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Jun 202017
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Find out why I did not want to review this book!

Book Review: Real Artists Don’t Starve

Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Author: Jeff Goins

Genre: Non-fiction

Topic: Creativity, Creative prosperity, personal growth, professional development

“Charging what you are worth begins with the belief that you are worth what you charge.”

Jeff Goins

Real Artists Don’t Starve











I’ve been waiting for this book for over three decades.

The first decades comprised my own agonizing war between creativity and money that saw me struggling to not only do my art without pay, but to pay in order to do my art.

The later decades were full of frustrating conversations within the creative community. In these painful conversations I saw my earlier identity as a starving artist mirrored in different versions with each new generation, especially in the Latino community –where we are already predisposed to being devalued, underpaid and ignored by the mainstream. The same applied to women artists and to other minority artists, until I got into the forums and realized these conversations were the norm among all creatives. Something had to change!

And now this book is here, I don’t want to review it.

Instead, I want to feed every word of it to every creative around the globe. (But I resign myself to review it so that they can buy it and devour it!) LOL!

Here’s why I want you to devour this book as soon as possible:

  • Do you believe that art does not bring home the bacon (or broccoli, if you are vegetarian)?
    • Then you need to watch Jeff burst the 12 myths that keep us believing that artists must starve and that art does not pay. 


  • Do you find it hard to believe that you could thrive financially doing your art or from your creativity?
    • Once the psyche assimilates Limiting or Prohibitive Stories, it installs them as neural maps. Anytime you meet a similar situation, your subconscious automatically (without your conscious consent) sends your interpretation to that neural map. Many creatives are trapped in those old stories. What do you need to jump the fence? Among other things, you need to inundate the psyche with irrefutable, proven new evidence. In Real Artists Don’t Starve Jeff Goins does a thorough job of shaking up your mindset by providing amazing case studies and facts that help you change your Starving Artist mindset into a new Thriving Artist mindset.


  • Are you wilting in a low-paying stultifying job? Are you unemployed? Are you scared of the changes in our economy that have entire corporations moving their operations to other countries, factories and work centers closing, entire fields of work disappearing, computers substituting humans –like in the industrial age machines did?
    • The 21 century is seeing the rise of a new economy, new professions and new professional strategies, of entrepreneurs, authorpreneurs and artistpreneurs. USA corporations are desperate seeking creative minds that can adapt quickly to change, think outside the box and see the potential of new trends. But they cannot find these creatives. Why? Because for decades the educational system and the powers-that-be dismantled, devalued and shamed the creative genius of millions of children and youth. These young people grew up to believe they were not creative. Those stubborn or resilient enough to keep their creativity were convinced that they must protect it from the status quo and became rebels who worked somewhere else in order to pay for their creativity –to keep it pure by not “selling-out to the establishment.” There is a gap between what corporations need for the 21st century and the available creatives. You can fill that gap, but only if you know how to value, present, brand and negotiate for your creative genius. In Real Artists Don’t Starve Jeff Goins empowers you to think strategically in order to achieve this.


  • Are you doing your art haphazardly? Are you working your butt off and not seeing progress? Do you want to be published but do not have a platform? Are you selling books by the dozen a month–even a year; not enough to make a living? Are you selling only locally and not breaking even? Do you dream of being discovered, published, picked up by a recording agency?
    • Strategy is not taught in school. Not even those of us who studied our art field in college got taught long-term strategies. Many of us carry old myths about being discovered, believing that if we get an agent, publisher, recording label contract or gallery gig, then our troubles are over. They will save us and all we’ll have to do is do our art. I’m tired of hearing my peers say “All I want to do is my art.” That is a recipe for failure and worse –dependency. But it is not a strategy to generate a livelihood, build a financial foundation or leave a legacy. In Real Artists Don’t Starve Jeff gives you long-term, contextual strategic view of the life and work of a Thriving Artist within the modern world. It offers twelve Rules of the New Renaissance that help you generate a step-by-step plan and a long-term strategy to thrive from your creativity.

Here are my favorite rules:

#3. The Starving Artist believes he has enough talent. The Thriving Artist Apprentices with a master.

#5. The Starving Artist waits to be noticed. The Thriving Artist cultivates patrons.

#7. The Starving Artist works alone. The Thriving Artist collaborates with others.

#9. The Starving Artist works for free. The Thriving Artist always works for something.

#12. The Starving Artist despises the need for money. The Thriving Artist makes money to make art.

A Shamanic View

From a shamanic Sacred Feminine perspective, the war between art and money is part of the old devaluation of the Sacred Feminine in our patriarchal society. The creative mind is associated with the right-brain hemisphere, intuition, emotions and other Feminine Gifts in both women and men. These gifts have consistently been devalued in favor of logical thinking, success formulas and a competitive mindset that kills collaboration.

The war between art and money is related to these other wars –which by the way are Inner Wars fought in the psyche of many creatives:

  • Spirituality vs. money
  • Love Vs. Power
  • Delight Vs. Duty
  • Beauty Vs Function
  • Acceptance Vs. Freedom
  • Self Vs. Others (This polarity is created by the exclusionary definition of power that says only one can have it and if you have it, then I don’t.)

Like the myth of the starving artist, these are fabricated polarities that we have internalized. Their function is to keep us running from one extreme to the other, unable to make choices and take action, paralyzed in duality. As long as the creative power in our society wastes their energy, time and genius others can take advantage of our doubts to exploit our talents for their own benefit while paying us near to nothing.

A Courageous, Creative Voice

Here –at last– is a courageous creative voice breaking through the misty fog of the Starving Artist trance to liberate our talent and unleash the Creative Genius in each of us and in the world.

  • If you have creative friends who struggle to make a living, gift them this book
  • If you have unemployed friends who are brilliant but can’t find their place in the market, give them this book.
  • If you have artists working towards their success and prosperity, tell them about this book.
  • If you are an artist –in any discipline– get this book.

But I’m not recommending that you read it.

No. That’s not enough.

Get your markers and journal. Study it. Develop your strategy based on these 12 rules.

Use this book to develop a strategy to go from struggling to thriving.

You deserve it as much as the world deserves your gifts.

Get it. Now.












Send to Kindle

About Maria Mar

Maria Mar is a Sacred Storyteller and shaman who champions you to change your old limiting story to create the new story of your brilliance illuminating the world. She helps you awaken your magic, express your creative genius, embody your purpose and live your potential now.

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