In his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age, Jeff Goins discusses how we can apply prudent strategies in positioning ourselves for thriving in our chosen field of craft.
These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.
Chapter 5, Cultivate Patrons
In this chapter, Jeff discusses the importance of cultivating patrons who can support our work and succeed with us. He offers the following recommendations for us to think about:
- In creative work, quality is subjective. Subjectivity means that not only we must practice, but also we need patrons for our work. A patron is an advocate who sees our potential and believes in our work. Support from a patron needs not to be just financial. It could be someone who gives us a chance or maybe connects us to the right contacts.
- Patrons might not be wealthy connoisseurs or influential leaders. They are people who are willing to help to see our work succeed. It is also our job to recognize them and prove themselves worthy of their investment.
- To attract patrons, we need to be teachable. Being teachable is to demonstrate both competency in our craft and a willingness to learn. In addition, influencers want to help and invest in others, so being teachable will make it easy for them to support our work.
- Creative work is a team sport –success often comes in the form of artist and patron partnership. Unfortunately, while much of the focus has been on artists finding their patrons, it is easy to miss that patrons also need artists they can believe in and trust.
- One way to find patrons is to find those people who are already investing in others and reach out to them. If we work hard on our craft and share our competencies, we can find those who can help our work spread. Instead of waiting to be noticed, we look for opportunities to allow ourselves to be taught and molded by those who show genuine interest in our work.
In summary, “The Starving Artist waits to be noticed. The Thriving Artist cultivates patrons.”