Real Artists Don’t Starve Review
Author: Jeff Goins
Price: $16.50 | Kindle: $9.99 | Audio CD: $19.99
Before you purchase Jeff Goins’ Real Artists Don’t Starve and/or pursue any career or entrepreneurial goals, please read this comprehensive review. I’ll detail the book’s highlights where you may familiarize yourself with the author’s perspectives on art/creativity, and its place in the marketplace. Endowed with a creative bent, you may find Jeff Goins’ views on artistry life-changing, directing you towards a path that you may not have taken otherwise.
Real Artists Don’t Starve Review – Shattering the Myth of the Starving Artist
We’ve been indoctrinated to believe that those who pursue the arts as a livelihood are inclined to struggle. In our mind’s eye, we see these artists as destitute, and committed to their passions despite their obvious financial constraints. Low on funds, such creatives aspire to achieve a higher calling than compensation. They so richly want to make their mark on the world, even if they don’t attain the monetary fruits from their labor.
Here, satisfaction comes from the doing, not from the earning!
Jeff Goins turns this myth inside out. Indeed, he provides a number of historical and current references, citing prominent figures who thrived as a result of their artistry — a far call from the pitied, penniless souls we would imagine.
Michelangelo, the famous sculptor, painter, and architect, demanded ample compensation, even as an apprentice. Confident in his own skills and abilities, he acquired a number of patrons, who recognized his talents and rewarded him for his efforts. At the time of his death, Michelangelo was a wealthy man, parlaying creativity into a fortune!
Painter extraordinaire, Vincent Van Gogh, too, was a man of some means, even if he was funded by his brother. He could express himself through his art as he had a financial safety net.
Van Gogh also established a network of similar-minded artists (i.e., French Impressionists) who validated his work and challenged him to continue to enhance his skills, and earn revenue in the process. Mental illness conspired against Van Gogh — not his pursuit of the arts.
It’s clear that Jeff Goins wants his readers to be unscathed by any faulty thinking that joining the New Renaissance will lead to poverty. On the contrary, he asserts that creativity can lead towards cash, and that ‘Starving artists’ can transform to ‘Thriving artists’ if they’re willing to follow a core set of rules.
Real Artists Don’t Starve – A 12-Step Program, Beginning With Mindset
Here is the Goins road map of success for would-be artists: Master mindset, market, and money and prosperity awaits. He expounds on his views, presenting twelve rules differentiating starving vs. thriving artists.
Before finding success, the artist has to find inner peace, sense of purpose, and strength of will. No one can define who you are; only you have that right, privilege, and duty. Committed towards writing for a living, then by decree, you may assert yourself a ‘writer.’ Blessed with the ability and drive to draw cartoons, then label yourself a ‘cartoonist,’ if that mirrors your self-perception. Possessing the drive and determination to pursue singing as a professional career, then you may aptly define yourself a ‘singer.’ You do not have to wait for others to validate your claims. Believe in yourself, regardless of pursuit and passion, and others will soon believe in you, too.
Cultivating the right mindset, according to the precepts listed in the book, also encompass the following points:
- You can nurture your artistry, even if by nature, you’re not endowed with some special gift. Practice translates into progression, and not necessarily perfection. In time, you can acquire the skills and traits of an admired artist, even if your skills are a work in progress.
- You can borrow from the masters and implement a different slant. This declaration provided much reassurance to me. True artists don’t necessarily need to reinvent the proverbial wheel. They can incorporate the techniques, methods, and strategies of influencers, and put their own spin on the arrangement. This is not meant to suggest that anyone should directly plagiarize another person’s work. However, incorporating someone else’s ideas and embellishing them is well within the framework of a creative, savvy artist.
- Become more well-rounded and speed up competence by working under the tutelage of a master. The learning curve can greatly accelerate, and talents can be awakened and groomed under the guidance and direction of a professional. Only starving artists work in isolation, believing that they have all the answers.
- Artists have to have persevere despite knocks and criticism. Others’ condemnation should never derail the real artist. They can harness any negative energy, and transform it to positive intent, purpose, and outcome.
Throughout the discussion on mindset, Jeff Goins provides plenty of real life examples of hearty souls who cultivated a ‘limitless possibilities mindset,’ ensuring productivity and prosperity.
May the Market Force be With You
In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins expounds on the marketplace, and how it centers on the exchange between money and commodities. Art is perceived as a gift, not as a commodity, and thus the artist needs to find a source of income for his/her work.
The artist is not without options: Art can be sold directly to the market (you’ll discover how to find an audience) or can be supported by patrons (you’ll also be privy to how to find these financial supporters and influencers).
But one key element in finding those who will back you — emotionally and financially — is to actively showcase your art, using all available opportunities. In a global economy where products are available in a click of a button, for example, you can set up a site that features your work, announce it from the hilltops and from every social media platform you own, create a video channel dedicated to your art, and use other Internet-based avenues to promote yourself and your goods.
There are a myriad of offline venues, such as art galleries, you can use as well. But to ensure the chances that your art will receive the recognition and compensation it deserves, Goins details the importance of finding your scene (i.e., building a community where artists mutually support one another), and collaborating with other creatives. And unlike their starving artist counterparts, progressive, thriving artists also practice in public, fine-tuning their craft and gaining invaluable feedback, even if its negative.
In addition, Goins prepares his readers for the worse case scenario where the artist is not receiving remuneration for his/her efforts: The day job can support the passionate enterprise … until the art can.
No artist needs to take a leap of faith, turn a blind eye to his/her bank coffers, and solely focus on creation. In small, incremental but productive steps, the budding artist can move towards his/her dream of financially rewarding, creative self-expression, building upon the small successes that transpire in the interim.
Money and Art are not Mutually Exlusive
In the final section of the book, Jeff Goins speaks about that taboo subject (at least in the context of art): money.
He lends an outstretched hand of support, providing insight on how to revamp thinking when it comes to the relationship between creation and cash. For instance, in no circumstance, should the artist work for free. Performing complimentary work lessons its perceived and actual value. The artist cannot afford to devalue his/her own work if the goal is to get others to see its intrinsic benefits and monetary worth.
Art is a means to make money, which in turn, will support the creation of more art, and lead the artist to a sense of fulfillment. Goins presents a cogent argument for the money-minded artist: “The more money you have, the more time you have; and the more time you have, the more art you can make.”The amount of income does not have to be all-consuming, but it’s a necessary aspect to consider for creatives. (Discard another myth: Money cheapens art. It actually makes it more possible to create.)
Be forewarned that starving artists rarely own their own work and don’t develop a diverse portfolio. Goins rallies around the ideas that the artist must retain ownership of his/her work and not sell out prematurely, and be open towards a variety of creative avenues. A number of famous people are depicted, illustrating these tenets.
Who is the Book for?
It appears that the average customer avatar who is inclined to read, Real Artists Don’t Starve, is someone who is looking to change professional direction. Alternatively, it may be someone who continues to strive towards making ends meet through creative endeavors, or someone who is looking for even greater success through creative expression.
If you’re not happy with your current job, particularly if you don’t find yourself fulfilled, and you’re longing to pursue passion for profit, this is an ideal book. The rules of profitable artistry are well laid out and organized, and the vignettes alone, are inspiring.
Similarly, if you’re desperate for your talents and creative abilities to pay the bills and even produce stratospheric income, then this book will serve as a prudent guide in helping you get to your ‘Promised Land.’
Who is the Book not for?
If you’re someone who sees only obstacles and challenges in your path, where circumstances become excuses for immobilization, then I don’t believe this book will help you steady your course. You have to be open-minded when reading it, and understand that you alone have the responsibility and power to create your own destiny.
Moreover, if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to produce income through creative expression (e.g., how to make money by painting), you’re not going to find what you need. This is not a prescription on the exact methods to take to earn income through art. It’s a treatise on the art of work where burgeoning artists can discover how to approach creative pursuits to gain greater mastery and money.
Real Artists Don’t Starve – Final Words
Jeff Goins is a perfect illustration of many of the points broached in his book. He worked on his own self-limiting beliefs and self-imposed limitations, and finally settled on the idea that he was a writer (well before the publication of his books). He continues to hone his craft, develop his portfolio, collaborate with others, and moves forward whether or not criticism is raised.
He has discovered a community where he shares ideas, and has developed a fan base among the collective reading audience and publishing powers that be. He values his work and so do others, and he now supports himself and his family through the creative enterprise of writing.
I found the book an interesting read, and appreciated the well-written content, supported by numerous examples. In this way, I not only learned about how artists can safeguard their own futures, but how others gained greater prominence in their fields by the mindset that they possessed and the actions they pursued.
Once again, the book does not present a step-by-step formula on how to turn art into gold. It shows how the proper artistic temperament, sensibilities, and pursuits, can ensure a sustainable living — one devoid of starving and other suffering.
Real Artists Don’t Starve Bonus
Thanks so much for reading this comprehensive Real Artists Don’t Starve review.
As a way to encourage you to read the book as I know you’ll find it enlightening and helpful, please accept a complimentary copy of our e-book, Unleash the Creative New Year. It’s a perfect complement to Jeff Goins text, where you can learn how to maximize your innate creativity.
For example, this guide will show you how to conquer fear, anxiety and procrastination so that your creativity can be set loose. You’ll also see how to solve problems, use ingenuity with highly developed right and left brain hemispheres, and how well-needed breaks can spur creativity.
If you order Jeff’s book using any of the links on this page, you will be entitled to receive this guide.
Along with our bonus, Jeff Goins is offering pre-order bonuses, if you buy the book before June 6, 2017.
He is offering the following:
– A 12-part video course where he elaborates on the principles conveyed in Real Artists Don’t Starve
– The actual interview transcripts, depicting conversations with the people who are used as text book examples
– A private Facebook group where Jeff will answer your questions
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