This is a thought provoking collection of ideas (both Kleon's own and other people's) about sharing your creative work with the world. If you are doing creative work (or want to) this book and Steal Like an Artist, Kleon's previous book, are worth reading.
Here are the bits that struck me:
- "On the spectrum of creative work, the difference between the mediocre and the good is vast, mediocrity is, however, still on the spectrum; you can move from mediocre to good in increments. The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something." This comes from Clay Shirky's book Cognitive Surplus.
- A quote from Dave Grohl: "I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If you f---ing like something, like it." This comes up a lot with books and I totally agree with Grohl, if you like something, own that. You have no reason to feel guilty for your taste. Also, liking something at some moment in time doesn't define you for all eternity.
- "Tell good stories" is one of the 10 things and there was a lot of useful insight for me in that section. The illustrations of various story structures were really clear and the variations gave options for telling different types of stories. There is a page that is several triangles (identical to each other) with different captions on them (mountain, tortilla chip, etc.) which was an amazing way to point out that the caption defines the image for the viewer.
- A quote from John le Carre: "'The cat sat on a mat' is not a story. 'The cat sat on the dog's mat' is a story."
- Improvisation (in theater) is about saying yes to every situation that is presented to you. Kleon posits that growing as an artist is about saying yes to whatever opportunity that will let you make work you want to make comes your way. This makes a lot of sense to me.
I have one complaint about the book: there are a bunch of images in the book that aren't explained (where they were actually taken, etc.) until you get to the end of the book where there is a list of info about the photos. I wondered about several of them as I came to them and was annoyed that no info was there. It would have been nice if the details were with the images or if there were something to tell you to look in the back for more info about the image.