Author: Jeff Goins
Info: Copyright 2017: Nashville: Nelson Books
Where acquired: Library check out.
Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars): ✮✭✭✭
What it's about: Author Jeff Goins tackles the notion that a creative is only a "true" artist if he is constantly behind the eight-ball financially and must succumb to the image of the starving artist. Through extensive research of both historical and contemporary examples, the author elevates the creative from starving to thriving. Woven through this volume are instructions and examples on changing one's mindset, marketing one's work, and dealing with money.
Category: Impulse Read: I was watching a video interview of the author on Michael Hyatt's Facebook page. I'd never heard of Jeff Goins before, but his description of he subject matter hit home and I was immediately curious.
"We must not only use our stubbornness to succeed,--we must harness it and apply it toward the right things, turning it into tenacity. Otherwise, what helps us succeed can also be the source of our undoing. p. 55
"When you're playing a game you can't seem to win, sometimes the best thing to do it not try harder. None of us want to spend our lives playing by someone else's rules. When the game is unfair, change the game you're playing. Move to another city, create a new art form, get a different network. If the group you want to be a part of doesn't want you, create your own." p. 97
"Genius tends to happen in community, not isolation." Michael Farrel, Quoted on page 111.
"Promotion isn't something an artist avoids; it's an essential part of the job." - p. 124
"Creative success is about getting to do your work without constraint. Money is not the point, but it is part of the road we must walk to become professionals. Charging brings dignity to our work. It validates our offering to this world and allows us to keep working." - p. 139.
"The point is not to make a fortune or become famous, but to do the work. We are all looking for a way to share our gift with the world without worrying about making a living. That means building a life that allows us to keep creating." - p. 202
What I Liked:
- Goins has an entire section of references. In other words, he gives proof that he thoroughly researched the subject and didn't just make this up off the top of his head.
- He doesn't advise quitting one's day job and just diving in. That's usually the formula for the starving artist.
- Though it was scholarly research, the author's writing style wasn't dry, but read more like a mentoring session. He also shares examples from his own life.
- Goins taught me a piece of Black History I never knew about; the Florida Highwaymen: a group of painters of color who sold unique landscape oil paintings starting in the 1950's. This group of creators sold art in a time and place where their actions defied cultural and racial norms. I want to learn more about these fabulous trailblazers.
What I didn’t like:
- I would have preferred that the author not to refer to reaping inspiration from our influences "stealing." I understand that he's not talking about plagiarism, or presenting someone else's artwork as one's own, but his wording makes it sound that way.
I relish books that give me solid information that leads to a complete paradigm shift in my thinking. This book ranks right up there with how Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course changed my views on money and Dan Millers 48 Days to the Work You Love podcast shifted my attitudes and techniques on finding lucrative, meaningful work. Like many others, I had also been taught the myth of the starving artist without knowing how this apocryphal story became an assumed fact.
This book revealed my mistakes as an artist while providing steps to avoid other pitfalls. My attitude about my own artwork is changing; hopefully, my strategies for getting more of it out into the world will grow as well. I plan to purchase a copy of Real Artists Don't Starve for future reference and inspiration.