Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do I Have to Be a Starving Artist (BOOK REVIEW)



Do I Have to Be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century?

by Hisani Dubose

4 Way Vision Productions Publishing

Paperback, $12.99

104 pages

ISBN: 978-1-451-55738-1


Book Review by Kam Williams


“The majority of my adult life I have been an artist… Through trial and error, a lot of tears, reading, and very lean times, I have learned more and more each day… My older brother Pepe has been telling me for years that I need to write a book to share what I’ve learned with other artists. The more I talk to artists of all ages and genres, the more I became convinced that he was right…

This book is about understanding the entertainment industry, learning how to support yourself while honing your craft, understanding the artistic personality, and embracing the fact that as an artist you are also an entrepreneur…My intent is to share information I’ve learned the hard way, hoping you will be spared some grief… because, no matter what your art, be it filmmaking, acting, screenwriting, dancing, game development, animation, visual arts, music, etc., you must be proactive in your career.”

-- Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 2-7)


Do you know an artist who spends endless hours practicing without every worrying about getting around to marketing themselves in order to be able to make a living at what they love to do? Unfortunately, this is a pattern which tends to play itself out with painful regularity, regardless of whether the person has a passion for writing, music, acting, dance, film or the fine arts.

Sadly, many artists labor under the misconception that all they have to focus on is perfecting their craft and that the world will somehow miraculously beat a path to their door. This explains why the phenomenon of the undiscovered genius continues to persist.

To help shake just such a promising prodigy out of the doldrums, may I suggest Do I Have to Be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century, a concise, how-to tome which urges every struggling savant to devote as much attention to the business side of their career as to a serious dedication to their chosen field of endeavor. The book is written in a pleasantly-accessible conversational style by Hisani Dubose, who teaches Screenwriting, History of the Cinema and a number of other arts-related courses at Bloomfield College in New Jersey.

Professor Dubose is no ivory-towered academic but an award-winning documentary filmmaker in her own right. Thus, it is no surprise that she punctuates her opus filled with sage, sensible advice with plenty of personal anecdotes about how she’s managed to continue to pursue her passion in the face of a host of monetary, health and child-raising challenges.

The perfect gift for aspiring artists with their heads in the clouds and in need of a wake-up call to start planning a marketing strategy.

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