Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work is full of useful nuggets to motivate creatives and designers to put themselves out there and get discovered. While Kleon’s first book teaches you how to embrace inspiration from everyday influences, Show Your Work encourages readers to become the “artists that others want to steal from”.
All designers must eventually market their work at some point in order to get clients. But for some, networking and self-promotion is easier said than done. Today’s designers are being discovered online, and the Web has made it possible for designers to bring others into their creative process and actually let their networks do some of the connecting for them.
Here are a few things I learned.
- You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to know everything to have something of value to share with your audience. Believe in what you have to offer to the world.
- Think process, not product. The work you show doesn’t always have to be a masterpiece. Letting others into your process provides insight into how you think and view the world.
- Share something small everyday. Sharing is a relational activity. Get into the habit by sharing a little, and you may be surprised by how your audience returns the favor.
- Open up your cabinet of curiosities. Experiments build creativity and sharing them might open you up to an audience you didn’t know existed.
- Tell good stories. No matter the platform, think of your online presence as your story and be sure it reflects the one you want to tell. Teach what you know. Sharing your knowledge helps build your reputation as an expert and could also become another stream of income.
- Don’t spam! There’s an art to creative curation. Don’t overdo it and annoy your followers.
- Learn to take criticism. Anything online is subject to critique. Not everyone is going to like what you put out, and that’s okay.
- Stick around. Be consistent.
I highly recommend this book if you are a designer or creative looking for modern, innovative, and nontraditional ways to reinvent or share your portfolio online. Show Your Work can help spark some practical ideas to get your thoughts out of your head and into the faces of your target audience.
Purchase Show Your Work online at Amazon.com or pick it up today at your local bookstore.