Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Tough Questions About Real Artists Don’t Starve

You can’t write a book called “Real Artists Don’t Starve” and not expect a reaction. If you try to write for everyone, no one will pay attention. With my latest book, readers are asking some tough questions.

Tough Questions About Real Artists Don't Starve

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy rejoins us to cohost this special episode as I sit in the hot seat to answer a few pointed and insightful questions about Real Artists Don’t Starve, the myth of the starving artist, the steps it takes to thrive as a creative, and the rules of New Renaissance.

Listen in as we discuss the nature of creative work, the importance of joining a scene, Steve Jobs impact at Apple, a poignant lesson from George Lucas’ early days with Star Wars, and why starving doesn’t lead to great art.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).


Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Addressing the perception of survivorship bias
  • Supporting yourself without selling out
  • Why making money leads to making more art
  • What Picasso, Hemingway, and Jim Henson have in common
  • How the story we tell ourselves about art impacts our craft
  • Why artists sometimes starve, but don’t have to
  • The role geography plays in your creative success
  • Looking for the existing opportunities available to you
  • The balance of maintaining ownership and selling your work
  • How to decide between traditional publishing and self-publishing
  • One thing I’d love every person who reads the book to tell me

Quotes and takeaways

  • Go where the magic is right now. Join a scene or create one.
  • Art costs money. Art costs time. The best art does not come from scarcity.
  • If you don’t want to do marketing, you can’t be upset that nobody’s looking at your art.
  • You might be standing in your own way.
  • Throughout history, real artists didn’t starve to create their best work.


Click here to grab your copy of Real Artists Don’t Starve.

Do you think artists have to starve for their work? What does a thriving artist look like to you? Share in the comments

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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