It’s the end of the first week here at #PBandJterm. The keyboards are clicking. The smell of sharpie are on some people’s hands as they take some of Austin Kleon’s advice to heart. We’re a bunch of starving students, I mean artists. We’ve opened the door to the next stage of our lives. The stage where we become the content creators. We make what we love. The world is our oyster. So sit down, let me tell you a tale of the things that I learned this week.
1. We create things easier and better on paper!
Austin Kleon, (Hey it’s that guy again) said it in his book. He lives by the idea that analog creation is going to be better for you. While for some of us we may not be able to do something as drastic as having an analog and digital workstation as Kelby Lorenz did. It could mean just unplugging for a little bit. I tried that out myself last night, and it works wonders when you shut down for a little bit and work with a pen, sharpie, or anything for that matter.
2. “Don’t be Human Spam”
We’re a bunch of Austin Kleon fanboys/girls in this class. You have to be a part of the conversation. Talk with other people. He has a point and it really stood out to me when he said “Don’t be human spam”.
Human spam destroy the creation process. You don’t have to share everything. Leave a little bit of secrecy. Hoard some things. Take a moment to talk to someone about the process. Share some good work, share some of your best work, but don’t share all of it. Bask in the creative radiance of others. Don’t just be the guy who goes around taking and throwing his creation around and doesn’t care about what everyone else is creating. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Read. Look. Listen.
Like I said above. You can’t just go waving your stuff in people’s faces. There’s not much to say about this one. It’s all been said before by this little known guy named William Faulkner.
“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ― William Faulkner
4. Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum
This one may be a reiteration of the last two points. I think this is important though. I’ve spent most of my life shoving my art down other people’s faces. when my friends would send me poems I’d say to myself “I don’t have time to read them.”
I’d tell them later that I just forgot, or that I’m busy. In reality I didn’t think I had anything to learn from them. I thought I was better than them. That’s what I’m saying to people who create. “I am better than you.” Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Nothing new is under the sun. I’m not a special snowflake with talents and words and skills that have never existed before, but I do have something that helps me stand out.
5. I have a voice
Okay, we all have a voice. Yes, I can sing. I’m sorry for the poor quality, but the point here is while I’m not particularly funny. I try to be. I know that my humor comes out “dry as the Sahara.” My creative writing teacher in High School Mr. Roberts told me that. I often times get distracted and change my mind easy.
I have a voice though. There are things that I can say that other people can’t say the way I can say them. They are all words that have existed before, but I have a different view. Thank God for no new things under the sun. It gives me a lot of freedom! We just have to find and create our voice as we go!
Okay. Let’s get this out of the way right now. Austin Kleon explains it best. You might think I’m crazy, but…
Steal like an artist. Don’t be that guy from up top. #NeverHumanSpam
A good artist knows who came before them. A good artist understands that what they create is an extension of what they consume. So steal away, if you don’t have ideas. Write fan-fiction… Oh no. I’m doing this. I used to write fan-fiction. (Forgive me it was Jr. High School)
7. Do something that you love
This is something that people like to argue about. You can’t make money doing what you love. Find a job you tolerate and work your way up. If you’re a creative person. It’s a…
Thanks Ackbar. You’re dismissed. But seriously, do what you love. Don’t listen to the people who have given up. You’re a creative type. Do what you love.
8. Inspiration strikes when you’re bored.
Boredom is the best state to be in when you’re a creative type. It’s what you need to recharge. It allows you to get lost. To notice things. Don’t be afraid to be bored. Boredom is your coffee supplement. (Still need that cup of Joe though.)
Demetri Martin everybody needs a laugh.
9. The importance of a twitter bio
Your twitter bio is an important tool for sharing your personality. For giving everyone who looks at your page a snapshot of who they are tweeting to and with. Let it sell you.
10. Build your brand daily
In this age of connectivity. You can’t slow down. Your brand is your lifeline, and if you’re not building it. Someone is building your brand for you. They are making assumptions about who you are. Don’t post? You’re lazy. It’s that easy. So work on your brand constantly. Create things. Talk to people. All the other things on the list. In the words of Shia Labeouf.