Lessons from Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work”

I was assigned to read Austin Kleon’s article on “10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered.” Of these ten tips in sharing and being discovered one drew my attention the most, part 8 “Learn to take a punch.” I art class we were always told to share constructive criticism. This both helped the artist see their mistakes and grow as well as causing us to think of our own work critically. What they don’t really explain in school is once you leave and shared your work, whichever kind it may be, not all criticism will be constructive. Kleon’s solution to this problem is not to combat those who critique but rather learn to go along with it. His strategy is to share your work, take the worst the world has to offer, move past it, and to continuing sharing your work. He perfectly states “The more criticism you take, the more you realize it can’t hurt you.” Knowing this makes me feel more comfortable sharing my work with more than just my circle of friends. My biggest worry was people not liking what I created with my ideas and skills. Now knowing that no matter what, there will be people who dislike or hate my work, and I do not have to concern myself with them. I will check to see if I can learn from their comments but otherwise their comments will have no affect on my confidence or work effort.

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