Think Process, Not Product

In the follow-on book, Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Austin Kleon talks about the art-stealing process in reverse. Doing the giving rather than stealing. Here are my reflections on the topic in the book.

Take people behind the scenes

We have often been told that people do not care about how the sausage gets made as they only care about getting and eating the sausage.

That could very well be the case before the digital age except for this model of thinking is outdated.

If given a choice, most of us would like to understand better how people carry out their creative process.

Part of the learning is to understand and emulate experts’ doing till we are getting better as well.

In Scott Adams’ book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams also discussed the importance of having a system or a series of processes.

By showing the audience the process, how a piece of art gets made, the artist shows her humble and vulnerable side.

The generous sharing of the process can create an even stronger connection between the artist and the audience.

Become a documentarian of what you do

Sharing the process sounds like an excellent idea, but how?

How can you show your work even when you have nothing concrete to show?

Kleon suggests becoming a documentarian of what you do. Take advantage of all the cheap, accessible tools around us such as smartphones and laptops.

Document and record our progress as we go. This is not making art. It is not about making it pretty.

It is about capturing your experience and the materials. Those experience and materials, at some future point, just might turn into some sharable assets at your disposal.