In our culture, artistic genius and poverty seem inevitably linked, but does it have to be that way? Jim Henson didn’t think so. An iconic creator and savvy businessman, Henson is a model for artists everywhere: Without sacrificing his creative vision, Henson built an empire of lovable Muppets that continues to educate and inspire - and a business that was worth $150 million at the time of his death. How did he ever pull it off? And how can other creators follow in his path? In Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career, journalist and educator Elizabeth Hyde Stevens presents 10 principles of Henson’s art and business practices that will inspire artists everywhere. Part manifesto, part history, part cultural criticism, part self-help, Make Art Make Money is a new kind of business audiobook for creative professionals: A guide for creating and succeeding thanks to lessons from the Muppet Master himself.
©2013 Elizabeth Hyde Stevens (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I would recommend this book, with reservations, to artists who like career books. There are lots of unique lessons to learn from Henson's successful career. However, at times it feels like a superfan's uncritical Henson biography packaged as a career book. And I would've liked a narrator with better pronunciation.
Overall a very clever, insightful, and encouraging view of art and the freedoms and dangers in revenue and commercialization.
If you're a fan of Jim Henson and are a creative person yourself, you will enjoy and benefit from Steven's book.
Please remember the author released the book as a serial to Amazon (one chapter at a time). There are some repeated introductions to people, projects, and concepts that are not meant to be patronizing, but allow readers to appreciate isolated chapters.
The narration was clear and (consistently) adopted cadence and tone of the people quoted. (Henson, Oz, Brillstein, etc.)
First off I am a lover of all things Jim Henson, so I might be a little biased, but I think Elizabeth Hyde Stevens does a wonderful job breaking down what did and didn't work with Henson Studios. It does seem possible to make art and money without feeling guilty.
Out of 82 audible books I have listen to, this is the only one I have felt compelled to review and score.
I listened to this book because I am a sculptor (and the title is inexplicably less than $5), not because I was interested in Jim Henson. The author's clear passion, however, is palpable and persuasive about the monumental genius of Henson. I think over the coming weeks I will have to re-look at his work, which I only have fuzzy memories of and was previously somewhat indifferent to, mainly because I was so young in his heyday.
The author also does a convincing job of laying out Henson as a model for small-time artists to emulate while trying to genuinely grow in their work and live on the proceeds.
In my mind she has laid to rest the conflict of "Selling-out VS Artistic Integrity"; again using Henson and how he navigated this perilous area as a model. This is all somewhat philosophical as this is not a "how-to" book per se.
I found myself exclaiming out-loud in my studio "oh, wow" several times and was compelled enough to finish this rather long book (by my standards) in two days.
If I am required to offer a critique it would be that I found it odd that the author used the same quotes in different parts of the book word-for-word. This was odd for me (besides the repetitive nature) because this book is so clearly and thoroughly researched I was certain she had other interview quotes she could have used.
Minor really when weighed against how informative, entertaining, and compelling this book really is!
I can't believe this was written by a first-time (non-fiction) author! I think Ms. Stevens might be a monumental talent in her own right.
It is a great book. I enjoyed all of it, even though I found it to have a bit of repetition from time to time. It's also more of an in depth analysis of Jim Henson's career than a comparative and motivational book on how to incorporate these things into your artistic career. Very encouraging though and inspirational still. If you are a child of the 80's and grew up with a fondness for Henson's work, you'll most likely marvel at some of the aspects of his life and career. And, if you are an artist, you'll enjoy the sporadic comparisons of his career to yours. Giving you inspiration from time to time.
The narration was well done. The author is a practiced and pleasant narrator. I wish more narrators were this nice to listen to.
Rabbi Steve the Storyteller
This book more than met my expectations.
First of all, it had me at "Jim Henson", as I have been a fan since I've been a small kid, back in the early 1960s.
Well before Sesame Street, I saw him and his Muppets on television, and I think I even saw a live performance once, at my older sister's school, in Westbury, NY.
In this book, the author uses Jim Henson, his life, his work, and his philosophy, as a model for how to be successful as an artist, both in terms of creative satisfaction, as well as making a satisfactory living.
By using Jim Henson as her parable, he truly builds a great argument for seeing art and business as not being mutually exclusive but I'd rather being complementary opposites, as long as it is done in a way similar to what Jim Henson did.
The performance of this book is outstanding: warm, engaging, personal, and helps teach and sell the material even more. The reader is so good, at sounding like she is talking straight to the listener, that I forgot she wasn't the author!
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