Tag: Austin Kleon (page 1 of 5)

Start Often Finish rArely

I love this, and along with this post about the joy of watching films in black and white, led to me starting a new art project.


SOFA is the name of a hacker/art collective, and also the name of the principle upon which the club was founded.

The point of SOFA club is to start as many things as possible as you have the ability, interest, and capacity to, with no regard or goal whatsoever for finishing those projects.


You can be finished with your project whenever you decide to be done with it. And “done” can mean anything you want it to be. Whose standards of completion or perfection are you holding yourself to anyway? Forget about those! Something is done when you say it is. When it’s no longer interesting. When you’ve gotten a sufficient amount of entertainment and experience from it. When you’ve learned enough from it. Whatever, whenever. Done is what you say it is.

Source: 🛋 SOFA

Surveillance vs working openly

Austin Kleon is famous for his book Show Your Work, something that our co-op references from time to time, as it backs up our belief in working openly.

However, as Kleon points out in this post, it doesn’t mean you need to livestream your creative process! For me, this is another example of the tension between being able to be a privacy advocate at the same time as a believer in sharing your work freely and openly.

It’s bad enough trying to create something when nobody’s watching — the worst trolls are the ones that live in your head!

The danger of sharing online is this ambient buildup of a feeling of being surveilled.

The feeling of being watched, or about to be watched.

You have to disconnect from that long enough to connect with yourself and what you’re working on.

Source: You can’t create under surveillance | Austin Kleon

The permanent mask

I’m sharing this mainly for the blackout poetry, but I also appreciate the quotation from Nabakov that Austin Kleon shares in this post.

As I explained in my checking out of therapy post, you can “paint yourself into a rather unhelpful corner by being the person everyone else expects you to be”. Taking off that mask can be liberating.

I don’t think that an artist should bother about his audience. His best audience is the person he sees in his shaving mirror every morning. I think that the audience an artist imagines, when he imagines that kind of a thing, is a room filled with people wearing his own mask.

Source: Inside the mask | Austin Kleon