Sharing is the New Genius: Thoughts on Creativity

Hacker News LinkedIn Facebook Twitter by Abby Fichtner

Was super excited to see Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work, keynote at SXSW. In, I hope, the spirit of what he taught us, I wanted to share with you some of the awesomeness I got from him…

The old model of creativity is a myth. It is the myth of the lone genius who works on his own and doesn’t share with anyone until his masterpiece is complete. It is a myth because great work has never been created in a vacuum. Creativity has always been the result of collaboration. And yet this myth continues to hurt us as we believe we must obtain perfection, creating things so unique no one else has done them before, if we are to create at all.

And so the new model of creativity is creativity born amongst a community made up of creatives and their fans and other makers who all support and inspire one another.

The new model leaves room in creativity for all of us. Even if you are not yet ready to create yourself, you’re still contributing to creativity by being part of that community, by connecting people, by sharing others’ works.

If you want to be a great writer, you must first be a reader.

If you want to have fans, you must first be a fan.

If you want to be interesting, you must first be interested in others.

Keep creating. Keep sharing with others your own work as well as the work that you admire of others. Keep giving back to the community.

You can’t ever count on success or being discovered. All you can do is find a way to get through each day without fear.

Just contribute and the rest will follow.