Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad, by Austin Kleon, is my pick for this month’s AIGA GNV Book Club. Kleon’s latest in the bestselling series (see also: Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work!) is over 200 pages of insightful practices, memorable quotes, micro-comics, handy lists, and more. This compact, easy to read paperback (Kindle also available), will inspire and guide you towards a more productive artistic practice, and away from fears that leading a creative life is futile.
Several suggestions in Keep Going helped me keep moving towards my goal of being a better designer and artist. For example, Kleon writes that “creative” is not a noun, but a verb. He suggests we stop thinking of ourselves as titles–art director, graphic artist, creative–and just make the work. “Burn your business cards if you have to!” Build new tools, make deliberately bad art, create something with young kids, make gifts for people–do whatever it takes to get out of your head and make what feels right for you. Ignore the retweets, shares, and followers, and make for yourself and your people stuff that inspires. Remembering this advice refocuses my practice, which always results in better designs.
Kleon’s ideas for getting through the inevitable mundane delays while creating are refreshing and uplifting. Enabling even one of these practices can change your outlook and maybe even your life. Why not try a few? Perhaps finding a way to implement these habits in your day will pay off in your career and personal life. As Kleon points out: “Life is short and art is long.” 10 Ways to Stay Creative is a great list to Keep Going, and this book is one I will revisit often to remind myself how to. Stay Light, my friends.
Bonus round: sign up for Austin Kleon’s newsletter at austinkleon.com for weekly inspiration! Keep Going is available for $7.50 at https://www.amazon.com/Austin-Kleon/e/B002HDCKJ2?ref_=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000