Real Artists Don’t Starve Book Summary, by Jeff Goins

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1-Page Summary of Real Artists Don’t Starve


In the book “Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age” (2017) by Jeff Goins, he promotes a new way of thinking about living an artist’s life. He argues that anyone can become an artist and take advantage of numerous opportunities. To do this, creative people must be willing to reject conventional wisdom and focus on crafting their artistic identities. To be an artist, individuals must first see themselves as artists. Self-fashioning is a process made up of small steps taken towards becoming artists.

Every artist needs a mentor, patron, and community to succeed. The connections they make through these relationships can help them get ahead in the art world.

Artists should be more business-minded and recognize that they need to make money from their work. Artists who are successful in the business world also realize that working for free is a bad idea, as well as holding onto artwork because it can be an investment.

Artists need to learn new skills and diversify their portfolios. By learning multiple skills, artists can be more flexible in responding to opportunities and creating innovative art pieces. Artists should stop eating Velveeta cheese on crackers and Bud Lite beer, and instead eat Brie cheese with wine.

Key Takeaways

There is no such thing as a born artist. You have to choose to become one. To be an artist, you must first see yourself as an artist and believe that you are one.

People who want to be artists should study the masters and then steal from them. They shouldn’t fear rejection, because they need cheerleaders to help them along the way. Artists can’t work alone; they have to join a scene. Collaboration is key for success as an artist, so self-promotion is important too.

Artists should think like entrepreneurs. They need to learn about business and how they can make money from their art. Artists also need to embrace the idea of making money because it will help them thrive in today’s society.

Key Takeaway 1: There’s no such thing as a born artist. Everyone must choose to become one.

The myth that artists are born with a special talent and suffer from poverty is prevalent. However, scientists have shown that the brains of artists differ from those of other people in several ways. Scientists think this may contribute to their creativity. Other research has linked certain genes to musical creativity and brain plasticity (the ability for the brain to change).

Art is not so determined. People who are famous for being artists first had to decide they wanted to be artists. Michelangelo was a self-made artist because he believed that he came from a noble family, which boosted his confidence and motivated him to work hard at becoming an artist. His hard work paid off, as he became one of the most famous painters in history.

Key Takeaway 2: Aspiring artists must see themselves as the artists they truly are.

Each person creates his own story about himself and his life. By committing to a new narrative, one becomes an artist. This idea is based on the New Thought movement which says that you can change your reality by changing your thoughts. The New Thought movement died out in the mid-twentieth century but its ideas are still influential today. It was also the inspiration for The Secret (2006), a documentary about how thinking positively can help you achieve success and wealth.

Key Takeaway 3: Artists should embrace each step along the way.

To become an artist, people should treat creating art as they would any other job. John Grisham is a great example. He dedicated 30 minutes to an hour each day to working on his first novel, A Time To Kill (1989). After completing the manuscript, he approached more than 40 publishers before finally landing a contract.

Real Artists Don’t Starve Book Summary, by Jeff Goins