BOOK REVIEW- "Do I Have to be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century?" by Hisani P. Dubose

I created a piece of art recently about my contempt for the veneration of poverty among artists via the so-called "starving artist" archetype. It's not like I think there is something wrong with making a sacrifice for one's art. But being a so-called "starving artist" should be like being an "intern". Being a Starving Artist is acceptable as a STAGE of a career, but not as a permanent way of life. We as artists have the power to make a living inside of us, but it is a puzzle to solve, a goal to unlock. We need to start with getting the right state of mind.  We must apply some of the creativity and hard work we usually reserve for art creation to developing our business acumen and hustle. The "starving artist" mentality complicates the process by undermining the priorities that are required to succeed, until the false virtues of poverty and failure become self-fulfilling prophecies.

So how do you get the starving artist mindset out of your life? The same way you always kill ignorance and foolishness: With BOOKS, fool! Of course it's the knowledge that is most important, not the package it comes in, so watch videos and listen to podcasts too, but don't be afraid to read! One great book that was recommended to me is Do I Have to be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century by Hisani P. Dubose. It was not a difficult read, but there is definitely a lot of good advice in this book.  

Hisani does a great job of demystifying the process of transforming oneself from from a hungry ball of talent and passion into an equally talented and passionate art business person (or as I like to say "artrepreneur"). She really stresses taking charge of ones' own career in favor of celebrating the hope of being "discovered". She uses examples from many different art forms and industries, and works to break down the mental barriers an artist would likely come into the book with. She reminds artists that the many non-art skills they have accumulated at various jobs can be re-tasked to support their art careers while they are in the struggling phases. She also suggests coping mechanisms, strategies, and ways to effectively prioritize so that you retain a balanced life.

Do I Have to be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century is available in print and on the Kindle. I bought it on Kindle for $10, which is more than I am normally willing to pay for a digital book, but I think it was a great investment. I have been working on my art hustle for a while, and I still got some great information out of this book. If you are stuck in the Starving Artist phase of your career, at least put it on a wishlist and ask a friend or family member to buy it for you. If you are a friend or loved one to a struggling artist, CLICK HERE to buy them a copy of Do I Have to be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century on Amazon.



Hisani P DuBose said...

Love your artwork. Thanks again for helping to get the word out to artists. The people I wrote the book for.

samax amen said...

Thanks. I was really blessed by the book, and feel strongly about spreading that kind of message. Thanks again for writing it!

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