you do, not who you are."

9. Sell out.

Sellout is a dirty word. You have to make your money somewhere.
"You just have to be as generous as you can, but selfish enough to get your work done."

10. Stick around.

Don't give up. You might have to keep working at it for a long while before you get where you want to be. The trick is to never stop trying.
"Don't quit your show. Life is very hard without a show, kids." - Dave Chappelle
Never stop. Done with one project? Move onto the next immediately. Never lose momentum.

Every time I crack open a book by Austin Kleon, I take a piece of advice with me. It doesn't matter if I've never read it before or if I've cracked that spine open a thousand times before. There is always something new to learn. I highly suggest you invest in your future by getting a copy of Show Your Work now. While you're at it, grab a copy of Steal Like An Artist if you haven't already. It's worth it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Follow Up, February 25, 2014
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This review is from: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Paperback)
It is entirely likely that you will not find anything in this book that you did not already know but that by no means detracts from the value of what is being said.Simple encouraging and practical "Show Your Work!" delivers real life solutions with a common sense approach. Easily digestible in a 30 minute sitting it is well worth it. If your already doing some or all of the things in this book you'll feel like your on the right track and if you're not doing any of them you'll get a edifying nudge in the right direction.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Read book for anyone doing anything., February 20, 2014
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This review is from: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Paperback)
I was going to say "must-read book for anyone doing anything creative." But why stop at creative? We're all creative.

Austin Kleon in "Show Your Work" unleashes the creative. He banishes the excuses. He tells stories of artists. Tells his own stories. Compares the creative process now (with social media, etc) as opposed to earlier periods.

Like many people, I often think I know what I'm doing. But I don't. "Show Your Work" is about that - it's about showing your work, which means doing it - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I kept thinking while reading the book, "Yeah, I've been in this situation. And he describes EXACTLY how I should handle it." Then I'd go to the next chapter and the same thoughts would happen.

Most of all, the book is inspiring. How do I know? I read the book and instantly went to the computer and wrote. And I'm still writing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, April 16, 2014
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This review is from: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Paperback)
Austin Kleon is a great writer. He just tells it how it is without a lot of pretense or foreplay. This book is a fast read that just tells you what you need to know. I highly recommend all of his books......
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars cute little book, May 12, 2014
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This review is from: Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered (Paperback)
a cute little book, with some creativity inside, but nothing that was eye-opening or life-changing.
might be better for younger kids- highschool age
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad. I just expected much more, April 16, 2014
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crymyth (Gallo Manor, Gauteng South Africa) - See all my reviews
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I got a few small tips out of it, but i really expected much more.

This book is for anyone who doesn't know the art of online blogging and knowledge sharing.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategies to channel our focus, April 11, 2014
Show Your Work! is really a novel conceptual idea. The author, Austin Kleon, deserves a world of credit for his ability to weave such profound conceptual ideas into a body of work that really appeals to his audience. He knows his subject matter well, and that is demonstrated page-by-page.

I came across this book after reading Creativity, 63 short exercises to a Happier Life by Dr. Andrew M. Goodman. It is another great book in the genre that speaks to the artist/creative types who sometimes need strategies to channel our focus and realign our imaginations. It can be easy to get caught up, but these two books definitely resonate with me and put me back in a good place where I'm able to thrive. I would definitely recommend both Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon as well as Creativity: 63 Short Exercises to a Happier Life by Dr. Andrew M. Goodman. They will be your lifesavers!
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Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
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