“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
The age old saying by Pablo Picasso which has been quoted a countless number of times, but to many still ring true. Just as Austin Kleon who recently created a simple list of 10 things he wishes he would have heard when he was in college. I think the advice that he’s giving though is applicable to anyone no matter education or age. You might be familiar with Austin’s work, Alex posted about his blackout poems almost exactly one year ago today.
Austin comes up with some really good points which I feel describes my own personal path pretty well. I mean, I didn’t even go to college, but it would have been amazing if someone had sat me down and told me half of this stuff. One big part that I agree with is soaking in information, the idea of learning constantly. You never know where your inspiration may come from, and that’s a part of the fun. Osmosis is a powerful part of creativity.
His other point that I really love is “do good work and put it where people can see it.” For me personally, that’s all this site is, a public display of the things I’m passionate about. But it could be anything, an illustration blog or a Tumblr filled with beat poetry, it doesn’t matter.
If there was a secret formula for getting an audience, or gaining a following, I would give it to you. But there’s only one not-so-secret formula that I know: “Do good work and put it where people can see it.”
It’s a two step process.
Step one, “do good work,” is incredibly hard. There are no shortcuts. Make stuff every day. Fail. Get better.
Step two, “put it where people can see it,” was really hard up until about 10 years ago. Now, it’s very simple: “put your stuff on the internet.”
I tell people this, and then they ask me, “What’s the secret of the internet?”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Be sure to visit Austin’s website for the full list if anything above grabbed your attention. Like I said before, these are nuggets of gold that should be helpful to anyone.