As a creative entrepreneur, getting your work noticed is on the top of the agenda. According to Austin Kleon it is as easy as showing your work.
How exactly does one go about showing your work?
In order to get an audience for your work, you need to be ‘findable’. Be active on social media or create a blog or use any platform that makes it easy for you to be open about what you are working on. Posts bits and pieces of what you are working on on-line. Sharing helps to gain an audience that can be leveraged for fellowship, feedback and patronage.
Sharing your ideas publicly can be quite a scary thought. What if they are rejected? What if someone steals them? Creativity has always been a social act. Art movements such as Dada-ism, Cubism and Surrealism (to name only a few) were not created in a vacuum. Artists gathered in cafes and chatted about their work. They supported each other’s exhibitions and used them as inspiration for new works of art, creating a cycle of creativity. Kleon states that “Creativity is always, in a sense, a collaboration, the result of a mind connected to other minds”.
What if I don’t have anything to share?
If you aren’t sure of what to share, why not find something you’ve always wanted to learn and make a commitment to learn that in front of others. Sharing what you learn is a good way of attracting others that share your interests, which can lead to new teachers and information.
What if your work doesn’t lend itself to sharing?
An important distinction to make is that of the difference between the process and the product of the process. More often than not, it is the process of how you do what you do that interests people the most. Take people behind the scenes. Sharing your day to day process allows you to form a unique bond with your audience. People are interested in other people and what they do.
How exactly do I go about sharing my process?
Document what you do. Start a work journal, record your thoughts, start a scrapbook, what ever method of documentation feels natural to you. Take photos of your work at different stages and share them. Kleon claims that documenting your work in itself is a useful and rewarding process. You will see the work you are doing clearly and feel like you are making progress. When you are ready to share, you will have a surplus of material to choose from.
Why should I share my work?
There are numerous reasons for sharing your ideas. You will eventually build a following that you can rely on for information, inspiration and perhaps patronage. Sharing your work will connect you with others that have similar ideas and tastes, thus creating a network of individuals you can use to sculpt and refine your ideas.
If you would like to learn more about sharing your work, I recommend reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, where we take an in- depth look at where we can find things to share.