Friday, June 3, 2016

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

I will be talking about this book for a long time to come - after listening to the library's audiobook (not simply read but PERFORMED by the author) I bought a paper copy so I can post-it note and highlight parts that will bear heavy repetition for their deep resonance.

The book is about her life as a performance artist and indie rock star, and the book is about her successful, ground-breaking crowdfunding via social media. It's about her marriage to writer Neil Gaiman, and it's about her life-long friend and guru Anthony.

But mostly, this book is about the give-and-take of  all relationships: drop a dollar in the living statue's bucket, get a flower; open your heart and mind, receive love. She looks at her art in the way it's building a relationship with her fans - not just as the number of units sold in the usual corporate commercial model.

She's got some fantastic perspective for artists of all types concerning self-worth, doubt, and dealing with criticism. The lesson to glean from Henry David Thoreau: take the donuts. The analogy of "blender setting" for how real-life experiences get chopped up and changed in the art blender.

She's controversial, and there's a strong wave of haters. But it ain't me, man.

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