Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career

Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career

by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens


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In our culture, artistic genius and poverty seem inevitably linked, but does it have to be that way? Jim Henson didn’t think so.

An iconic creator and savvy businessman, Henson is a model for artists everywhere: without sacrificing his creative vision, Henson built an empire of lovable Muppets that continues to educate and inspire—and a business that was worth $150 million at the time of his death. How did he ever pull it off? And how can other creators follow in his path?

In Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career, journalist and educator Elizabeth Hyde Stevens presents ten principles of Henson’s art and business practices that will inspire artists everywhere. Part manifesto, part history, part cultural criticism, part self-help, Make Art Make Money is a new kind of business audiobook for creative professionals: a guide for creating and succeeding thanks to lessons from the Muppet Master himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477817384
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 03/11/2014
Pages: 468
Sales rank: 655,605
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Hyde Stevens created the Muppets, Mickey, and Money research course at Boston University. Her analysis of Jim Henson’s career has appeared online at The Awl, The Millions, Electric Literature, and Rolling Stone. In 2011, her essay “Weekend at Kermie’s” was viewed over 160,000 times. Called “a long, brilliant thinkpiece" on Twitter, it was praised by Internet curators Brain Pickings, Mother Jones, Longreads, Longform, Wired, IMDB, IFC, Reader’s Digest, and Kurt Loder. Stevens attended public school in North Andover, Massachusetts, and went on to study art semiotics at Brown University and creative writing at the Brooklyn College MFA program. She is a member of the Brooklyn writers’ collective The Kilgore Trout Home for Wayward Writers and teaches fiction at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has earned the Himan Brown Award and the Somerville Arts Council Fellowship for Literature. Everything she knows about business she learned from watching Sesame Street.

Table of Contents

The Artists Problem: Art vs. Money 1

Henson's Solution: Make Art Make Money 8

Ten Lessons for Artists:

1 Find a Good Reason to Sell Out 19

2 In Service of the Gift 47

3 Give Someone Else a Break 82

4 Make Commercials for You 119

5 Invite the Outside In 152

6 Always Innovate 187

7 Bring Together a Triad 233

8 Pitch, Pitch, Pitch 270

9 Nurture Talent 310

10 You're Stuck With What You've Made 356

Conclusion: Make Your World in Its Light 397

Bibliography 445

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