Jeff Goins on Real Artists Don’t Starve, Part 1

In his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, Jeff Goins discusses how we can apply prudent strategies in positioning ourselves for thriving in our chosen field of craft.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 1, You Aren’t Born an Artist

In this chapter, Jeff discusses the mindset of being born an artist vs. becoming an artist. He offers the following recommendations for us to think about:

  • We are not born an artist; however, we can become one.
  • If we want to become artists, we must break away from the status quo and forge a new path. We cannot do just what others expect of us, which turns out to be how creativity works best.
  • Before we can create art, we first must create ourselves. Then, we do not have to assume the identity other people gave us.
  • Eventually, we must decide who we are by choosing our role and owning that identity. We do not fake it till we make it; instead, we believe it till we become it.
  • Once we have endeavored to re-create ourselves, we begin taking practical steps towards the change. Most significant change starts with a simple step, not a giant leap.
  • Doing creative work involves taking small steps, not a leap or an epiphany. The steps are small decisions that lead to the next one. We can do extraordinary things when we are patiently persistent.
  • Becoming an artist is not a one-time event, as we are never done becoming ourselves. Instead, we are either becoming more of our true selves or drifting into a false self.
  • We appreciate art that we find on the fringes, so it is never too late to start living a new story.

In summary, “The Starving Artist believes you must be born an artist. The Thriving Artist knows you must become one.”