This book, “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon, which I found in the bookstore at the National Art Museum in Washington, D.C. appealed to me right away. It’s small, yellow, and has funny little drawings and urban haikus in it. I bought it at the end of June, and finally finished it yesterday.
It’s so inspiring! It inspired me to get a blog going of my artwork. The basic idea of this book is to share what you’re doing creatively. It suggests that you don’t post images of food, but of your work. It suggests that we not live in a bubble of private creativity, but to be public with our process. It never would have occurred to me to to that. I’m more of the wait, wait, wait for it… TA DA! kind of artist who wants to show a finished product rather than the journey.
But no more. I think that this book may have been one of the things that got me into the kind of groove I’m into right now, where I’m working on a painting, making dolls out of paper clay, and needle felting, all at once. And writing.
I’ve just started working with the needle felting, which I’m really crazy about, and have also just tried paper clay. I didn’t even know needle felting existed, and had never heard of paper clay before a month ago! Now I’ve got 5 dolls in various stages of preparation and some of them get hats made of felt.
Austin Kleon suggests that we read other peoples’ work, check out other folks’ sites and artwork, and be a part of the open source community of people who create things. It’s such a refreshing mindset! Don’t be mysterious, be available. And create a buzz just from your excitement and interaction with others. I love it.
At the end of the book, he says to post whatever we’re working on right now.
So here goes…
They are in various stages of being “finished”. The felt girl and the felt animal (whatever it is) are finished. I obsessively worked on the animal from the feet up for two days, and couldn’t stop, so I made the girl. Then her hat. Hee her! Told you I was into it.
I love the “Screwfoot” doll. And the strange angel doll. None of the paper clay people are finished, but it’s fun to be in process with them. I’m loving this renaissance moment of mine!