One of the things that I struggle with most as an illustrator is sharing my work – I think the fact I don’t yet have any work on this blog is testament to that! There’s something about being creative that makes it very scary to show your work to people; every time you do you’re essentially baring a little bit of your soul and inviting the world to critique it which is terrifying! So, I was very glad when I came across this book last week. The aptly named Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon contains 10 insights to help you come to terms with showing your work and to realise that it really doesn’t have to be that scary. It’s thanks to this little book that I am sitting here now writing a blog post that comes completely from the heart rather than attempting to sustain a self-promotional channel in which I write about a version of me that doesn’t actually exist! When you accept who you are, accept that every day is about getting better rather than being perfect, you can engage with people in a much more authentic way. Suddenly I feel less scared of the criticism, more able to accept it as part of my every day practice and separate my work from my self. So, with special thanks to Austin Kleon for taking the time to write such a wonderous little read I would like to share my top 3 insights from his book:
3. “Keep your balance. You have to remember that your work is something you do, not who you are. This is especially hard for artists as so much of what they do is personal. Keep close to your family, friends and people who love you for you, not just the work.”
2. Take “The Vampire Test. It’s a simple way to know who you should let in and out of your life. If, after hanging out with someone you feel worn out and depleted, that person is a vampire. If, after hanging out with someone you still feel full of energy, that person is not a vampire…..Should you find yourself in the presence of a vampire….banish it from your life forever.”
1. Share something small every day.