Title: The Art of Asking
Author: Amanda Palmer
Year Published: 2014
Source: Owned copy!
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23511311-the-art-of-asking-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-let-people-hel
“Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world’s most successful music Kickstarter.
Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn’t alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyzes their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING.
Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.”
When I first heard about this book, I had no idea who Amanda Palmer was. I hadn’t even heard of her music. But what I had heard, were very good things about this book due to recommendations from people that I watch on Booktube. This was the final book that I read in 2016 and it was an incredible and inspiring one to end the year on.
The main focus of the book is about the relationship between artist/consumer. I enjoyed reading about the various roles she had which included being a stripper to being a living statue of a bride on the sidewalk to eventually becoming a full time musician. She often shares stories and anecdotes throughout the book about her experiences, some really heartwarming, some disastrous. She discusses what it was like being on a label with her band The Dresden Dolls to eventually striking out on her own and launching her Kickstarter campaign; eventually becoming the most successful campaign on Kickstarter.
My favourite anecdotes where the ones she shared about certain fans she had met and bonded with from all across the world during her career. Her whole relationship with her fans was inspiring to read about. As a fan of other artists, it means the world when you not only get a chance to thank an artist for a performance but when they genuinely want to thank you back for the support. It becomes a problem when fans demand to be thanked or demand that certain performers are on for performances. Performers are humans too!
She told stories of how her best friend Anthony and her husband Neil helped her with their support throughout her life and career. She would often describe how hard it was to ask her husband to support her in a financial aspect. And I can definitely relate to this. Since I started earning my own money about a year ago, I have this dread in the back of my mind of getting to the day where I have to ask my parents for financial help. And I have my pride to blame entirely for this. I pride myself on being independent and for being in charge of my own money but what if that collapses one day? I mean, I KNOW that the world isn’t going to end. But it stills makes me feel guilty?
The Art of Asking is a brilliantly written book that I think a lot of people who make all kinds of art can relate to, regardless if you’ve heard of Amanda Palmer or not.
If you’ve read it, let me know what you think!
Until next time,