Jeff Goins, author, musician, and aspiring lawn-artist has a new book, Real Artists Don’t Starve.
Jeff was kind enough to answer some fun questions about art, life, and work.
Enjoy this mini-interview!
First, let’s play: IS IT ART? The painting, “Dogs Playing Poker”… Is it art?
Jeff Goins: Does the image change you? Does it move you? Then it’s art.
Incidentally, those dogs playing poker paintings began as advertisements for cigars. Not a very savory way to begin an art career.
Unless, of course, you also know that Jim Henson got his start doing 10-second coffee commercials.
Is mowing the lawn art?
Jeff Goins: Depends on how well you do it. 😉
I think anything that allows you to share your creative gift with the world is art. So when I do it, no. It’s not art. It’s drudge work. (Tweet this)
I do not believe that everything is art. But I believe it can be, if that is your gift and you are generously sharing it with the world.
So when my neighbor who owns a lawn care company mows the lawn, I believe that may be his art.
Are “marketing plans” works of art?
Jeff Goins: Also depends. I do not believe marketing is necessarily evil (or good, for that matter).
Marketing is about spreading ideas. And if those ideas are worthy of being spread, then a marketing plan, I suppose, could be art.
For me, art is about creating something new, something that comes from your giftedness, and then sharing it.
Other artsy questions:
Have you ever written a song? (What’s the worst line you’ve written–that you’re willing to share)
Jeff Goins: As a musician, I’ve written lots of songs.
Here’s my worst lyric ever: “You’re my virgin toaster.” True story. Hope my mom doesn’t read this.
Ever written a poem? (I dare you to share a couple lines)
Jeff Goins: I wrote a poem for my girlfriend in high school called “A Girl Like You.” I published it on the Internet around 1999. I wish I could find it, but I’ve never been able to do so.
A few lines:
I used to dream of love and all the things love grew.
Now, I’m dreaming differently.
I’m dreaming just of you.
I was rather love-smitten. 😉
When your oldest child draws a picture, do you always react as if it was a picasso? When might those conversations change?
Jeff Goins: Have you seen all of Picasso’s work?
There’s plenty of stuff that I think my five-year-old does better.
I really like Picasso. But he’s all over the place. So, yes, some of it looks like Picasso, and some looks way better.
I agree with Carol Dweck in Mindset where she says to praise the process, not the product. I am always encouraging our children’s effort, not just their accomplishments.
Are snowflakes art?
Jeff Goins: Absolutely. Those are God’s gifts to us.
You wrote, “Before you can create great art, you first have to create yourself.” What role do haircuts play in artistic expression, and how would you describe yours?
Jeff Goins: Hah! My hair guy, and I do have a hair guy, is great at being a stylist. He’s also a musician. Definitely an artist. I consider it my duty to let him exercise that gift on my head.
Speaking of making a living, are coins and paper money works of art?
Jeff Goins: I used to collect coins.
Currency can definitely be works of art, or it can just be a means to buy the groceries. All depends on how you look at it, I suppose. But there really are some beautiful forms of modern and ancient currency. Certainly, there have been political reasons for putting a person’s face on a piece of gold or silver, but there are also other embellishments that are unnecessary.
Have you ever looked at everything on a $1 bill? It’s amazing. Lots of nuance and intricacies that are not essential to creating a transaction.
They are gifts to the person who takes the time to notice them. Which, I think, makes them art.
What kind of art do you have in your living room?
Jeff Goins: Pictures of our children. A few lyrics from our favorite hymn “Come Thou Fount” and a whole bunch of toys artistically strewn across the floor.
What’s your favorite color?
Jeff Goins: Blue
Favorite album cover? (and why?)
Jeff Goins: Jethro Tull’s Aqualung — it tells a really amazing story. I love the way groups used to create albums that told one entire narrative from beginning to end. That’s a lost art.
Favorite musical instrument?
Jeff Goins: Probably piano even though I can’t really play it.
Fave band from 70’s?
Jeff Goins: Zeppelin. Always Led Zeppelin.
What’s the catchiest song out right now that you’re embarrassed to admit you like?
Jeff Goins: Gosh. I wish I could name one song out right now. I really liked Taylor Swift’s last album. But not embarrassed about that.
Why is the sky blue?
Jeff Goins: It’s not. It’s gray, black, light blue, cerulean, navy, and a hundred other colors. Orange and yellow and pink at sunset. Like everything, it’s always changing.
In his book, Jeff dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is actually a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The world’s most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength.
Jeff’s web site: https://goinswriter.com