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Review: Real Artists Don't Starve

The proposition of Real Artists Don't Starve (2017, Thomas Nelson) is intriguing. It begins with a shocking discovery about Renaissance artist Michelangelo. While he may be seen as the stereotypical "starving artist," he was actually paid a fortune for his murals on the Sistine Chapel. This led author Jeff Goins to the conclusion that being an artist does not mean succumbing to the "Starving Artist" mold. Instead, he contrasts this with the "Thriving Artist" of what he calls the New Renaissance. The book presents practical principles for becoming an artist who thrives, embracing countercultural mentalities of creativity.

Make no mistake—this book is not a how-to on starting a work from beginning to end. Rather, Real Artists Don't Starve presents a method, a mindset in which to enter a creative process. As a musician, composer, and graphic designer, I benefited from many of these ideas that I often saw as wrong, such as that "stealing" is a good thing. This book does have a self-help vibe to it, and its publication by a Christian organization hints at the betterment of life promised by the Gospel. Overall, this book is an excellent read for existing artists who want to go deeper in their craft.

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