Book Club Review – Show Your Work

5 Apr

At the March book club we discussed the book “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon. Since we had read his first book “Steal Like an Artist” awhile back, I wanted to read this one too. It’s not necessarily a sequel, as each book can stand alone. But he does refer to the first book a few times and I think it helps to have read it prior to reading this one.

Show your work by Austin Kleon

Show your work by Austin Kleon

His chapters are easy to read and full of common sense ideas. This book talks a lot about sharing what you do, finding an audience, acknowledging your inspiration, and just doing the work. It really does continue the theme that we all have ideas to share and that art is all about using what is available and finding ways to collaborate with each other and be OK with that.

good work isn’t created in a vacuum, and creativity is always, in some sense, a collaboration, the result of a mind connected to other minds

We are all part of a connection (and connect is my word of the year – funny how it always shows up) – with the social networks out there now, we can’t help but be connected with each other. Take advantage of that. Find your inspiration and your muse. Find those artists you like. Give credit when it is due. Don’t be stingy. Find the audience that likes you. Share what you are doing. Share your love of art and creativity. Teach others what you know. Pay it forward. Be a source of inspiration yourself!

make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff – it’s that simple

He also talks about money. Money is not the enemy. You need money to pay the bills and put food on the table (and for more art supplies of course!). It’s OK to sell your work and make money. There is no need to be a starving artist. You can make great art and sell it and still be a great artist. Of course you may never sell your art, but you still need money to pay the bills. Which is why a lot of artists also have another job. Which is OK. Don’t feel guilty about working and don’t feel guilty about selling your work. Don’t listen to the people who are telling you otherwise.

I enjoy Austin Kleon’s style of writing and his straight-forward way of thinking. His books are easy to read and I intend to read them again. Sometimes you just need somebody to tell you the real story and not sugar-coat it. 🙂

The main thing I took away from the book was to keep working and to share what I am doing. Which I have been doing on a small scale, but which I need to be doing more often.

Please share your thoughts about the book. I’d like to know what you liked or didn’t like about it.

You can visit Austin at his website if you are interested in knowing more about him.


Our next book will be “Creative is a Verb” by Patti Digh. We are going to spread it out over several months as there are a lot of exercises in the book that I’d like us to work though. For the next book club, which meets on April 24th at 1pm, just read Part 1, which is the first 3 chapters of the book. I hope you will join us.


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918




3 Responses to “Book Club Review – Show Your Work”

  1. kristin April 6, 2015 at 5:13 am #

    sounds like an interesting book- I may have to see if the library has it and if not- order a copy 🙂


    • Deb Prewitt April 6, 2015 at 8:41 am #

      hope you can find a copy – you should get both of the books at the same time. 🙂


  2. lynnk50 April 13, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    I enjoyed his books. I reviewed it last year, when I couldn’t find the book for the month. But it was worth reading again. I enjoy his common sense and humor! Here’s my review:


I love to read your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Royalty Free Images
%d bloggers like this: