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Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

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Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is in fact a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is in fact a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world's most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. In Real Artists Don't Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving, including: steal from your influences (don't wait for inspiration), collaborate with others (working alone is a surefire way to starve), take strategic risks (instead of reckless ones), make money in order to make more art (it's not selling out), and apprentice under a master (a "lone genius" can never reach full potential). Through inspiring anecdotes of successful creatives both past and present, Goins shows that living by these rules is not only doable but it's also a fulfilling way to thrive. From graphic designers and writers to artists and business professionals, creatives already know that no one is born an artist. Goins' revolutionary rules celebrate the process of becoming an artist, a person who utilizes the imagination in fundamental ways. He reminds creatives that business and art are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In fact, success in business and in life flow from a healthy exercise of creativity. Expanding upon the groundbreaking work in his previous bestseller The Art of Work, Goins explores the tension every creative person and organization faces in an effort to blend the inspired life with a practical path to success. Being creative isn't a disadvantage for success; rather, it is a powerful tool to be harnessed.


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Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is in fact a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is Bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is in fact a competitive advantage in the marketplace. For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world's most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. In Real Artists Don't Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving, including: steal from your influences (don't wait for inspiration), collaborate with others (working alone is a surefire way to starve), take strategic risks (instead of reckless ones), make money in order to make more art (it's not selling out), and apprentice under a master (a "lone genius" can never reach full potential). Through inspiring anecdotes of successful creatives both past and present, Goins shows that living by these rules is not only doable but it's also a fulfilling way to thrive. From graphic designers and writers to artists and business professionals, creatives already know that no one is born an artist. Goins' revolutionary rules celebrate the process of becoming an artist, a person who utilizes the imagination in fundamental ways. He reminds creatives that business and art are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In fact, success in business and in life flow from a healthy exercise of creativity. Expanding upon the groundbreaking work in his previous bestseller The Art of Work, Goins explores the tension every creative person and organization faces in an effort to blend the inspired life with a practical path to success. Being creative isn't a disadvantage for success; rather, it is a powerful tool to be harnessed.

30 review for Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ableabelian

    This book is useful because it helps highlight many preconceptions that people might have about what an artist is - and "artist" is used in a very general sense. That being said, the book tends to have a lot of hot air. Don't work alone (except the people who worked alone). Find a scene. Make money from your art so you can make more money. People need a patron - OR *be your own patron*. It's a slim book, but it feels fluffed out even so. Worth a skim, but not a must have.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Real Artists May Not Starve, but They May Not Get Rich Allowing yourself the freedom to be a creative artist is something everyone should feel free to enjoy. This book offers strategies for how to get there. I completely agree with the ideas of learning your craft, being prudent and disciplined, working with others, stealing from the masters, and using old ideas in creative ways. However, I think the book is a little too much like a call to salvation. Some people will try all the suggestions and Real Artists May Not Starve, but They May Not Get Rich Allowing yourself the freedom to be a creative artist is something everyone should feel free to enjoy. This book offers strategies for how to get there. I completely agree with the ideas of learning your craft, being prudent and disciplined, working with others, stealing from the masters, and using old ideas in creative ways. However, I think the book is a little too much like a call to salvation. Some people will try all the suggestions and will still come up short, Unless they keep their day job, they may well starve. There are more avenues than ever to get your creative product before the public: write a blog, publish your novel with Amazon, or Scribid, join a critique group, convince people in your area to give a book signing, talk a local gallery into hanging you paintings. The list goes on. However, a word of caution. No matter how hard you work, you may not become the next Michelangelo, or John Grisham. Some ideas catch hold and propel the artist to fame and fortune, others give satisfaction to the artist, but don’t pay the bills. This is a book worth reading. The advice is good. If you want to be an artist, read the book and take the lessons to heart. However, a word of caution: make your goal to satisfy yourself. Creativity is about more than making money. Get your work before the public, enjoy the journey, but don’t expect to amass millions, it happens to a very few. I received this book from Booklook Blogger for this review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marion Hill

    Is the starving artist path the only accepted way in our society for an artist? Jeff Goins answers that question in his latest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve (Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age). The starving artist mythos has been accepted by our culture and Goins has come up with twelve practical principles to show that an artist does not have to starve in making a living from their art. The book is twelve chapters long with each chapter focused on a principle for the Thri Is the starving artist path the only accepted way in our society for an artist? Jeff Goins answers that question in his latest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve (Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age). The starving artist mythos has been accepted by our culture and Goins has come up with twelve practical principles to show that an artist does not have to starve in making a living from their art. The book is twelve chapters long with each chapter focused on a principle for the Thriving Artist. The principles are: 1) The Starving Artist believes you must be born an artist. The Thriving Artist knows you must become one. 2) The Starving Artist strives to be original. The Thriving Artist steals from his influences. 3) The Starving Artist believes he has enough talent. The Thriving Artist apprentices under a master. 4) The Starving Artist is stubborn about everything. The Thriving Artist is stubborn about the right things. 5) The Starving Artist waits to be noticed. The Thriving Artist cultivates patrons. 6) The Starving Artist believes he can be creative anywhere. The Thriving Artist goes where creative work is already happening. 7) The Starving Artist always works alone. The Thriving Artist collaborates with others. 8) The Starving Artist does his work in private. The Thriving Artist practices in public. 9) The Starving Artist works for free. The Thriving Artist always works for something. 10) The Starving Artist sells out too soon. The Thriving Artist owns his work. 11) The Starving Artist masters one craft. The Thriving Artist masters many. 12) The Starving Artist despises the need for money. The Thriving Artist makes money to make art. Goins provides example of each Thriving Artist Principle from diverse artists like Michelangelo to Picasso to Elvis Presley to John Grisham to Dr. Dre. Real Artists Don’t Starve is a book that blows up the Starving Artist persona and its something all artists should keep a reference guide on their bookshelf. I will admit that I disagreed with Principle 11 about the Starving Artist masters one craft and the Thriving Artist masters many. I understood the author’s perspective of an artist not being so focused one discipline to the detriment of the myriad of skills needed to make a living from one’s art. However, I found the Michael Jackson example of buying the Beatles catalog somewhat false because the singer’s business savvy and opportunistic nature did not take away from his craft of the being one of the best entertainers to have ever done it. I believe artistic geniuses master one craft and being a jack-of-all-trades does not fully bring out artistic genius. Despite that disagreement, I totally enjoyed Real Artists Don’t Starve will recommended it for all artists who want learn some timeless principles on how to make a living from their art. I wrote in my review of Elizabeth Hyde Stevens’ Make Art Make Money that it would be my most important read of 2017. Well, I will add Real Artists Don’t Starve to that list.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Sherriff

    The aim of this book is to dispel the myth that real artists have to suffer for their art, to starve and emerge ennobled by the experience with some damn fine, pure art that will serve as a beautiful headstone to put on their early grave. Goins paints a compelling picture that through the ages the most successful artists - from Michelangelo to Elvis - haven't starved (obviously by definition - they were successful) and he identifies 12 principles the starving artist doesn't employ, that the thri The aim of this book is to dispel the myth that real artists have to suffer for their art, to starve and emerge ennobled by the experience with some damn fine, pure art that will serve as a beautiful headstone to put on their early grave. Goins paints a compelling picture that through the ages the most successful artists - from Michelangelo to Elvis - haven't starved (obviously by definition - they were successful) and he identifies 12 principles the starving artist doesn't employ, that the thriving artist does. The 12 points, which he lists in the introduction, are: 1. The starving artist believes you must be born an artist. The thriving artist knows you must become one. 2. The starving artist strives to be original. The thriving artist steals from his influences. 3. The starving artist believes he has enough talent. The thriving artist apprentices under a master. 4. The starving artist is stubborn about everything. The thriving artist is stubborn about the right things. 5. The starving artist waits to be noticed. The thriving artist cultivates patrons. 6. The starving artist believes he can be creative anywhere. The thriving artist goes where creative work is already happening. 7. The starving artist always works alone. The thriving artist collaborates with others. 8. The starving artist does his work in private. The thriving artist practices in public. 9. The starving artist works for free. The thriving artist always works for something. 10. The starving artist sells out too soon. The thriving artist owns his own work. 11. The starving artist masters one craft. The thriving artist masters many. 12. The starving artist despises the need for money. The thriving artist makes money to make art. Each point then becomes a chapter that Goins fills with anecdotes to prove his case with Michelangelo as the archetype of the thriving artist. My only criticism of the book is you could say Goins is guilty of cherry picking examples to suit his argument, none of us are Michelangelo after all, but that would be missing the point, which is that good art and commerce co-exist and always have. The principles and examples he develops are good, and after finishing the book today, I can say it maps out a course worth following for any creative type who wants to do good work, as I hope to do, well into a ripe old age. Signup for my monthly book newsletter and download my starter library for free here - http://eepurl.com/bFkt0X

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    [Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.] A good lesson from this book is that real douchebags shouldn't write books.  Generally speaking, it is not wise for someone to insult their targeted audience--in this case creative types--and this author demonstrates throughout this book that while he has some good points to make that he needs a bit more finishing at charm school before he is ready for the big time as a writ [Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.] A good lesson from this book is that real douchebags shouldn't write books.  Generally speaking, it is not wise for someone to insult their targeted audience--in this case creative types--and this author demonstrates throughout this book that while he has some good points to make that he needs a bit more finishing at charm school before he is ready for the big time as a writer about the relationship between art and commerce [1].  After having read this book, I feel somewhat torn between wanting to rip into the author's total lack of empathy and understanding and his dodgy theology of the relationship of art and suffering and giving him well-deserved praise for seeking to provide a model by which artists can thrive in creating work that not only nourishes the spirit but gives encouragement to others and also serves for the benefit of the artist, so I suppose I will do a bit of both.  This is a book that has a lot to offer, if a reader can get beyond the snarky tone and relentless sales pitch of the author's approach.  Rarely has so much useful content been put in such an unpleasant and unpalatable context. The slightly more than two-hundred pages of this book are divided into three parts.  The first part looks at the mind-set of a successful artist--knowing that it requires a great deal of effort, that it involves the appropriation and internalization of influences, that it can best be done through apprenticeship with masters, and that stubbornness has to be properly harnessed and disciplined.  The second part of the book is a look at the market for creative people, encouraging artists to cultivate patrons, join a scene, collaborate others, and practice in public (bloggers get special mention and praise here).  The third part of the book encourages artists to avoid and refuse working for free, own their own work, diversify their portfolio by acquiring many skills and developing a variety of interests, and making money in order to make art.  The book ends with an altar call of sorts for artists to join a "new renaissance" that seeks to provide a greater deal of financial security for creative people similar to the way that Renaissance artists plundered the artistic wealth of the Greco-Roman world in order to blaze a trail for greater honor and wealth for themselves. There is a good deal to praise about this book.  The discussion is immensely practical, the revisionist history about artists and how they came to prominence through a combination of skill and opportunity is useful, and the narrative of thriving is a worthwhile counterbalance to the prevailing narrative of suffering artistry.  Nevertheless, the book itself has a certain smugness of attitude that proclaims that if an artist is suffering than they are doing something wrong, an attitude that smacks of the bad theology of Job's friends or of the prosperity gospel.  One can agree with the idea that acting appropriately and wisely ought to generally lead to thriving without taking that idea to extremes, and this author has an unfortunate tendency to get carried away by his rhetoric and led into extreme positions that are unsound even if they work as general rules.  Ultimately, for someone to avoid being led into extremes, they have to treat this book as a useful and practical guide to success at art that encourages caution and prudence, rather than listening to the overheated rhetoric of the title and occasional snarky comments of the author.  This is a book to be read, but to be read with discernment rather than uncritically. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    I gleaned some useful thoughts from this book, though I didn't necessarily find every chapter or line a revelation. I appreciated the big-picture concept of the book—that the bohemian-style Starving Artist is more of a romantic myth than a fact of life, and that artists don't have to live that way if they pursue their art and manage their lives intelligently—and found the illustrations from the life of Michelangelo strung through the book as the main case study quite interesting. I didn't agree w I gleaned some useful thoughts from this book, though I didn't necessarily find every chapter or line a revelation. I appreciated the big-picture concept of the book—that the bohemian-style Starving Artist is more of a romantic myth than a fact of life, and that artists don't have to live that way if they pursue their art and manage their lives intelligently—and found the illustrations from the life of Michelangelo strung through the book as the main case study quite interesting. I didn't agree with every single point Goins makes. For instance, he places a lot of emphasis on the concept that artists are made rather than born. While many of the things he stresses as vital to success in art—practicing diligently and honing your craft, studying under masters, etc.—are entirely legitimate and important, the matter of natural gifts and talents is brushed over briefly with a token acknowledgement, and I think that can create a bit of misconception. I think perhaps the "you don't have to be born an artist" concept could be better expressed as "you don't have to be raised an artist"—i.e. that it's possible to change careers and follow the pursuits you really love even if you didn't start out that way from the beginning, which seems to be the idea Goins is trying to get across anyway. After all, if it wasn't for a natural gift and bent, the people whose stories he uses as examples—the major-league baseball player who walked away from sports because he wanted to write even more, the lawyer who switched careers to become an actress—wouldn't have felt that pull and desire for the work that they really wanted. The chapters on drawing inspiration from other sources and sharing your work didn't really introduce any new concepts for me, as I think this ground has been already covered and covered better in Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work!. I think the part of the book I appreciated most was the third section on the business and money-managing side of the artist's life. I do think, though, that many of Goins' suggestions are more suited to visual and performing arts, like painting, music, acting and so forth, rather than writing. Some of the ideas can be adapted to a writing career, of course, but they don't always fit perfectly. For example, for a fiction writer it's a little hard to reconcile the concept of "practice in public" with "don't give your work away for free."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    If you're an artist or creator of any kind, this book is for you. Real Artists Don't Starve will clear up some creative space in your heart and mind after it sweeps out the old myths of what and who gets to be an artist.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donna Weaver

    WHAT IT'S ABOUT For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world's most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. In Real Artists Don't Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving. MY TAKE This is a book WHAT IT'S ABOUT For centuries, the myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. But the truth is that the world's most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength. In Real Artists Don't Starve, Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with timeless strategies for thriving. MY TAKE This is a book full of information I hadn't known about artists, both old famous ones, and modern ones and they found out how to thrive as artists. It's an inspirational book, full of broad, philosophical suggestions. If you're looking for specifics in a step-by-step approach, this probably isn't the book for you. But the mindset would serve anyone well, even people not pursuing professions in the arts. 4 1/2 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate Singh

    I skimmed this book and I'm still skimming, but it is inspiring and gives me some validation and insight on what makes the artist thrive. This is different from other books about working your craft into a successful career.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Via Bella

    I would give this book 3.5 out of 5, for quite a few reasons. And yet I like this book and got quite a bit from it. So, let's go through why! {Read the Full Review here: http://viabella-thebeautifullife.blog...} I struggle between 3 and 4 stars because of several things: a) The title is a little misleading though there are some great pieces of advice given b) His Facebook ad asking me to buy something from him before I have read the book c) Some of his terminology in the book and references to an a I would give this book 3.5 out of 5, for quite a few reasons. And yet I like this book and got quite a bit from it. So, let's go through why! {Read the Full Review here: http://viabella-thebeautifullife.blog...} I struggle between 3 and 4 stars because of several things: a) The title is a little misleading though there are some great pieces of advice given b) His Facebook ad asking me to buy something from him before I have read the book c) Some of his terminology in the book and references to an artist' life d) Lack of connection between his artistry by example and experience and what he is saying e) Lack of connection between concept and practicality in today's world (while it does touch on it, it is more historically founded but based on the cover, that's not what I would have expected) Other than these things, it's a good book, honestly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    F.R.

    Reading about other people creating, is for a creative like me, an incredibly uplifting experience. It’s like having a hug from a community, an affirmation that people can become widely successful in the life they want to live. Reading about people being valued and earning money for their work is also hugely encouraging for a writer like me who wants to do exactly that. Jeff Goins’ book is all about how art shouldn’t necessarily be its own reward, but is there for the artist to make money from. T Reading about other people creating, is for a creative like me, an incredibly uplifting experience. It’s like having a hug from a community, an affirmation that people can become widely successful in the life they want to live. Reading about people being valued and earning money for their work is also hugely encouraging for a writer like me who wants to do exactly that. Jeff Goins’ book is all about how art shouldn’t necessarily be its own reward, but is there for the artist to make money from. That a writer, or musician or filmmaker (or a poet or a mime or whatever) shouldn’t feel embarrassed about monetising what they do, and should instead embrace it. What we do is intrinsically valuable, and we shouldn’t hide that fact. To prove the point – to bash it home, in fact – there are numerous examples of artists who were brilliant at what they did but also understood the business side of the industry – the most jaw-dropping of which is Michelangelo, who died with a fortune worth in current terms about $47 million. Although since he complained in one of his later poems that art had left him “poor, old and working as a servant of others”, we can be forgiven for our erroneous belief that he was all about art for art’s sake. Even if the central message doesn’t develop that much throughout the book, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a message that should be cheered out loud and Goins is just the right confident, chatty author to it. ‘Real Artists Don’t Starve;’ isn’t a self-help book in the normal sense of things, it’s more a warm bath of positivity and a great way to start the New Year.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Going presents lots of surprisingly practical advise for creative people with abstract concepts illustrated with case study examples. The book’s focus is a synergy of how to create, how to enjoy that process but also how to create a sense of dignity by charging what art is worth. I especially enjoyed the insights he presents of famous and not so famous (should is say soon to be famous?) writers from C.S. Lewis and Tolkein’s Inkling get weekly meetings to John Grisham and Hemingway and others. Net Going presents lots of surprisingly practical advise for creative people with abstract concepts illustrated with case study examples. The book’s focus is a synergy of how to create, how to enjoy that process but also how to create a sense of dignity by charging what art is worth. I especially enjoyed the insights he presents of famous and not so famous (should is say soon to be famous?) writers from C.S. Lewis and Tolkein’s Inkling get weekly meetings to John Grisham and Hemingway and others. Networking with its inspiration and helpful feedback are key. Goins busts a lot of stereotypes and wrong thinking that most of us have been fed over the years. Not Starving is good advise and he does it in useable steps and with inspiration. Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suz

    2.5 stars I started out listening to this in audio and found it inordinately redundant, so I switched over to the ebook and skimmed it. I found it repetitive and essentially just a collection of anecdotes meant to motivate you to break out of any sociologically ingrained belief you might have that all artists starve. It's got enumerated ideas for things you can do to help break out of that mindset, but anyone whose been to any art school has already heard them. If you need a motivation speech, vali 2.5 stars I started out listening to this in audio and found it inordinately redundant, so I switched over to the ebook and skimmed it. I found it repetitive and essentially just a collection of anecdotes meant to motivate you to break out of any sociologically ingrained belief you might have that all artists starve. It's got enumerated ideas for things you can do to help break out of that mindset, but anyone whose been to any art school has already heard them. If you need a motivation speech, validated with anecdotal evidence, about artists being worthy of making a living then this may be the book for you. If you already think it's ok to make a living with your art, and that starving is a bullshit mindset for any artist, then this may be a waste of your time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kourtney

    This is a thoughtful examination of the idea that real artists starve. The author uses actual examples of artists to disprove this idea and shows how artists have thrived throughout time. There are twelve principles that the thriving artist lives by, and Mr. Goins spends a chapter detailing each one. Some of his advice is easier to implement than other parts, but overall it's a refreshing take on how artists don't have to starve. I enjoyed the writing style, it was as if Mr. Goins was sitting he This is a thoughtful examination of the idea that real artists starve. The author uses actual examples of artists to disprove this idea and shows how artists have thrived throughout time. There are twelve principles that the thriving artist lives by, and Mr. Goins spends a chapter detailing each one. Some of his advice is easier to implement than other parts, but overall it's a refreshing take on how artists don't have to starve. I enjoyed the writing style, it was as if Mr. Goins was sitting here chatting with me. Overall, a nice addition to my personal collection, and I will likely reread some chapters to cement the strategies over time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    why is the paperback cheaper than the kindle edition?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Durough, Jr.

    In Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, author Jeff Goins encourages artists of all varieties to forget what he calls “the myth of the starving artist” and start making steps toward being a “thriving artist.” I imagine many readers may find at least one thing helpful, motivating, and/or inspiring, but the work in its entirety is often contradictory and unconvincing—not once is it demonstrated that anyone ever has or will travel the entire path anec In Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, author Jeff Goins encourages artists of all varieties to forget what he calls “the myth of the starving artist” and start making steps toward being a “thriving artist.” I imagine many readers may find at least one thing helpful, motivating, and/or inspiring, but the work in its entirety is often contradictory and unconvincing—not once is it demonstrated that anyone ever has or will travel the entire path anecdotally articulated by Goins. While many aspiring and current career artists (emphasis on career) will relate to one story or another, careful readers will see how data has been cherry picked and organized in such a way that presents the best evidence for the agenda of each chapter. There is no cohesive link that connects all attributes of the “thriving artist” as articulated, although attempts are made to use Michelangelo as the test case. Ultimately, Goins desires artists to be smart, flexible, and business savvy, which is great; however, life context is not the same for everyone, and the “starving artist” is a reality, not a myth, for numerous reasons. While we may certainly desire that artists (at least the good ones, as we perceive them) have a path for obtaining a wonderfully prosperous and fulfilling career, it simply isn’t and won’t be the case for everyone. The book is outlined as follows (my words in parentheses): Introduction: Myth of the Starving Artist (Except that it’s a reality, and Goins acknowledges this in the text. I think the whole book simply demonstrates his desire is to make it a myth, which would be great.) Part 1: Mind-Set 1 You Aren’t Born an Artist (This is really addressing careers, not artistic talent.) 2 Stop Trying to Be Original (We learn from history, so use history. There’s little to no originality in the world, but there’s a lot or organizing and rearranging. I don’t think that means we don’t try to be original.) 3 Apprentice Under a Master (Yes, please! This path will often require contradiction between other points in the book, but it’s one we desperately need to bring back in Western culture.) 4 Harness Your Stubbornness (This doesn’t mean you let go of principles and ideals, but an artist must remain flexible in the many details of a career as an artist.) Part 2: Market 5 Cultivate Patrons (Easier for extroverts and the less humble—not the same thing, by the way—this can be tough, but a necessity for a career. Find people who like and want to spread your work.) 6 Go Join a Scene (Easier said than done. Single folks will find this to be a lot easier than those with spouses and families. Still, we need beauty everywhere, not just in metropolitan pockets.) 7 Collaborate with Others (It’s extremely helpful and often necessary to further one’s skills, ideas, etc.) 8 Practice in Public (This goes with chapter 5—another hard one, but helpful in the proper contexts.) Part 3: Money (The really hard part.) 9 Don’t Work for Free (Unless you have to, which is one of the biggest problems. The anecdotes used in this chapter are of those well into their careers, not those just starting out.) 10 Own Your Work (Another difficult one, and something one should definitely work toward if able. Again, anecdotes used here are of those able to do so.) 11 Diversify Your Portfolio (As with many careers, one often discoveries one must be able to do more than one thing—art, marketing, business, etc.) 12 Make Money to Make Art (Some will need a second job to make art while others will make enough—or more than enough—with their art to make more. Stuff requires money, so you’re going to need it. It’s simple economics.) Conclusion: Join the New Renaissance (Go buck the system! Or stay as you are. You know, whatever works for your career and ideals.) In the endnotes, Goins provides a link for the sources and data used for this book: dontstarve.com/tools *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Russ

    Are you creative? Are you creative and starving? If so, why. Goins gives 12 principles to separate Thriving Artists from Starving Artists. He provides clear actual examples for each - not just anecdotes. This book is for anyone not living an authentic life who wants to be an artist but isn't sure how.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Create With Joy

    If you are creative in any way, you need to read Jeff Goin's latest book, Real Artists Don't Starve - a wonderful follow-up to his earlier book, The Art Of Work. In this book, Jeff debunks the myth of the starving artist and replaces it with the inspiration of the Thriving Artist, turning to Michealangelo for inspiration. He shares that although Michaelangelo was believed to be "just another starving artists" by the historians of his day, it was later discovered by historians who dug into his bank If you are creative in any way, you need to read Jeff Goin's latest book, Real Artists Don't Starve - a wonderful follow-up to his earlier book, The Art Of Work. In this book, Jeff debunks the myth of the starving artist and replaces it with the inspiration of the Thriving Artist, turning to Michealangelo for inspiration. He shares that although Michaelangelo was believed to be "just another starving artists" by the historians of his day, it was later discovered by historians who dug into his bank accounts that he was actually the richest artist of the Renaissance period. If he were alive today, he would be worth $47 million dollars! As Jeff says, we need a new Renaissance! Through 12 Principles That Every Artist Should Live By - rules that serve both as a manifesto and as the framework for the book - Jeff inspires creative people everywhere to pursue the gifts that God endowed them with and to bring forth their vision into the world. I highly recommend this inspiring book to you! This review is an excerpt from the original review that is published on my blog. To read my review in its entirety, please visit Create With Joy. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own, based on my assessment of this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Harvey

    In this engaging analysis of the psychology of art as business, Jeff Goins explains the principles that underpin the thriving artist. A thriving artist is one who can make a living from their art. A starving artist, well, starves. The anecdotes illustrating each principle were helpful and kept the book engaging. I would have given 5 stars, but the book's end left me wondering, "What next?" Given all this analysis, where do I start? This volume bears repeated reading, and I'm sure with some of my In this engaging analysis of the psychology of art as business, Jeff Goins explains the principles that underpin the thriving artist. A thriving artist is one who can make a living from their art. A starving artist, well, starves. The anecdotes illustrating each principle were helpful and kept the book engaging. I would have given 5 stars, but the book's end left me wondering, "What next?" Given all this analysis, where do I start? This volume bears repeated reading, and I'm sure with some of my own analysis, I will be able to implement changes in my work and business. Thanks as always for bringing your best to your work, Jeff.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Brooks

    It looks so sad to give this book two stars, but I was pretty meh about it. Goins' premise is that creatives deserve to get paid for their work---something I'm totally on board with. What I'm not crazy about is his assumption that all creatives WANT to earn a living from their art. As many online entrepreneurs have discovered, turning your creative work into a business can suck all the fun and passion right out of it. Many people truly enjoy working a day job and pursuing creative projects just It looks so sad to give this book two stars, but I was pretty meh about it. Goins' premise is that creatives deserve to get paid for their work---something I'm totally on board with. What I'm not crazy about is his assumption that all creatives WANT to earn a living from their art. As many online entrepreneurs have discovered, turning your creative work into a business can suck all the fun and passion right out of it. Many people truly enjoy working a day job and pursuing creative projects just for fun in their spare time. That doesn't mean they'll never earn money from their work, it just means they don't want to put all the pressure of a stable income on it. He advocates for creatives to follow a path that's highly entrepreneurial without acknowledging that that road isn't for everyone. I know more than one artist who's given up their craft entirely because they weren't cut out for the business world. (That doesn't mean they weren't profitable---they were---they just didn't enjoy that lifestyle.) Even worse, this premise seems to come with the connotation that art only has value if it's been paid for and is available for public consumption. I, on the other hand, think the creative process itself has value, even if the end result never sees the light of day. If you take away his assumption that this plan is the only way to make art in the 21st century, then this book does have some smart ideas for artists who are interested in going the business route. Just be aware that this book isn't for everyone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Spoiler alert: You might actually starve if you quit your day job or are not Michelangelo I struggle to recommend this because I don't know that I learned much new insight from it, however I could imagine a starving artist getting some inspirational nuggets in this text. Some of what is covered: - Some artists make a great deal of money - Creating art should be considered a noble profession - Respect yourself and your art by charging for it - Don't quit your day job - Diversify your skills beyond just Spoiler alert: You might actually starve if you quit your day job or are not Michelangelo I struggle to recommend this because I don't know that I learned much new insight from it, however I could imagine a starving artist getting some inspirational nuggets in this text. Some of what is covered: - Some artists make a great deal of money - Creating art should be considered a noble profession - Respect yourself and your art by charging for it - Don't quit your day job - Diversify your skills beyond just one artistic endeavor, its good to have business sense. - Maintain legal control of your art so you may maintain creative control - Don't trust that others will have your best interest at heart In retrospect, perhaps the reason I didn't find it so helpful is that I'm not sure how to classify it. If looking for a purely inspirational book I think Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is a better read (more inspiration to me at least), and if one is looking for more of a scientific book on pursuing your creative dreams, perhaps Grit by Angela Duckworth or Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink would be more worthwhile. Here the author seems to have a number of stories of artists and tries to encourage artists to succeed and value their work, but asides from the many anecdotal stories, I don't recall much hard research or factual support for much of the more sweeping recommendations. One story in particular went on at length about Lisa Link changing from being an attorney to an actor, but I hadn't heard of her and had to look her up (a side note for those listening on audio book, I think the name mentioned is Tia Link, not Tia Ling, as Tia Ling is um well... lets just say googling Tia Ling will not give you the kind of actress portfolio you may be thinking and Ms. Ling despite seemingly having a number of "creative talents" does not seem to have listed a Stanford Law Degree as one of her particular accomplishments). Accordingly, since I had never before heard of Ms. Link, I don't know what I'm supposed to make of her being a shining example of thriving creatively if popularity and success in the field is the standard, although I'm sure she seems much happier and this book is not titled "Real Artists Are Happy." Another story of an astronaut turned artists didn't seem to show he has received great artistic (and financial i.e. not starving) success.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Buscemi

    About a month ago, Real Artists Don't Starve popped up on my Goodreads feed, and, based on the title, I decided to check it out. My history with the practice of an art (in my case, prose) is extensive, and although my history with the business of publishing is sordid, I also learned a ton. I was curious to see if Jeff Goins had written something that would rise above the general dredge of self-help literature and teach me something I didn't already know about managing the business aspects of art About a month ago, Real Artists Don't Starve popped up on my Goodreads feed, and, based on the title, I decided to check it out. My history with the practice of an art (in my case, prose) is extensive, and although my history with the business of publishing is sordid, I also learned a ton. I was curious to see if Jeff Goins had written something that would rise above the general dredge of self-help literature and teach me something I didn't already know about managing the business aspects of art. Sadly, it was worse than that. Not only did Goins fail to teach me anything new, his approach to discussing the topic introduces further confusion with a number of inappropriate conflations. By this I mean that Goins's frames of reference for argumentation only fit reality if you focus on a very narrow band of human experiences. My intent in this review is to pull apart these conflations and fit their targets into frames of reference that fit broader swaths of reality. I will show that the sentiment behind the title, that "real artists don't starve," while, in a sense, true, is not true for the reasons Goins claims. On the contrary, the current state of the world is about as far from a "New Renaissance" as it could possibly be. ... Read the full review at http://www.matthewbuscemi.com/blog/20...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dena (Batch of Books)

    I read The Art of Work by this same author back when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I lent it to all my friends. Since I enjoyed that book so much, I was pretty excited to read Jeff Goins’s next book, especially when I saw what it was about. I love books about creative entrepreneurship. Big Magic is my all-time favorite book in this category, but Real Artists Don’t Starve offered a different perspective. It gives valuable insights into how successful artists work and how they leveraged I read The Art of Work by this same author back when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I lent it to all my friends. Since I enjoyed that book so much, I was pretty excited to read Jeff Goins’s next book, especially when I saw what it was about. I love books about creative entrepreneurship. Big Magic is my all-time favorite book in this category, but Real Artists Don’t Starve offered a different perspective. It gives valuable insights into how successful artists work and how they leveraged their creativity to reach their potential. I loved the sections about money. Goins preaches that in order to make art, you need to make money, otherwise, how will you afford to continue making your art? Apparently, you don’t have to starve for your art. Who knew? The whole book was about shedding the cloak of the starving artist and embracing success—both financial and artistic. It’s a fantastic read if you’re a creative or if you’re looking for a way to add a creative endeavor to your life. 4 STARS Cover Love: The clean, simple cover is perfect for this book. It’s a clean, straightforward approach to life as an artist, and the white background and the apple give tell that story. Content: clean Source: I received a copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers program.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark Wheeler

    If you major in art, you’ll starve! If you want to be a writer, you’ll never make a decent living! These are two of the myths that most of us have heard growing up. And they are the myths that author Jeff Goins wants to eradicate in his latest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. As the author explains, You don’t have to starve. Today there is a New Renaissance changing everything we thought we knew about creative work—one that is turning Starv If you major in art, you’ll starve! If you want to be a writer, you’ll never make a decent living! These are two of the myths that most of us have heard growing up. And they are the myths that author Jeff Goins wants to eradicate in his latest book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age. As the author explains, You don’t have to starve. Today there is a New Renaissance changing everything we thought we knew about creative work—one that is turning Starving Artists into Thriving Artists—and all we have to do is embrace it. We can, in fact, create work that matters and earn a living doing so. We can share our gift with the world without having to suffer for it. And the sooner we acknowledge this opportunity, the sooner we can get on with doing our work. The author uses Michelangelo as his primary illustration, along with stories and lessons from Jim Henson, C. S. Lewis, Dr. Dre, George Lucas, John Lassiter, and many others. He divides the book into three major sections—Mind-set, Market, and Money. In the area of Mind-set, we need to realize that artists are not born, they are developed; you don’t have to be an original but simply build on the work of others; you should learn from a master rather than try to grow by your lonesome; and you need to be stubbornly persistent. In the area of Market, an artist cultivates patrons, goes to where creativity is happening, collaborates with others, and demonstrates their work in public. Regarding Money, an artist doesn’t do anything for free, they own their own work, diversify their portfolio, and make money in order to make more art. In the Renaissance, artists were not aristocrats as Michelangelo hoped to become. But he was committed to not only making a living but earning the respect of his peers. It was not easy, but in the end, he changed the game for artists. How did he do this? First, he mastered his mind-set. When many artists were opening shops to train apprentices, he resisted such temptations to conform. He knew that to make for himself, he would have to think differently. He befriended those in power so he didn’t have to beg for scraps. He became an apprentice. Then he mastered the market, plugging into a web of influential relationships that included popes, kings, patrons who helped his work thrive. Building this network ensured he’d never starve. Finally, he mastered his money, earning ten times what an average artist made by charging what he was worth. He invested in land and property, which secure his position as an aristocrat. Only the wealthy owned property. But long after he had more than enough money, he kept creating, living twice as long as the average person and creating an unforgettable legacy. He made money to make more art. The book is both informative and encouraging. It also provides practical ideas on how to pursue your art and craft in the midst of your daily life until you get to the point where you can do it fulltime. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debbi Mack

    This is an excellent book. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I can already tell you that it’s excellent, because it goes into why it is that artists have to put—or creative people I should say, in general—not just artists as in painting, but creative people need to put their work out there and do marketing and find patrons in order to survive and get paid for their work. And it’s a wonderful book in so many ways. Not only does it cite examples of artists and creatives who have done this throug This is an excellent book. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I can already tell you that it’s excellent, because it goes into why it is that artists have to put—or creative people I should say, in general—not just artists as in painting, but creative people need to put their work out there and do marketing and find patrons in order to survive and get paid for their work. And it’s a wonderful book in so many ways. Not only does it cite examples of artists and creatives who have done this throughout the ages, including Michelangelo—from Michelangelo to an astronaut who decided to turn to painting the images he saw on the moon—but it goes into why it’s important to value yourself as a creative person and your work and that, while maybe you don’t write or paint or do any creative thing only for the money, money is required in order for your creative work to survive, to get out there. So he gives advice on ways that you can let people know about your work and real life examples of how it has worked for other people. Read the rest of my review here: https://debbimackblogs.com/2017/08/01...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mira

    Jeff Goins - he's the guy with his pulse on creative type issues and how to lift yourself up and get creating. This is my favorite non-fiction of the year! This book gives permission via stories of successful creatives (from all walks of life) not buying into the 'starving artist' is the only authentic artist. I enjoyed all the stories that were weaved into the context of the message that you can have a life as an artist and how to grow and test your creative bone. The other part of this book is Jeff Goins - he's the guy with his pulse on creative type issues and how to lift yourself up and get creating. This is my favorite non-fiction of the year! This book gives permission via stories of successful creatives (from all walks of life) not buying into the 'starving artist' is the only authentic artist. I enjoyed all the stories that were weaved into the context of the message that you can have a life as an artist and how to grow and test your creative bone. The other part of this book is not to pigeon hole yourself into only one creative space. Did you know Michaelangelo switched careers late in life? This gives me some hope :) I enjoyed this book and feel like this will be my go-to reference book. We all have dragons to slay in our life and sometimes you need a reference to give you that motivational push - this is that push.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie Akeman

    The hardest advice to follow in this book is getting involved with people. I am an extream introvert due to my autism. Still, I did enter in my local art show as I try to every year now. My painting was crappy but I had to just get something in, got a lot of compliments on my use of color, it's a horse, a Fresian rearing up and I didn't use black but a combo of blues, purples, whites and reds. But back to the artist book, this thing tells you what you need to do to be a real artist. It uses prim The hardest advice to follow in this book is getting involved with people. I am an extream introvert due to my autism. Still, I did enter in my local art show as I try to every year now. My painting was crappy but I had to just get something in, got a lot of compliments on my use of color, it's a horse, a Fresian rearing up and I didn't use black but a combo of blues, purples, whites and reds. But back to the artist book, this thing tells you what you need to do to be a real artist. It uses prime examples like George Lucas, Jim Henson, and the great Michangeleo. We have a new co op gallery that opened up in my town and I've been learning about it but haven't walked in there yet. There is a great chapter about joining your local art scene. Well, for awhile my town didn't really have an art scene. Things are changing now and it's great, now it's just trying to get myself to go out amonst the living...very hard to do, but this book is pushing at me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Macdonald

    If you’re an artist in any sense of the word (writer, painter, singer, photographer, musician etc.), this is a must read. It’s a hug and a shove to move us forward in our creative living. Since there are so many motivational quotes Jeff coined, I decided to underline my favorites instead of copying them all out. Here are a couple: “Money is the means to making art, but it must never be the master.” Jeff Goins “The path to a diverse portfolio is not a series of giant leaps but of small steps.” Jef If you’re an artist in any sense of the word (writer, painter, singer, photographer, musician etc.), this is a must read. It’s a hug and a shove to move us forward in our creative living. Since there are so many motivational quotes Jeff coined, I decided to underline my favorites instead of copying them all out. Here are a couple: “Money is the means to making art, but it must never be the master.” Jeff Goins “The path to a diverse portfolio is not a series of giant leaps but of small steps.” Jeff Goins If you need help turning your art into a business without losing your soul, read this book. Jeff gives a bunch of examples of famous people who chose creativity over greed. In the end they were soul satisfied—and usually wealthier for it too. This book helped me embrace my own unique approach to art. I was affirmed and not shamed for having a *“distracted mind that can bring such energy to tackle a wide array of projects.” Because “when you understand this is not an event but a process, the work becomes richer.” *( Jeff Goins)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

    Real Artists Don't Starve is an enjoyable read providing plenty of food for thought through many anecdotes of how artists have been able to make a living from their works and for their works. The writing style of the book is a bit fluffy, full of repetitions and rephrasing (sic). It has many bold claims that are not backed up by evidence beyond a few anecdotes. Nevertheless, it is an interesting story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fiza Pathan

    This was such an interesting, helpful & insightful read. Through the lives of various artists, experienced & accomplished writer Jeff Goins has really made it easier for the New Renaissance artists, who are in fact all of you reading this review, to really realize their role in this competitive world. You are not going to get spoilers from me, no way ! You HAVE TO read this book & realize for yourself how you with your art can 'thrive through this new creative age'. I wish I had read This was such an interesting, helpful & insightful read. Through the lives of various artists, experienced & accomplished writer Jeff Goins has really made it easier for the New Renaissance artists, who are in fact all of you reading this review, to really realize their role in this competitive world. You are not going to get spoilers from me, no way ! You HAVE TO read this book & realize for yourself how you with your art can 'thrive through this new creative age'. I wish I had read this book when I was first starting out, I wouldn't have been so much of a 'suffering artist' which you can read about in this book. Don't be a 'suffering writer' like me when I was in my early 20's, be a 'thriving artist' & how to be so will be taught to you by Jeff Goins. Experience this book & carry it with you where ever you go. Learn the examples used & comprehend their significance. Please read this book if you are an aspiring artist, it will be your Bible. Great going Jeff Goins, a wonderful book indeed !

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