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Publisher's Summary

"Inspiration leaps off the pages from Jerry Saltz's new book on creativity.... 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)

Art has the power to change our lives. For many, becoming an artist is a lifelong dream. But how to make it happen? In How to Be an Artist, Jerry Saltz, one of the art world’s most celebrated and passionate voices, offers an indispensable handbook for creative people of all kinds. 

From the first sparks of inspiration - and how to pursue them without giving in to self-doubt - Saltz offers invaluable insight into what really matters to emerging artists: originality, persistence, a balance between knowledge and intuition, and that most precious of qualities, self-belief. Brimming with rules, prompts, and practical tips, How to Be an Artist gives artists new ways to break through creative blocks, get the most from materials, navigate career challenges, and above all find joy in the work. 

This useful audiobook will help artists of all kinds - painters, photographers, writers, performers - realize their dreams.

©2020 Jerry Saltz (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"How to Be an Artist has relevance way beyond the art world. With his typical clarity and compassion, Jerry Saltz outlines a path for anyone who wants to dedicate their lives to chasing something they believe in. Even as a chef, I have Jerry’s advice ringing through my brain at all times." (David Chang)

"In How to Be an Artist, Jerry Saltz is so right-on it scares me." (Cindy Sherman)

“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)

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What listeners say about How to Be an Artist

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Terrible Book Waste of Money

When I looked at this book, I saw a lot of 5 star reviews but never knew that he has thousands of loyal followers on social media so be cautious, my reviews are honest and to help other people out, not to promote a product. I seen some of his videos and I thought that this might be an insightful book but I was wrong. He rambles on a lot and doesn't go into detail and into techniques in art but in fairness, he's not an artist, just a reviewer for a website. The book is by no means an artist's guide. I figured if I could just learn one thing from the book then it may be worth it but no, he says to "get to work you big babies" and talks about getting to work and quoting others but yeah, it's not a guide for any artist. There are so many things that he never mentions that others in the art world talk about for free, waste of money.

12 people found this helpful

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It’s probably what you think.

With works such as this, there’s always someone - usually several someones - who feel there’s nothing new, that it’s just a rehash of every other similar book out there. And they’re pretty much always right. This is no different.

Now, the authors of the books clearly don’t agree (unless they’ve written cheap cash-ins), and they’re probably mostly right, too. It’s just that, from the author’s perspective, the differences are large and meaningful. From further away those differences diminish, and often disappear.

This is a short piece. The author’s narration is perfectly fine. There’s no harm in taking that chance, leaning in and getting up close, seeing if you can catch a glimpse of the thing from something like the author’s POV. Maybe you’ll uncover the spark you need. That spark might just be magical.

Might as well try.

3 people found this helpful

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Genuine voice

It was a genuine account on what it is to be an artist and the vitality art has. The fact that the narrator is Jerry Saltz, the author himself adds to this genuine voice, relatable and revealing. I would recommend, not only to artists, but to all creatives. What resonates with me is the one that talks about limitation of time, it got me thinking of working quicker; in these times of isolation and limitation. Hope everyone has a similar experience

3 people found this helpful

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L O V E + T R E A S U R E

Jerry tells it like it is, and like he is. No attempts to grandstand, although I was impressed with his knowledge, street-smart wisdom, personal history, and humor. He writes without all the bullshit, hype, flowery, hollow, grandiose, perplexing language that is too often used when describing art and artists. Every word in this book rings true and often makes me laugh out loud. I have listened repeatedly and also ordered the book so I can mark it up with my personal highlights and notes. I rarely take time to write reviews but this book deserves my praise. So now that I have finished my first cup of coffee, it's time to work. In my head I can hear Jerry saying something like "get to work you big baby". Exactly.

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just..... meh

nothing interesting about it. A list of common sense observations. I like Salz, but this just wasn't for me.

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Jerry does it again!

Jerry has finally compiled and published his advice to artists and insights of art word in a book! Thank you!!! I only wish it was better produced. This is a great read no matter if you are an artist or not. I am looking forward to sharing this book.

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Good to the bones advice and steps.

I gained a lot of heart to heart truthful advice. No nonsense and painted a good picture. Will listen to again to remind myself. Kudos

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Essential

Essential reading for Artists and Artist want-to-bes. Read this and weep... or smile and say YES I am an artist. I can not be anything else. This book is not for those who accept making objects that are made to interest others.

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Nice exercise for your creative mind

A motivational, introspective journey into your creative mind. It moves quickly and weaves through the different ways to explore your creative tendencies.

Some things here you know, some seem common sense, some are new concepts. But to hear them all laid out, even as a review, can keep you fresh and remind you of art and experience as well.

The author speaks slightly slower so I listened at 1.2x and it felt great.

Overall I definitely recommend, especially since it’s a rather quick listen, enjoyable while driving around sightseeing or on a road trip.

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Dear Jerry

It’s a good book because it encourages artists, fills gaps of knowledge, and cures some excuses with wisdom. It helped me to understand structure in my field and gain insight into art critic methods of thinking.