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.
Performance artist and Dresden Dolls singer Palmer reflects on her career and shares insight into the economy of shared resources in this sometimes insightful but overly self-indulgent memoir. Beginning in Harvard Square performing as a human statue, Palmer first observed a "subterranean financial ecosystem" of sharing. She found a similar environment at the "Cloud Club," an artists' commune where her band performed its first gigs and shot a music video to which residents loaned their various talents. As a touring musician, Palmer became familiar with asking fans for "crash space" and meals, as when a Honduran family in Miami offered the crew their beds and treated them to "tortilla lessons" in the morning. Palmer delivers a master class on harnessing technology for artistic purposes, explaining how to turn crowdfunding, Twitter, and digital music downloads to your advantage. She makes valid points about the controversial Kickstarter that raised 1 million dollars for her solo album, but remains utterly obtuse regarding the poor reception of a poem written in the voice of one of the Boston Marathon bombers she posted to her blog. Palmer's worthy message that "asking is an act of intimacy and trust" is often obscured by an overly confessional, borderline narcissistic tone unlikely to placate her critics.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Goddess, where to begin? I had so many realizations and self discoveries while lost in this book. I read this book while on a solo three month Europe trip that is about challenging myself to be uncomfortable and learning to be more secure in myself, and it was perfect timing. Amanda has so many amazing stories, and her writing makes you feel like you are experiencing her world too. I am striving for more empathy, the ability to receive without shame, more open heartedness and less hesitation, and The Art of Asking has been a wonderful building block in working towards those goals. I love how Amanda talks about trust and being seen, such basic humanness that is not discussed nearly enough. Even if you think you are a pro at asking, you will gain new perspective and insight from this book, and if nothing else you will enjoy the magical ride she takes you on.
A book to learn how to leave all the shame apart, stop worrying about what other people might think about yourself.
Leave all the shame apart, ask for help, learn how to use the social media on your side!
A must read for any artist
No university or art school could teach the lessons learned in this book. I highly recommend this for every struggling artist no matter their craft.