How to Be an Artist
The New York Times Bestseller
“I wish I had read these rules forty years ago and carried them around like a bible. By chance or design I’ve followed most of them at some point but it took me a lifetime as an artist to find what worked. They are the generous, loving, enthusiastic, bullshit-free advice of a master communicator, just reading them makes me want to charge back into the studio” – Grayson Perry
“Being an artist is a lonely pursuit – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the rest of your life. Most of the time it hurts. This book will help the pain” – Tracey Emin
One of Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2020 Quarantine Book Recommendations
“Joy is palpable in these pages. We need such thinking right now” – Apollo Magazine
As the witty and passionate chief art critic for New York magazine, Jerry Saltz is often approached by artists, both amateur and professional, asking him for advice: How do I get started? How do I get better? Is what I’m doing even art at all? They want to know, in short, how to be an artist.
Now, expanding on his viral cover story for New York magazine – and drawing on his decades of immersion in the art world – Saltz has the answers. How to Be An Artist is an indispensable book of practical inspiration for creative people of all kinds. Brimming with dozens of brand new rules, prompts, exercises, and tips designed to break through creative blocks, ignite motivation, and conquer bad habits, this book is designed to help artists of all kinds – painters, photographers, writers, performers – realize their dreams.
Includes such advice as:
– Make art for now, not the future
– No, you don’t need graduate school
– Recognize convention, and resist constraint
– Get lost
– Listen to the wildest voices in your head
– Know what you hate (it’s probably you)
– Finish the damn thing!
– How to recover from critical injuries
Inspiration leaps off the pages from Jerry Saltz's new book on creativity. One wants to say he's revealing secrets, but really, he's revealing intuition - intuition formed from decades of thinking about art. This book is for the artist or non-artist, for the person who gets plain English, for the person who understands that practical talk can coax out the mystical messages that lie underneath - Steve Martin In How to Be an Artist, Jerry Saltz is so right-on it scares me - Cindy Sherman Jerry is an impassioned lover of all art and all artists, heartbroken when they're not good and joyous when they are. You don't read so much as bathe in his prose, turbulent but clear, emerging each time as hopeful as this morning - Peter Schjeldahl An inspiring guide to making your art, putting it out into the world, and dealing with the consequences. I found a lot to steal here, and you will too - Austin Kleon What is an artist? If most things make you bored or sad, but creating things makes you feel better, that's a sign that Fate is ushering you over to a tiny, rickety chair with a sign overhead that says, Hey, you. You might be an artist. The challenge then is, how to be a better artist. And Jerry Saltz is right: The truest answer is work. Practice. Make mistakes. Tear it up. Do it again. Get better. Keep going - Roz Chast I am so blown away by the astonishing simplicity of what Jerry Saltz succeeds at - the act of naming what it means to be an artist. The way he hands away the keys, offering these tips to anyone, is an inspiring move, because it takes the tools of the literal masters and offers them to whoever wants them. Any reader would be lucky to escape their self-doubt to indulge in this straightforward, funny, and delightful guide - Jill Soloway Ah! How to Be An Artist is such a fun and juicy read for artists of all kinds. 'Artists are cats,' he says - such a simple but brilliant description of the artist's relationship to the world. I read this and thought, I guess I am a real artist! - Kim Gordon, Sonic Youth I was so moved by Jerry Saltz's incredible new book, How to Be An Artist...Deep and beautiful insights into how humans create - Amy Sedaris
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