Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Book review|| Top 5 lessons I learned from a book.

Pictures of people showing their talents

I’ve been wanting to do a book review on one of the books I read of recent, not necessarily a complete book review just picking out lessons I’ve learnt from the book tittled Show Your Work. Austin Kleon is a writer who draws, the author of Steal Like an Artist and Keep Going. His writing pattern makes his book easy to read and interesting. 

Show Your Work uncovers 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered and teaches how to become a better creative. It’s a book loaded with amazing contents and it’s a book I recommend to anyone that desires to be creative. Now doing a book review on this book would be massive but I just want to share Top 5 lessons I learned from this book that interests me the most. Here they are.

1. Be An Amateur.

This is a subheading under the first creativity tool Austin Kleon shared You don’t have to be a genius, Find a Scenius, which snuff out the idea of a perfect talented creative who is an ocean of inspiration, goes on to deeply explain the Scenius as the one who contributes and communicate ideas. Sceniuses are collaborate to make masterpieces by copying and sharing ideas. 

Who is an amateur  ” The amateur- the enthusiast who pursues her work in the spirit of love, regardless of the potential for fame, money or career.” The author makes us understand that what drives the amateur artist is not the fame or money he would get from being a creative nor the tag of being a professional in the career. But the love and passion of that particular thing he wants to create or master, in that spirit he cares less of how awesome the end product is going to be because the delight is in the creating. They are at advantage over the professional because for them they have nothing to lose or be afraid of they take their chances and try their hands on what they can not minding the mistakes or how the public will view them they just dive in and experiment. 

While the professional takes his time, the amateur has produced more works than he can dream of thereby mastering the field. Like Austin Kleon said: sometimes Amateurs have more to teach than experts He ended by saying; The best way to flourish is to retain an amateur’s spirit and embrace uncertainty and the unknown. Here’s the link to check out the beginning of my amateur journey as an artist.

A quote


2. Think Process Not Product


To all viewers but yourself, what matters is the product: the finished work. To you, and you alone, what matters is the process”. From Art and fear.

This part hit hard you know, the experience that one gets in shaping the artwork is the art itself not the finished work, the story behind the work, the source of inspiration and how it interacts with your being. I guess that’s a major part of what makes art ”ART”, that is why you would see a piece and somehow it will teleport you to feel as the creator felt when he/she created that piece.


PROCESS IS MESSY, Austin Kleon encourages us to share our vulnerability. This is something we find hard to do or relate to others, sometimes close friends laugh in your face on how ridiculous the idea or painting is until they see the final piece and are wowed.

“But human beings are interested in other human beings and what other human beings do”

 I learnt that process is what matters the most when we share with people the day to day progress of our work or what we do, (process) we tend to form a unique bond with our audience and allow the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work.

3) Become A Documentarian Of What You Do.

For you to be able to show your work become a documentarian of what you do. Here he told the story of an astronaut Chris Hadfield who got recognition by recording his day to day activities in Space. Start journaling, write down your thoughts, speak them into an audio recorder. Take photographs of your work at different stages. He made me understand that this isn’t about making art, it’s about keeping track of what’s going on around you. Take advantage of the available tools, *share something small every day “put yourself, and your work out there every day, and you’ll start meeting some amazing people.” By Bobby Solomon

Whether you share or not documenting and recording your process as you go has its rewards: you’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and I feel like you’re making progress when you record day to day work that takes a lifetime. Focus on days. Once a day after you’ve done your day’s work go back to your documentation and find one little piece of your process you can share. Don’t show your lunch or your latte; show your work.

Like we all agree that packaging is what makes the difference regardless of quality and quantity. This is a very good skill to learn

The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it. Still on the structure of your work and how you present it to your audience. I am talking about Art Work ( creative work)  which is more or less marketing and how you sell what you have.

A quote by Austin kloen

5) Learn To Take A Punch


Which is the last lesson I want to talk about. The author talked on taking criticism without making it personal. I somewhat find it hard to do. He made me understand putting your work out there brings a lot of compliments as well as criticism. He uses the skeletal system to buttress his point.

1) Relax and Breathe: he said that the trouble with imaginative people is that we are good at imagining the worst which I agree. He ends by saying bad criticism is not the end of the world. So take a deep breath and accept what comes.

2) Strengthen your neck: put out a lot of work out and let people take their best shot. So you practically learn how to take hits because the more you get the more adjusted you would be.

3) Roll with Punches: This has to do with getting adjusted with the criticism he says to see them as opportunities. you can’t control the criticisms you receive but you can control how you react to it.

4) Protect your Vulnerable areas: I’ll just quote the author Colin Marshall says: “Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is a form of suicide.” If you spend your life avoiding Vulnerable ability, you and your work will never truly connect with other people.

5) Keep your balance: what the author said in this part is hard to do because as a creative we tend to be emotionally connected to our works. “You have to remember that your work is something you do, not who you are.

“The Trick is not caring what EVERYBODY thinks of you and just caring about what the RIGHT people think of you.” Brian Michael Bendis.


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Eke Ihuoma
the authorEke Ihuoma
French tutor and Translator
My name is Eke ihuoma I'm a lifestyle blogger, i love writing and sharing my thoughts, my creativity daily experiences and perception of life asides this I'm a linguist by profession, I'm enthusiastic about languages, art, music, nature, photography. I'm a visual artist aswell.

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