Inspiring me

Inspiring Me Icon.jpgThis week is a bit different to how I have been doing it.  If you read the blog in the past week or have read my Facebook page in the past week you know I am loving the books by Austin Kleon at the moment.

I have read two of his books in the last week. Steal like an Artist and Show your Work. Oh my gosh.  I wrote copious notes in my planner after reading these books.  I have also had copious thoughts running through my head.  Crystallising what I write about and where.  What do I share.  How do I share it. What do I include?  What do I leave out?

So many thoughts.  SO.MANY.THOUGHTS.

They are not long books, at all. I read both of them in a couple of days but I am still processing them, and still thinking about them.  They are really straight forward plain english speaking reads.  No extra words that are not necessary.  His words that he has therefore pack a bit of a punch.

I did not resonate with all of the bits in the books, but honestly who the heck would??  We are all different and in different places and do different stuff and will all get out different takeaways from what we read.  What I did get out of his books is so much more than enough.  I feel like a light was turned on for me and I got it.

In the way we assimilate information and the way it influences us.  The way we look at influences and the way we are inspired and grow as artists. Also what that says about us as artists or creators and what that says about us.  Allowing another form of connection and another backstory to our work.  How we contribute to growing that influence that inspires us.  What we bring or add to that story.

I feel like I was half way there, floundering in the dark a bit, but all of a sudden a light came on.

The Show your Work book had a similar moment for me.  The front half of the book just turned up the illumination I was already feeling.  I took so many notes from the top half of the book.  All into my planner, sparkling so many ideas and realisations and potential new directions.  I felt really motivated and excited to get started which I realise now may have influenced how I felt about the second half of the book.  Like I was speed reading it so I could get started with the doing.

So I have just decided to reread this book, to see what I missed in my Austin-Kleon-Inspired frenzy. :)  I suspect as I reflect while I write that I did see the last half of the book as an obstacle to get through while I was so inspired to begin.  I really was that excited.

My takeaways from this book were about the actual sharing.  How that is done.  Why you do it.  And the fact that it is not just about me showing you finished products or what I am working on.  It is about letting you see me, letting me add to the story.  Allowing you also to not like me which is a bit scary, especially to a people-pleaser that likes to be liked by everyone.  Keeping it real rather than censoring parts of me that may make you realise I am not for you (and hoping that is not because I am a bad person ~ because that is where my head goes to).  In doing that though I will find the people who really are for me.  Inviting much deeper connections.  Still scary stuff though!

It is not just about posting every day but about the quality of what you are posting.  Not the quality of your work in any sort of judgment frame of mind but in the quality of the connection you make.  It is that missing piece that is so hard to capture.  You can show your work every day but unless you are also connecting (and it is a two way street) then you are missing half of the picture.

Anyway. I am going to stop here. I don’t want you to think that is all the book is about so you don’t have to get it.  It isn’t, I have paraphrased wildly from one section of the book, gotten distracted, and missed out all the really juicy stuff.  I think if you share any work online then you should read this book.  Fullstop.

As a refresher and refiner if you are doing it right and as a light switch if you are half way there and don’t know what the bit is that you are missing but feel you are missing something, or you are not sure where to go.

Also I have now turned into an Austin Kleon stalker and found these which I have also devoured.


Here is what has been inspiring me the past week!  :)


9 thoughts on “Inspiring me

  1. Well now, I just LOVE everything about this! The books sound wonderful – and I loved watching the video on “stealing.”
    I also wanted to say that I SO get you’re wanting to show your “audience” the real you, for lack of a better way to put it. I am going through that right now too – starting to allow pictures of myself, talk like I really would (instead of being more “professional”) as I totally agree that we need to be brave and let others really get to know us – as we are as much a part of our art as are the pieces we are working on.

    • Yes!! Be more “professional”. Honestly?! What is that?? I am not been paid like a professional now so I don’t know where I have gotten that idea from but it is time to rethink all of it! It all feels very timely.

      • Oh you two! Now you’ve got me thinking. See, my blog has always been ME and how I talk and what I like. I’ve been thinking should I cut those bits out and be more professional like so many of the blogs I follow… Going to need to get this second book too by the sound of it.

        As for stalking an artist – I absolutely get that Natasha ;) I go through phases of being obsessed with people.

  2. ooooooooh!!!! as if i need an excuse to read more books!! i’ve had these on my to-read list (a rather long mental one that tends to veer out of control, and we won’t talk about the swiss-cheese nature of my memory) but i think i’m going to have to bump them up to the top!


  3. Pingback: Tell me kingfisher | Natasha White Designs

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