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Story Time for Adults

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When I was in high school, students would come back from winter break and, instead of immediately rushing back into the unending labor of schoolwork, would get the opportunity to spend a week studying various academic 'crafts.' One year I was fortunate enough to attend a course entitled "The Art of Storytelling." An older gentlemen and my teacher, probably in his 70's, was a member of the local "Storytelling Guild," which is a formal way of saying a bunch of other older guys sitting around listening to each others stories.

AE

Slow and Steady

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Austin Kleon says that sharing something small everyday is more important than showing the "big stuff" once in a blue moon.

In chapter 3 of his book, "Show Your Work", Kleon shows how putting some small piece of work out daily keeps you as a creator on other people's radar. Basically, people are busy and they forget you and me exist. Kind of. (Not really. But mostly.) So we remind them.
forget

Can't Judge a Book

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Let me get started by saying that I am not a creative person. I have an analytical mind. I'm totally a left-brained person and sometimes that makes it difficult to find the deeper meaning in things because I tend to take them at face value. So I can totally get behind Kleon's idea that "our work doesn't speak for itself". I've been to art museums, and when I look at a piece often my first assessment is "Oh, that's neat-looking" or "People actually paid money for this thing?" (but hey, I guess it's like Kleon said- one's man's trash is another man's treasure).

Everything is Art

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The idea that our work doesn't speak for itself was a new concept for me. In the last couple of years, I have had professors who were advocates of close reading. While close reading, one does not read or worry about anything beside the text. I had a professor who told us not to read footnotes. I never really 100% agreed with the idea of close reading. I feel like sometimes we need to know a little bit of background on the author or the time period to really get a piece.
So, I totally get what Kleon is saying!

There is a story behind everything. Every piece or art, every poem. Check out this painting that I saw in a coffee shop in downtown Greenville.

Subway Art

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In the spirit of showing my work, I decided to share two pieces of "art" that I've recently given as gifts. Last fall, my mom informed me of a new phenomenon called "subway art" after seeing some pieces designed by her co-worker. Basically subway art is just a creative typographic representation of a certain "category" of items. The most popular form is words that describe a certain city, and there are even subway art "generators" online that help people create these interesting pieces.

Showing Work and etc

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I was told recently by a friend from home, an exceptionally talented blogger whose work can be found here, that what makes a good story has a lot to do with how badly the author wants to tell it. If it's something that is there to take up space it is noticeable and it's probably not going to be as entertaining as something that the author really wanted and was excited to express. It kind of goes along with that quote, I can't remember who wrote it or how I found it (you could probably find it here), that goes something like "there is no story so exciting that it can't be made boring. There is no story so boring that it can't be made exciting."

Sublime Storytelling

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Aspects of Austin Kleon’s concepts in Chapter 5 of Show Your Work are simple, yet difficult for some to realize and enact without reading his work that make his ideas apparent.

Titled “Tell Good Stories”, Kleon underlines the importance of professionals knowing their audience, which is basic considering an audience consists of people paying to read, listen, watch, etc.

Audience Listening

However, it is up to the writer to parlay and hoist the value of their work by communicating contextual — and hopefully enticing — information about it.

Strikes Back, Kleon does!

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Kleon strikes again. I loved these sections in the book. With regards to “Tell Good Stories” though, I really enjoyed his exploration of how your work literally, does not speak for itself. In my theatre class, we are writing play scenes and I have come into contact with this dilemma many times in the semester so far. I write something, expecting it to speak out to people the way that it speaks to me, and it just doesn’t. No one knows how much time and energy I put into that scene, or why I chose to name this character this name. Our work doesn’t speak for itself. People want to hear about the struggle that you went through. They want you to connect them to the artwork in such a way as to make it seem… special.

Show and Tell

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The reading assigned for this week was once again, an amazing reading by Austin Kleon! Every time I read some of his book, I get on my tumblr or pinterest account, and blog, write, reblog (or repin) and share my ideas, work, inspirations, and anything that I relatively like that may portray my personality or themes in my work. Kleon says, “Your influences are all worth sharing because they clue people in to who you are and what you do- sometimes even more than your own work.” However, with it being the Internet and all, I try to be careful because I don’t want to take someone else’s credit, or write something I may regret writing later on. Anyone can see or copy my work on the Internet.