Meet Reviewer Damian Erskine ~
When Jake told me that he was writing a book about economic survival as an artist, I immediately thought a few things:
1) Very cool. I know Jake has a wealth of experience, is a good teacher and is totally articulate. This’ll be cool.
2) All too often, that’s the kind of stuff musicians never think about until too late in the game. Can’t wait to check it out!
3) Man, I hope this isn’t some Tony Robbins style self-help book.
I’m happy to report that this is no Tony Robbins style self-help book. In fact, I think the sub-title, “Don’t just be more marketable, be more in demand” is a more apt description. However, it still doesn’t really capture what I took away from this read. It, to me, really seemed to be more of a “Food for thought with regard to tapping into your true creative self. Really get down with what YOU have to offer and who YOU are as an artist and don’t get caught up in the hype. How to maintain your integrity and contribute to the greater good as an artist”. I suppose that’s a pretty bad title, but it spells it out pretty well, I think.
I was reminded a bit of Kenny Werner’s book, “Effortless Mastery” often. Although presented in a far less Buddhist way (Ohmmmmmm) , many of the same themes kept presenting themselves.. such as fear of mistakes, musical identity, perceived limitations, playing from the heart, etc. Jake has taken these topics (and them some) and dedicated a chapter to each.
Each chapter is very well presented in plain English and with no fluff. Jake does a great job of connecting with the reader and encouraging the reader to think for themselves and to consider everything in an open-mided and intentional way. There is no preaching or hand-holding here. There are no “Step 1, step 2” diagrams here. This is all laid out like the kind of conversation we feel very glad to have had afterward. There is a LOT of food for thought and a plethora of great quotes from great thinkers as well as further elaborations from Jake.
In essence Jake is trying to help the reader to tap into their honest and true creative self, thereby making them more valuable as an ARTIST. He’s talking about real value here and not 15-minutes-of-fame Disney value. Artistic integrity. Human integrity.
An Artistic Guide to Economic Survival is a very well laid out, very readable and very interesting monologue on what it is and what it takes to be an artist.
I highly recommend this book! Everyone needs to consider what is talked about here and we could all benefit from the discussion had here with Jake.