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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,458 ratings  ·  273 reviews
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
ebook, 240 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by HarperCollins Leadership
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Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-audio
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.

Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-on-writing
This is a truly fantastic book.

Goins expertly understands not only what it takes to succeed as a creative-minded individual in the ever-morphing digital age but also how to motivate people to pursue that path. This book left me with a lot to think about regarding practices I could better adopt as a writer to better pursue a sustainable career on that front, and also refreshed my mindset on how I ought to be pursuing this path.

I'm going to have to re-read this book on a regular basis.

Marion Hill
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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
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 ...more
Nathan Albright
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge2017

[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
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Matthew Buscemi
Sep 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
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 ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Donna Weaver
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

This is a book
Kate Singh
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.

Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
Via Bella
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
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:}

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
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.

Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
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,
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Emma Sea
Aug 04, 2017 marked it as own-and-need-to-read
why is the paperback cheaper than the kindle edition?
Erik Rostad
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Good, quick read that helps artists have the right mindset for first valuing their art and then figuring out ways to make money from it. The author, Jeff Goins, takes on one of the most common misconceptions about artists - that the good ones are barely scraping by. He delves into three main areas - mindset, market, and money. This is a must-read for anyone doing creative work.
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 ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Create With Joy
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
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
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
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
Mark Wheeler
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Debbi Mack
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Julie Akeman
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Wendy Macdonald
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.”
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Jeff Goins is the author of four books, including the national best seller, The Art of Work. He is also a full-time blogger, speaker, and entrepreneur.

Originally from Chicago, Goins graduated from Illinois College and spent the next year on the road with a band. After that, he moved to Nashville to chase a girl and spent the next seven years working at a nonprofit. He now writes and speaks for a
“When the right people advocate for your work, your success becomes more likely. Being good is necessary, but it is not sufficient. Skill is a prerequisite for creative success, but talent is only part of the equation. The rest is network.” 5 likes
“When I notice myself resenting my clients and wanting to quit,” Melissa Dinwiddie said, “I realize I don’t need to quit. I just need to raise my prices. If you’re feeling resentment at all, you’re charging too little.” 2 likes
More quotes…