Steffen Muldbjerg

Frontend Developer - Luxion

5 tips from “Show your work”

I recently read ”Show your work” written by Austin Kleon – the first of what I except to be a lot of read throughs. It is about 200 pages and full of good tips and tricks. And still quick to go through.

I started like: “I will just look at a few pages in bed”. But ended up standing out of bed and finishing it the same night.

Here is 5 of the Austin’s great tips:

Austin Kleon's book "Show your work"

1. Sharing in your workflow

Is it really good enough to be shared yet? It’s easier to keep working on a project – and that’s sometimes the right thing to do. But according to Austin Kleon, the most successful creatives have sharing as a part of their workflow.

He has a blog where he shares a little thing every day. It keeps you moving on days, where it doesn’t come by itself. Let your work out.

2. Learn > Teach > Repeat

Teaching others what you just learned helps you better understand it yourself. And because you’re not (yet) a longtime expert, will make it easier to tech the essential in a down to earth fashion.

Making it easier for others to learn too. So please, share what you learned.

Image of rows from Austin Kleon's book "Show your work"

3. Give some of your time

Austin Kleon (and myself include) are not all that crazy about networking event. But he would still like to get to know inspiring people. His answer – social media.

Social media are a 2-wayed street. So, you can use it to get feedback, inspiration, chat with others. But remember to give back some of your time to your network. Share your thoughts, tips and try making others smile.

4. Remember to give credit

A simple tip – always remember to give credit. Mark where you get your inspiration. Who helped you. Where texts/images/graphics are from.

It makes sure you are on good terms with other people. And you can help others with their inspiration trail.

Of words 'Go on Google me' from Austin Kleon's book "Show your work"

5. Show process

The book emphasizes: don’t just share the results – show how you got there. The process is often the most interesting. Getting to look over the shoulder of other designers, developers, creatives. Getting to see how they tackle an obstacle.

So share your early sketches, old iterations of a logo, the perfect cup of coffee bringing the project over the goal line. Show it.

Of title 'Think process, not product' from Austin Kleon's book "Show your work"

The book is easy to read. The books doesn’t try to pass itself off as an academic scholar. But it motivated me to share more. The book meant it got this blog off the ground. And I’ll try to keep it up.

You can find Austion Kleon on twitter or his website. He also wrote other books, e.g. the infamous “Steal like an artist”.

Give it a read – I would love to hear what you thought of it is.