Real Artists Don't Starve

Jeff Goins

Real Artists Don't Starve



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It is a commonly held belief that a true artist is a Starving Artist: poor, frustrated, and original. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, Jeff Goins debunks this myth, recounting stories of successful artists, both historical and contemporary, and presents the idea of ushering in “The New Renaissance” – a period in which the Thriving Artist takes centre stage. This type of artist believes in themselves, knows that success comes from perseverance, recognises the value of their work, shares it with others, and nurtures fruitful relationships. Their main goal is to continue expressing themselves and creating art: in order to do so, they must become a professional and a businessperson, following twelve crucial principles crucial to steering through the Thriving Artist’s approach to  mindset, the market, and money.

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Analysis and key concepts


The twelve principles a thriving artist should live by


The right mindset: believe in yourself and be stubborn


Learn (and steal) from others: another secret used by artists with the right attitude


To be successful, it is important that others also believe in us


A true artist surrounds themselves with the right people, in the right place


Long-term success for an artist is linked to ownership and diversification


Making money from art: give value to everything you do




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Understand that an artist can and must be a professional and a business person.
  • Internalise the concepts of the New Renaissance and the Thriving Artist.
  • Discover the 12 principles that govern an artist’s work in terms of mental attitude, market, and money.

Jeff Goins was born in Chicago in 1983, and is an American writer, blogger, and keynote speaker. After having worked as a director of marketing, he began a career as a freelance writer, publishing four books in the space of a few years; his greatest literary success is the 2015 bestseller The Art of Work. Goins has written for important publications, including The New York Observer and Business Insider, amongst others. He is an expert in web marketing and his mission is to help people become successful, which he does thanks also to his online writer’s community, Tribe Writers.

Publishing house:

Thomas Nelson Inc