002. Show your work
“The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning in front of others.”
― Austin Kleon
So, I recently bought a book called “Show Your Work” By Austin Kleon. The idea in the book is that if you are in the privileged position to be an artist living in the digital age you also have a huge opportunity to share your work and your process.
Why share? In my view it is an opportunity to build a deeper story around what you are creating. When I was younger I bought all my music on CD and I loved to open the inlay card read the lyrics, admire the artwork and see who played on the tracks and who produced it.I loved Anything that gave me a deeper insight into the music. I would also buy any magazines with interviews and photography of the studio’s where they recorded. All of this created a story and a sense of inclusion around all the musicians I loved.
If your reading this on your phone you are also holding a multimedia studio that lets you document your process through photos, video, text, posts, shares and music. It has never been easier to build a story around your art. Could you imagine if Paul McCartney had a smartphone in abbey road for Sgt pepper?
That all sounds great, but what if you don’t like sharing? I’m not a natural sharer. There is a part of me that is selfish and secretive and has a "This is mine, go find your own, I don’t want you to steal my ideas!" attitude. All this stems of course from the typical dysfunctional musician's mind, where all your self-worth is tied up in how people perceive your work in the first place. Suffice to say, I’m totally over all that now; Not the most productive of mindsets. The truth is actually that the more you put yourself out there, the more your idea of self-worth will be not come from how people perceive you, but from helping other people share their work.
“It's not ready, I still have some tweaking to do." “If only I had put that tambourine in the 3rd verse, it would be right." Showing your work before its finished is a tough one, but in the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Art is never finished only abandoned."
Sharing is about building the story around what you are creating, inviting people to view how you do your thing and building a feeling of inclusion and community. So take a picture of what you're making #showyourwork and check out Austin kleon.