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 6, Go Join a Scene
In this chapter, Jeff discusses the importance of where we do our work and its effect on our work. He offers the following recommendations for us to think about:
- Our environment can affect how others perceive our work. One way it does that is by affecting the network we can build in that environment. Different settings allow us to create various networks. Those networks can contribute both positively and negatively to our work.
- As an artist, we must be good at what we do, but being good is not enough. We must also have access to influential people who can help us spread our work and ideas. A network is our insurance against anonymity.
- An artist will inevitably ensure many rejections. There will be many people who would reject our work for a variety of reasons. When we get rejected repeatedly, sometimes the best approach is not to work harder but to change the location or the scenery.
- Not everyone can move to another location on a whim. Sometimes we need to stay where we are. Therefore, it is essential to create a scene or environment conducive to doing our work. There are tools for creating meet-ups and opportunities for like-minded individuals to connect locally. Sometimes the community we need could be right in front of us.
- Success in any creative field is contingent on the scenes and the networks we are part of. First, we can build a network by contributing more than we take from it. Then, as we make those contributions over time, we will create a group of relationships, or networks, that we can take with us wherever we go.
In summary, “The Starving Artist believes he can be creative anywhere. The Thriving Artist goes where creative work is already happening.”