How to Stay Creative!

3 biggest take aways from ‘Keep Going,’ by Austin Kleon

This book is a pocket rocket to ensure you stay creative in the good times and the bad. People have messaged me complaining that the videos should be shorter. The cheeky bastards. So, this week, I will explain take away point in under a minute. Start the clock.

1) forget the noun, do the verb.

‘Lots of people want to be the noun without doing the verb.’

In other words, they want the job title without doing the work.

This is amazing advice from Austin Kleon so pay attention:

I was guilty of this – I want to be a graphic designer. What had I made. What was I making? Nothing.

Let go of the title you’re trying to have and focus on the actual work you need to be doing to get there.

So, you want to be a brand identity designer. Then what are you doing about it? Don’t aspire to be something, without making a conscious effort to actually improve your craft.

In addition, if you wait for someone to give you the job title you want, you might never get to do the work at all. Don’t wait around hoping that someone will bestow you the title. Do the thing you want to do relentlessly and you will achieve the job title eventually.

You will stay creative if you forget the noun. Just do the verb.

2) Your real work is play p69

Retain a sense of playfulness throughout your career.

Your best work will be the work you enjoy – where you lose a sense of time because you’re so engaged with the project you’re working on.

Don’t forget to enjoy what you’re doing or you will burn out. How do you retain a sense of playfulness?

Practice for practice’s sake. Not everything you make needs to be for a client, or even shown to anyone. It may be a fun project you do for yourself.

Or, Seek out unfamiliar tools and use them to keep yourself evolving.

Or, another trick is making the worst thing you can just for fun.

Stay light and play. Your creative career will have greater longevity if you maintain a sense of playfulness

3) Make gifts

One of the easiest ways to hate something you love is to turn it in to your job. Be mindful of the impact you will have by monetising your passions completely.

How to counteract this? Don’t monetise every creative thing you do and make something for someone you value.

If you make something specifically for someone else, you are purely focussed on pleasing that person and you will be more creative without a time or financial restraints. You can get back to the core of why you love doing what you do.

UI/UX design, brand identity design, illustration or whatever the thing you do is.

Make a gift for someone who you value.

What I am really saying is you realise the true value of why you’re doing your creative thing.


1) Forget the noun, do the verb

2) Your real work is play.

2) Make Gifts.

📒 Notes and Resources

1) Austin’s website

2) A great interview on the Futur Podcast where Chris Do dives deeper in to his ideas in the book (Don’t call it a side hustle…).…

3) Links to Austin’s other books……

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