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Real Artists Don’t Starve Summary – March 2022

Author: Jeff Goins

Short Summary
In Real Artists Don’t Starve (2017), Jeff shows how the starving artist myth hurts artists and how a better understanding of the path of other thriving artists can help you. He guides you through the indispensable laws for artisans and shares real-life stories of artists who discovered these laws to see how they are put into practice in the real world. The book is a practical guide that will help you discover your path and make it a far more lucrative and rewarding journey than it otherwise would have been.
real artists don't starve
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

Poets, writers, and other artists are used to living on the margins of society, surviving off the bare minimum. To make ends meet, many take on a variety of odd jobs—teaching, waiting tables, and working as a janitor. The idea of the poor poet leading a bohemian lifestyle may seem romantic, but the reality of having to fight to just make ends meet is a tough grind. At times, even the most successful artists aren’t sure if they’re actually making a living or just getting by. Many artists who seem to be doing well turn out to be living hand to mouth; their real plan is something else entirely.

It is a fact of history that most “starving artists” were not starving at all. They were richly funded by patrons that understood the importance of supporting talented creators. What they didn’t do is compete in an art market and make their careers about being popular and making money. This book is ideal for aspiring writers, photographers, visual artists, musicians, and any business owners who wish to succeed while staying authentic to their passion. It’s also a great way to encourage children who are just exploring their artistic side.

Real Artists Don’t Starve Key Points

Practice your art while building an audience in public

One big shift that happens is that you stop thinking of your art as a secret, shameful thing and start seeing it as something that can serve the world. But after you’ve made that shift, you still feel uncomfortable with the idea of selling your work.

To make this change, you need to build an audience around your art. You can do this by engaging with people around your art and responding to their reactions. Some people have a more vocal response than others. These people may be worth listening to. Some of their reactions may pertain to something about the art that you could improve. They may have some advice for you about how to improve your art. Artists have long put their work out in the world, been seen by people, and counted on their reputation to foster business opportunities. For now, the internet remains a place where you can practice your art in public without having to make your skills so good people can’t ignore them.

Every time you perform your art, you’re getting experience — as an artist and as a “business person.” Every time you sell a product or a service, each interaction with a patron or client, you’re learning and making connections that will help you get the next job. Don’t let your ego get the better of you — you don’t want to be the rock star who never practices or the business owner who resents having to market his business. You’re not going to be perfect at this. It’s just like anything else. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more effective it becomes.

Never work for free or sell yourself cheap

Today you are more likely to get a person to give up their lifetime earnings for something valuable. This is why it is important to set your rates high from the beginning. We should not work free unless we are getting the experience. When facing a choice between gaining the experience or getting paid do not work free. You will always have to do free work. Getting that first gig working for free won’t be the last time your services will be requested for cheap or for free. That’s just how things go in this line of work. There’s no way of avoiding them but there’s a way of minimizing them, by not selling yourself cheap.

There are two elements where new artists fall in their beginning:

  • Working for free
  • Charging only once for lifetime returns

Whenever someone tells me about an opportunity to write an article in return for exposure to the magazine, newspaper, etc. I instantly know it is not a good opportunity. Demand for money. Jess suggested never working for free for anyone. A big part of converting your passion into your profession is to believe in yourself and your work that is worth it.

“Keep your art in your hands and money in your pocket.” You will never regret it.

Relish the modern renaissance

It’s a time of true Renaissance for creatives who are in total control of their work—from the moment of conception to the moment of creation. Modern artists have more freedom, more opportunities, and more outlets than ever before. Yet, there once was a time when the artist’s life was filled with less freedom and fewer opportunities. Think medieval times. In fact, not only is this notion historically rooted but there’s also good scientific evidence that it’s true.

Artists in the Renaissance were viewed as wizards. They left their mark on everything from peasants’ pottery to castle walls. Furthermore, they created amazing pieces of art – things that continue to inspire us today. They were inventors and explorers, pushing the limits of what was possible. They were considered as an important part of society as great thinkers like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, I, and William Shakespeare.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, professional artists thrived. The ruling class in Northern Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, was eager to commission portraits of themselves and their families, and there was a shitload of money in it for patrons. You don’t have to be a king, you could be a merchant. This led to an explosion of creativity.

Real Artists Don’t Starve Quotes

“We don’t fake it till we make it. We believe it till we become it.” Jeff Goins

“Eventually, you have to decide who you are. You have to choose your role and own that identity. We don’t fake it till we make it. We believe it till we become it.”  Jeff Goins

Real Artists Don’t Starve Review

It’s a great book, I have a copy. This book has a very clear summary of real artists. If you are looking for an honest book that explains the reality of being an artist, this is it. It’s not just a motivational book, it gives you real advice. It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer or an artist, the principles in this book can apply to anyone. In terms of the information that is given, the book is organized in a way that after every stanza will let you reflect on what you have just read.

To whom I would recommend the Real artists don’t starve summary?

  • Anyone who likes to write but confuse about turning passion into a profession.
  • A freelancer who is struggling to earn money through his creative art.
  • Anyone who has a hobby of pottery but he thinks it is weird.

Link: https://amzn.to/3S68wg9