|This padfolio could be yours!|
As I noticed I was coming up on my 1600th post, the number struck me as auspicious, worthy of pointing out, a perfect pairing with another Austin Kleon post I've been saving to share, and calling for a giveaway. It's the giveaway part that's been holding up this post. I've decided to go with this padfolio which, in all honesty, is what's known as a "second" - a product that in some way, generally cosmetic, doesn't meet the specifications of the manufacturer. That's what happened here, a cosmetic flaw that the public may not have recognized but which glared at me, one I've played with a bit to make less obvious before letting it out into the world. It doesn't affect its usability but I can't in good conscience take money for it. And so - I'm giving it away!
Some wonder if blogging has become passe, insisting that no one reads them anymore what with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I still maintain that blogs are important and a richer, deeper, less fleeting expression worthy of the writer's, as well as the reader's, time. For someone who wants to "show their work" (as in the steps leading to the final product), it's a great format - at least it has been for me - and the feedback in the comments tells a fuller story than a simple click on a "like" button. Started during a difficult time when I couldn't motivate myself into the studio, I used it as "someone" to be accountable to, "someone" who would be sitting out there wondering why I wasn't posting progress. More than 10 years later, I still feel a responsibility to my readers that often gets me off my duff and getting something done so I can blog about it. So thank you for sticking with me!
That brings me to Austin Kleon's blog post: 3 Reasons Why You Should Show Your Work. He's written a book on the value of showing your work and as is his way, he makes simple sense, no reason to be embarrassed. The following three reasons, I realized, are pretty much why I blog.
- Documenting your process helps your progress.
Keeping track of what you’ve done helps you better see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re headed. It’s also a great way to hold yourself accountable — if you dedicate yourself to sharing a tiny bit of your process every day, you’re forced to actually do the work you should be doing.
- Sharing your process reaps the benefits of self-promotion without the icky feelings.
People are often just as interested in how you work as much as the work itself. By sharing your process, you invite people to not only get to know your work, but get to know you — and that can lead to new clients, new projects, and all sorts of other opportunities.
- Building an audience for what you do creates a valuable feedback loop.
Christopher Hitchens said the best thing about putting out a book is that it’s a “free education that goes on for a lifetime.” As you gain fans and followers by sharing your work, they will, in turn, share with you. Even when the feedback is bad, it can lead you down new paths.
There you have it - great reasons to show your work, great reasons to blog about it. And now I'd like to hear from you. In order to qualify for the giveaway, leave a comment below telling me your favorite thing about my blog. Is it sharing of my process or what inspires me? Is it introducing you to other artists or bringing you along to exhibits? Perhaps you enjoy my "deep thoughts" quotations and musings, or discovery of tools and products or techniques. Whatever it is that brought you here and brings you back, that you look forward to seeing or hearing about, that you wish there was more of or even less of, I'd like to know. You'll have until next Monday (April 25) to add a comment, and if you are "anonymous" or "unknown" designation, be sure to add your name to your comment. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!