Show Your Work! Tour Diary #4: San Antonio, LA, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix

Monday, April 21st, 2014

I’m on book tour promoting Show Your Work! See all upcoming dates or follow me Twitter or Instagram for daily updates.

Air conditioned! Oliver Jeffers and me

Chip Kidd giving me a look Owen chases a duck

San Antonio: talked to some super-smart booksellers with my friend Julie Wernersbach from BookPeople, had dinner with one of my heroes, Chip Kidd (here’s a Vine of us goofing around), then I had breakfast with another one of my heroes, Oliver Jeffers. (Check out this photo of my son Oliver took with a Texas-sized cinnamon roll.)

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Vampires and human spam: video of my SXSW keynote

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Austin Kleon at SXSW

I was too sick then to remember much of it, and too lazy now to write much about it, so I’ll let Omar Gallaga recap:

In his keynote presentation on Friday, local author and artist Austin Kleon tackled the big themes: death, creativity and, most importantly, “Has SXSW gotten too big? Is it over?” (…) In tackling the subject of SXSW’s growth, Kleon suggested making more human connections, sharing instead of self-promoting all the time… he suggested SXSW attendees stop chasing the new, next big thing and think about longevity, the creative work that will stand the test of time.

Here’s the video:

Thanks to Shawn O’Keefe and the SXSW gang for giving me the stage.

Photo above by Rodolfo Gonzalez

Show Your Work! Tour Diary #3: West Coast

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

I’m on book tour promoting Show Your Work! See all upcoming dates or follow me Twitter or Instagram for daily updates.

At Book Passage in Corte Madera (Photo by @zeitgeistmama)

Me and Wendy MacNaughton at Book Passage in the Ferry Building san-fran

At Flax Art (Photo by @fakejenniferdaniel)

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My interview with The Great Discontent

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014


I was delighted to talk to Tina and Ryan Essmaker for their awesome interview series The Great Discontent. They’re fellow Midwestern ex-pats, so we talked forever and ended up at a bar singing karaoke later. They’re also amazing editors, and trimmed my blathering into a great read.

My favorite bit:

The newest challenge I’m facing is continuing to make things and not just talk about making them. I’m in a very dangerous position right now; I could shave my head, put on a robe, and become the guru. I could be the guy who flies around, talking about being creative, gets a nice paycheck, and goes home. That’s not interesting to me. If there’s a reason people like my books, it’s because they came out of my practice and what I learned while I was working. Now that Show Your Work is out and doing okay, the next big task is making sure that I stay connected to my work. How do I ensure that I don’t lose my desire for wanting to make stuff?

Read the whole interview here.

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Show Your Work! Tour Diary #2: Miami and Atlanta

Monday, March 31st, 2014

I’m on book tour promoting Show Your Work! See all upcoming dates or follow me Twitter or Instagram for daily updates.

Standing in front of Tom Phillips' HUMUMENT Lifeguard stand on Miami Beach Tom Phillips' HUMUMENT globe Signing at Books and Books (photo courtesy of @alxndraarts on Instagram)

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Finding a balance between doing the work and sharing it

Monday, March 31st, 2014




When I was in New York a few weeks ago, Fast Company interviewed me about the idea of a daily dispatch. They also got some great shots of my notebook and me making a blackout poem.

Watch the interview here.

What’s in my day bag

Monday, March 31st, 2014

My day bag (Photo by Jason Travis)

Photo part of Jason Travis’s Persona Series

Two years ago on book tour I learned how important a day bag is. (I keep it on me at all times.) For the Steal tour, I traveled only with an iPad 2 and a tiny Timbuk2 bag. This time around, I upgraded to a larger but still small Timbuk2 Commuter Bag and switched up my gear.

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Why my book isn’t just for “creatives”

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

One thing that keeps coming up over and over on this tour is that Show Your Work! is not just a book for “creatives.” (I hate that word as a noun, btw.) It’s a book for anybody doing any kind of work that they want to get noticed.

We’re not all artists or astronauts. A lot of us go about our work and feel like we have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way. In fact, sharing your process might actually be most valuable if the products of your work aren’t easily shared, if you’re still in the apprentice stage of your work, if you can’t just slap up a portfolio and call it a day, or if your process doesn’t necessarily lead to tangible finished products.

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Show Your Work Tour Diary #1: Boston, NYC, and DC

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

I’m on book tour promoting Show Your Work! See all upcoming dates or follow me Twitter or Instagram for daily updates.

Image credit: @ArtSnacks on Twitter

Image credit: @BrooklineBooksmith on Instagram 3-bpl 4-boston 2-sign

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Newspaper Blackout finally available as an eBook

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Newspaper Blackout ebook

My first book, Newspaper Blackout, is now available as an eBook.

Word of caution: you need to have a reasonably large, preferably backlit screen to appreciate these things. If you just have an old Kindle or an eReader with a tiny screen, you’d be better off buying the paperback. (I haven’t tested every device, but I can say it looks really great in iBooks on an iPad. Maybe even better than on paper.)


The eBook also contains some “deleted scenes”—a dozen or so poems that got cut from the original manuscript—and a new afterword.

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