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Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz is here to explain to you how to bring art and creativity into your life, with irreverent, inspiring and priceless pieces of advice on getting on in art.

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 - realise their dreams. 

Includes such advice as:

  • Make art for now, not the future
  • No, you don't need graduate school
  • Recognise 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
©2020 Jerry Saltz (P)2020 Octopus Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"I wish I had read these rules 40 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 - 24 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) 

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What listeners say about How to Be an Artist

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Loved it! Actually made me work!

Brilliant no-nonsense pep-talk style nuggets of wisdom in manageable snippets that motivate and inspire. Excellent! 😍

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To the point - a quick jump-starter!

Loved the book for its simplicity and to the point suggestions, food for thought, exercises and overall structure. If you are someone who doesn't like to over think and needs or wants to get down to action then this is a great book.Whether you want to start making art or are already an artist.

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A lifetime 'keeper'.

I avoided this book for years, put off by what struck me as a tacky title.

Then out of curiousity, I got this audio-version in a sale. P started it, and couldn't stop listening until it was finished in one 'sitting'. Then I played it again.

Then I went and got the hard copy version of the book, which is my daily companion.

Don't be put off by that title. This book is pure gold for any creative person. And one of the beauties of the audio book is that (unlike too many authors reading their own work), the writers passion comes across.

Highly recommended.

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Jerry Saltz reads his book ! What a great listen !

Loved this book when I read it and loved it even more listening to Jerry Saltz reading it !

Saltz is a passionate art writer and this was 2 hours I will happily repeat.

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art

so insightful. great encouragement for all artists of all levels.i now know we (artists) all have same struggles.Jerry puts a voice outside our head that confirms this !! thank you

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For artists everywhere

I love this audiobook. It's the perfect companion to Julia Cameron's The Artists Way and Stephen Pressfield's War of Art. If you are serious about becoming an artist, this book is for you. I love the deadpan delivery from the author Jerry Saltz. I love the message. I love the challenges he sets for the reader/listener. I have just listened to it for the first time and am about to listen again from the beginning. This book is wonderful and whether you are an aspiring artist or an artist who is struggling to make an impression, you need to get this book. Please don't delay.

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A world of experience

Having read books and articles before about being an artist, and what that entails, I did approach this book with caution. I need not have worried, as Jerry Saltz is a mine of great advice and information.

‘How to be an artist’ is very insightful on what being an artist is all about, strategies we can adopt and advice we can choose to take. As well as being an artist, my ‘day job’ is in visual art, so I have a good idea of the veracity of Jerry’s thoughts. I knew this book was for me when I heard Jerry’s description of what art is in the introduction. There were a couple of minor points I didn’t agree with, but I’d say his advice and knowledge suit me 98%!

I will be listening again and I will probably buy the book too.

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Dissapointing

Lacks interest for me, the narrative was quite uninspiring not very memorable. Just a list of every type of art to try without real direction. Glad u finished the read but won't look back on it.

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Opinion masquerading as fact

There's some lovely, positive ideas. Some great motivational drivers from a very informed author. However, very complicated ideas are simplified and presented in a very reductive manner that doesn't do development of a solid knowledge base any favours.

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Fab book

A real gem. Jerry cuts to the chase and is very motivating in the unending artists’ search for truth

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-20

Worth it

It was worth the read/listen. The author narrated very well. The book was reassuring and informative. Keeping the one star just coz I want to keep room for betterment. Hehe.