Starving Artist Syndrome: The Modern Epidemic for Artists and Creators

Jamie-legerBy Jamie Leger.

At the most practical level, the single biggest problem I continue to encounter with Artists and Creators-building their Careers and Content Business-is monetary. It’s getting paid enough, to do what they do-which in turn allows them to develop, expand, and contribute to their audience-and to us all-at greater capacity.

Artist Development in the Modern World… Good thing we’re not plants!

Many Artistic talents will work their freaking tails off this year without receiving the proper nutrients required to sustain and nourish their growth and expansion. Much like the plant without oxygen, water, and sunlight, these Artists just won’t make it.

The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of the brilliant, creative souls who walk among us will indeed allow the weight of life, the pressures and demands of their regular existence, the discomfort of taking a bigger leap, the risk of exiting mediocrity, the beliefs that limit their growth – to settle for missed opportunities and unpublished, unexpressed contributions that their music or artistic content could have had in the world and lives of their fans.

Further, of the few who do leap out of their comfort zone and take the risk, only a very small percentage will get it right because much fewer will even know what to do-once they find themselves in that make or break transition period where they can go from good to great, or back down and sort of settle for something less.

This is a very real problem. But the good news is that while most Artists can’t recognize the essential nutrients required to grow a prosperous, strong and healthy career-doing what they love… The majority of these elements are in fact within their control. …And unlike the plant, once one human being understands something, we can communicate it to others so that they too can use that knowledge to solve their own problems. We can even do it via online training series!

The problem fundamentally stems from an Attitude and subtle set of sabotaging beliefs that have probably taken root without conscious deliberation or approval. This is one of the most destructive and pervasive Growth Traps for Artists in the Modern World… Period.

You see, both the problem and the solution-all begin with, our mindset.

Throughout this series you will witness and experience 8 transformational Breakthroughs through a collection of stories and training. We call these the 8 Modern Artists Breakthroughs. These breakthroughs are the path to Artistic and Financial Freedom. Getting there is very similar to drilling down to what Gold Miners would call “Bedrock.” The area of the dirt where the most gold rich deposits can be found-in the gold bearing ground. It’s where all the hard work can pay off.


This is where you are trying to get to. Your primary mission is to get to your Bedrock. Follow this training series and you’ll expedite the process. The gear shift starts with and in the mindset. But a shift in mindset must then be followed up with a precise action to complete the mission, which is to fully experience the breakthrough insight. There’s relevant and straightforward Missions included at the end of these lessons to get you on your way. I strongly suggest you complete each one.

To make meaningful progress, upgrade your mindset, and ultimately achieve endless freedom and fulfillment doing what you love-when and where you choose… It’s worth taking the time to do things properly, wouldn’t you agree?

In contrast to the 8 breakthroughs, there are pitfalls, problems, mistakes that even the best of us can make… Let me guide you-and cautiously point out the 8 Artist Growth Traps to avoid at all costs.


Starving Artist Syndrome May Be Stealing From Your Soul

What happens to a plant when it doesn’t receive the proper nutrients required for it to grow strong and healthy?

It will shrivel and wilt, and eventually either die, be stunted in its development, or somehow find a way to receive those required nutrients and recover.

But a plant doesn’t know exactly what it needs, does it?

Sure on some scientific, instinctive level it understands how to execute its functions to do what it needs to once the nutrients required for it to do them are provided… But what’s needed in order for this little plant to grow-is known as a development system, an external dimension-known as the systemic dimension, something outside of the plants control, that delivers the nutrients it needs to do it’s job. For our plant to become a strong, healthy plant that fulfills it’s purpose in the eco-system, and the universe, God (or the scientific philosophy you believe in) created a development system.

But what does this have to do with Artists, you might be asking yourself?

Well Artists are the same way… They require development and growth, to develop and grow.

But much like the plant, most Artists don’t realize, nor can they communicate what they need in order to do that, at least, at the systemic level.

Most of us will have some idea of something that we “need,” before we can have or do something else. For many Artists this takes the form of funding, new equipment, or other external resources…  These are all extrinsic.

Yet, the problem isn’t usually the lack of resources as much as it is the lack of resourcefulness.

That intrinsic (internal) characteristic is fostered and developed starting as a systemic idea or belief, a mindset. But without the proper systemic “environment” (an idea or belief system/mindset) needed to cultivate those intrinsic thoughts and feelings, the plant, much like the Artist will be fighting a losing battle.

Yet despite external conditions, Creators have the capacity and responsibility to transcend circumstance, conditioning, and programming. Thus, regardless of the reasons, the cause of the problems, and the apparent symptoms, there are some simple facts that clearly present some unacceptable problems. It is up to both you and I to solve them. I commend you for being here, because that means you are taking the right steps to move yourself into your custom made version of paradise that awaits you once you master the skills and mindset required to fully realize it.


The Nutrients Needed for a thriving career as an Artist or Creator in the modern world

The biggest problem with being an Artist in the Modern World, isn’t the lack of opportunity, it’s the fact that we’ve recently transitioned from a world where most Artists had long been conditioned that they needed to rely on some external dimension to be successful. Now although many do realize that they indeed can become successful on their own, most still don’t really understand the essential elements required to do so.

Again, we’re not plants… And that’s a good thing for us! We are the CREATORS of our reality. The designers of our lifestyle. We are Artists in the modern world with an unlimited suite of communication formats, distribution channels, tools to tell our stories-and produce our content. This still amazes me every single day.

Throughout the next several posts you are going to learn what those vital and essential nutrients are for becoming an Artist equipped for success in the Modern World. To being the master and creator of your Artistic Content, your lifestyle, and your financial freedom.

Of course I make no outrageous claims-as nothing happens overnight, and you already know that. But you are going to learn both new and old school strategies that are proven, tested techniques for how to take control of your career, make powerful transformations in your Artistic development, and breakthrough as a leader in the modern world.

We”ll first start with the most vital resource required for success as an Artist in our brave new world, your mindset.

Why Most Artists Are and Will Remain Broke.

There is but one fundamental requisite for a thriving and prosperous career as an Artist in the Modern World. It starts and ends Inside your mind. And as much as I harp on this with my clients and students, I don’t think it’s always received with the transformative power I intend it to. The fact is that the state of your INNER OS, your mindset or mental map of the world-IS the quality of your life, it shapes the quality of your career, and determines the impact you can have with your gifts and your message… Period.

When we have any kind of negative idea pervading and policing our think boxes, we have just compromised control of our greatest asset. Whether or not we have conscious awareness of what we are doing or thinking, that is always the source of the affliction, and thus squaring that away becomes mission critical.

One of the most poisonous of these growth traps is also one of the most popular. You may have heard of it before, it’s the Starving Artists Syndrome, and it IS contagious. S.A.S. fills us with all kinds of shame, doubt, and fear, around being compensated with what we deserve and instead of celebrating success and victory-finds fault and negativity. It guilts us into feeling bad for being self-promotional, sabotages our big shot 10 feet shy of the victory, and insulates our superior sense of “Artistic Integrity” by convincing us that the success we wished was ours would come at the expense of doing what we love.

Have you ever seen a star in a magazine or on an annual awards show and at least one time or another, on one level or another thought to yourself that the reason why you don’t have this or that is because you unconsciously allowed yourself to believe that it would come at the expense of sacrificing your Artistic values?

I don’t mean to be presumptuous, perhaps you haven’t articulated it in quite that way, but let me ask you… What do you think is REALLY stopping you from the success or lifestyle or dream career that you’ve imagined?

For most of us it’s not because we don’t have a picture of what we want for our career and life…

Most of us have a vision, have a desired paradise that we aspire to experience as Artists, doing what we love. So then, what are the real stumbling blocks?

For almost all of us-it comes down to two things…

Mindset, and Skills.

Note: If you haven’t created and crafted a fully formed vision of what you ultimately want for you career as a successful (or more successful) Artist, don’t worry, you will be gaining more clarity over the next several parts of this training series as you see clear models and illustrated stories that will help you connect the dots and give you valuable insights for honing in on that for yourself. This is what we call the Creators Paradise. In short, it is the experience of endless freedom and fulfillment doing what you love, when and where you choose.

Back to the problems eating away at the heart of Artistic growth and expansion worldwide

If you’ve ever noticed or dwelled on one of the symptoms you’ll recognize in a minute, understand that there is nothing wrong with you. The fact is that this little virus is a deep rooted complex that has long been wired into our brains as creative people. It has developed into the Artists Kryptonite for a lot of reasons. Both positive and negative in intention.

Bad business, cultural conditioning, an oppressive cycle of adaptation and survival as creative folks over a long evolution of mostly non-artistic societal values, the duality of man, of nature, and the reclusive, callous, defensive disposition of Artists today…. Ya. Of course there’s some issues there.

But the clash of opportunity and limitation in the 21st century have caused a friction that has forced us to confront so many of these paradigms-as we finalize this transition into the modern world and the CREATORS economy. It is now our moment in history. Take it in for a moment!

Still so many of us have struggled, or are currently struggling with this insidious little bugger at some level.

One of the problems is that many Artists and Creators confuse financial return, with the actual nutrient required for growth. It is not. It is merely the compensation for creating, producing or providing value to someones life.

Yes, getting paid is an element within the nutrient, but is not the actual nutrient.

The actual nutrient is an exchange of currency. As an Artist in the modern world, your CONTENT is your currency. It is this value that you develop and then trade to your fan for both financial compensation and emotional connection. This is the cycle which generates value to both you and your fan. Which sustains your ability to grow and your audiences ability to experience the fruits of that growth. I.E. new music. In a very real, practical way this is the sunlight that helps your Artistic plant grow, or wilt and die. But what many of us fail to understand, is that it’s much more than a dollar figure, it is validation, emotional support, and the seeds that allow an artist to continue to develop their content.


Let’s take a look at some more of the symptoms of Starving Artist Syndrome…


Limited Thinking:  “O, ya, well i’m an artist, of course i’m broke.” Even seemingly harmless little cliches like this can cause conflict for us.


Hope Marketing Strategy: Not thinking that they need a strategy or a plan for their career. They’ll just wing it. “If  i’m just a good person, or if i just get better at what i do, then surely my luck will improve.”


Not committed: Unwilling to do what it takes, for as long as it takes to achieve whatever they want. This is one that most people don’t actually realize that they are making, but by inaction and not committing to something, they are making the choice to ultimately “settle” somewhere down the line.


Not taking care of yourself: This is often a result of some deeper sense of “unworthiness,” or being undeserving. Not being the protector and guardian of your vision.


Being a Victim: This is when we accept or tell ourself stories or excuses that justify why or how we cannot have what we want.


Sabotage: This is a tricky one where we can often inadvertently derail our progress in one way or another. Everyone has done this in one way shape or form, so don’t be so quick to think it won’t happen to you.


These symptoms sometimes show up as one or more of the following ideas

It’s not ok to make money doing what you love.

I don’t need any training. business, technology, finances, marketing… that’s not what i do, man!

If people can’t see the value in my work, then that’s their fault…!

Money is the root of all evil!

I don’t need a plan or a strategy – Seriously, all my friends and family say that i’m awesome… So it’s just a matter of time.

I’m just waiting for my big break – somethings gotta give.

I’d have to sell my soul – or compromise my values.

I just need someone to handle the “marketing and sales” side for me. I can’t be troubled with that kind of stuff. I can’t ask people for money.


Do you recognize any of these symptoms? I’ll bet even you-may have resonated with a couple of them!

Truth is they are actually more common than uncommon. I myself am a recovered Starving Artist and I want you to realize that it’s not a terminal condition. I want you to begin to notice or be more conscious of this from here on out. Like FOREVER.

See for many of us, the first step is in actually acknowledging that there are ideas, beliefs, and unconscious thought patterns that may be harming, hindering or restricting your ability to breakthrough to the next level, to Artistic and Financial control.

This brings us to the most vital transformational nutrient needed to grow a healthy, prosperous career as an Artist or creator in the modern world. For that, it’s time for a story. Unfortunately, we’ve already gone longer than anticipated, so we’ll pick back up starting there-in the next lesson.

Modern Artist Breakthrough #1: The shift from limited to expansive thinking. The perspective change fromStarving Artist to Modern Artist.

Over the next two lessons in this series you are going to experience this breakthrough, and a few more powerful transformations as you witness an Artist named Johnny-go from a singer songwriter and band leader who was making great music, rocking fans with his live performances, but found himself actually a bit stuck, in a mildly stagnating sort of rut-though he probably wouldn’t have let on… As you’ll find out though, there was a bit more to the story…

Truth is he was frustrated because he felt like he was doing all the things he was “supposed to,” though they weren’t really growing, and certainly weren’t receiving the financial return he soon learned he could be, if he modified the way he was thinking about and doing a few things.

You’ll journey with us as we peeled the layers back, got to the heart of what was really going on, and see how he was able to make the breakthroughs needed to join thousands of other MODERN Artists now thriving in their custom designed version of paradise. In control of their careers, their content, and their lifestyle.

You’ll learn how he kicked his case of Starving Artist Syndrome, and get to peek behind the curtains to see exactly what strategies we deployed to up-level his mindset, and transform his career.

I’m guessing you’ll be able to relate to at least some of Johnny’s story, but I know that you’ll uncover at least a couple golden nuggets to walk away with-that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t. Stay Tuned, stay healthy, be your best.

I’m truly proud to be serving thousands of Modern Artists and amazing Content Creators like yourself with the trusted, time tested, tool and skills training. If you want in, sign up for the rest of the series as well as receive more proven strategies and valuable content served fresh on the regular. Yours Gratis!

I will email you as soon as the next post is published without you having to remember to check! Again, go here and signup-and i’ll send you each lesson in this training series directly to your inbox so you won’t miss a beat.

Be Your Best,


A Modern Artist and The Content Business Architect for Artists and Creators


Here’s a quick preview of some more things to come…

The 8 Critical Breakthroughs to becoming a Modern Artist, and to succeed in the new economy.

The 8 Artist Growth Traps that sabotage success for the majority of us, and how to avoid them.

How to Cure Starving Artists Syndrome.

How to Get PAID to Develop Your Art, Hone Your Skills, and Grow your Career

The most effective ways to give yourself the maximum chance of a successful career as an artist in the modern world.

Why you need a DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM to support and structure your growth as an artist.

How to go from from leading a band, and/or performing and writing songs to….. Running a content business.


—-> SURPRISE! Today we have a special BONUS Mission for a chance to win big prizes!

BONUS: Your Mission for today-is one that now includes a chance to win a Total Content Business Makeover Package worth $3,500. Here’s how…

Here’s what you have to do for a chance to win this package and complete the Bonus Mission.

In the comments section below, go ahead and tell us, what are your goals for 2014, and how do you know that it is without question, TIME for you to crush it next year. What are you going to do differently in 2014 than what you did in 2013, and what specific outcomes are you shooting for come this time NEXT year.

All comments and stories will be read and one of you will be selected to receive a complete marketing and sales funnel makeover worth over $3,500 USD!

Mission 1:

Once you’ve entered for your chance to win, go ahead and complete Mission #1. I want you to think about and answer a few basic questions you may have never consciously addressed before. Today’s mission is to brainstorm and answer the following questions. You may be surprised by what you find. Be Your Best. See you next time.

1) Do you think in some small way, there is a chance that your own thinking and internal beliefs may be hindering your growth and development in one way or another?

2) Do you think there are business and entrepreneurial skills you could and probably should develop in order to make more progress with your career?

3) Are their any areas of your career that you’ve intentionally or unintentionally avoided because they didn’t feel comfortable, fun, or aligned with your values?

If so, explain that situation, and what it was that you believe was the core issue.

4) Are you completely closed off to attempting to try to do those things again at any point, even if the approach and the strategy was much more aligned with your values?

*That’s all for today! Thanks again for playing, and this is just the very beginning. We are going to start you off slow, you’ll gain some momentum, get to know and love me, and soon we’ll both be rocking together. Much more training on the way so stay tuned. To get exclusive updates and have the rest of the course sent to you personally, make sure you sign up for that here.


Be Your Best,
@Jamie Leger
The Content Business Architect
The Trusted Business Growth Guy for Artists and Creators

Enter To Win The $3,500 Artist Growth Package & Complete Mission 1

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  1. For 2013 I’m planning to exponentially grow as an artist in a way that I’ve yet to achieve. I plan to grow, artistically, financially, in popularity, in marketability and as a person overall. I plan on interacting with the right people in order to grow in each one of these facets. Artistically I’ll be taking lessons, doing workshops and addressing other areas that I need to strengthen in order to succeed. Financially, I am partnering up with my manager who is now also an investor and business partner, in order to collaborate, combine our strengths and take our careers to the next level. As far as popularity and marketability, I plan creating more material then ever before, booking strategic performances and tapping into resources that until this year financially were unavailable e.g. creating a website, SEO, SEM, financing shows, purchasing marketing material and tools etc. I believe 2014 is my year because I’ve been strategically, relentlessly and intelligently working on a creative breakthrough for a decade plus. 2013 was my most accomplished year as an artist as far as monetarily, creatively, and artistically. I plan on progressing with an ever more intensified pace until I achieve my ultimate goal as far as a creative, artistic and financial breakthrough. Good luck to everyone who is tirelessly pursuing your dream, never give up and never give in.

  2. Hello! My goals for 2014 are to grow my fan base and my business team for my band Thousand Faces. As a result, I want to start earning income based on my original music, cd sales, merchandise, touring, etc. Another goal I have is to learn the skills that it takes to build that audience and communicate with them effectively on deeper level. I don’t want to just collect their money, I want to inspire them! I have been a musician my entire life and their is absolutely no doubt that I can succeed at this next phase of my career. I know I can crush it 2014 because I’ve made it this far! I moved to NY with no money and have made it as a musician for the last 13 years! I have learned the craft of singing, playing guitar, producing, mixing, performing, and I have an album of 11 original songs to show for it. I organized all the musicians, got the art work together, recorded, produced, performed, and mixed the whole thing mostly on my own. I’ve had the help of some tremendous friends and musicians to play other instruments on the record. So, if I can do all of that, then I should be able to apply this work ethic to making a business out of it!! The things that I will do different this year will be my focus on learning these new skills to promote and market my music to attain financial success! Networking is also a key area that I intend on focusing on to broaden my horizons. I feel through the process of networking it will inspire me to learn things I never thought of and to meet some great people along the way that can launch the music into an area of making money. For next year I would like be more knowledgeable about the process of doing business as an artist and to see real dividends! I expect to have a 2nd album recorded and to have made some connections with the people that are inspiring and involved in the music industry on higher level than I currently am. I know with the right mindset and skill set, as mentioned in the article, I can be as successful as I dream of!!

  3. Hi, Jamie. Thank you very much for this opportunity, and, moreover, for your generous contribution to our community.
    In 2013–after falling apart and into a deep, dark depression–I accepted physical disability, and that I couldn’t continue to work with the Special Kids that had become the light of my life. As I wait for a decision regarding my SSDI case, I continue to struggle with my circumstances (being dependent upon my family).
    The good news is, I think I have a real gift, and, after making it secondary to other “more practical” pursuits (“that’s fine, son, but you know you gotta get a REAL JOB”), I’m left with nothing to do BUT develop my talents and share the Love.
    My goals for 2014 are to make a good record (or two–I’ve got the material and a modest home studio, and I’ve started navigating the Pro Tools learning curve–again), and put a band together. Meanwhile, I intend to record a simple “Pat Unplugged” demo, and hustle up some paying restaurant gigs along the gulf coast (Rockport, Port Aransas, Padre Island).
    I refer to myself as a songcatcher, rather than songwriter, because all I can do is wait for the next one to come. On the one hand, I think of this as a blessing; diverse influences show up in my songs when they come, when I have something to say, and some feeling to convey. I never know what’s gonna pop out, and the songs are all special so I don’t get tired of playing them. I wonder sometimes if I ought to think of this as a problem and see about developing some ability to actually WRITE songs. I dunno…
    Thank you very very much!
    (I just killed a ReverbNation page because I’d created it thinking I would be recording new stuff, and ran into PC issues… I’ll put up a video on YouTube so you can check that out if you want. And I’ll put some songs up on SoundCloud ASAP. : )

  4. I apologize in advance for my demeanor because I’m not normally like this, but a few recent comments by some industry players have made 20 years of suppressed frustration boil over…
    My goals for this year are (1) To stop listening to the typical BS that the industry “gatekeepers” have been telling people for years, messages designed to get rid of the annoying herd, and (2) To start scoring for film/tv/commercials and working with established artists as a musician/writer/producer. 1994-2013 had the same theme, the theme being “Go away so that we can make room for others.”
    I was a scholarship student at Juilliard for six years and also studied at UCLA in the film scoring program. Not wanting to approach the industry like a drugged out hipster scumbag, I have always taken an honest approach. I was respectful and considerate of the gatekeepers since they are inundated with material on a daily basis. The few times I did approach them, they either ignored me or refused to listen to my music. My background was somehow irrelevant. At the same time, I see all these new faces while I’m sitting on the sidelines for 20 years. I’m tired of it. In the end, it’s simply a war.
    I do feel very happy when I hear that talented people have had their music placed or have been recognized to some extent because they deserve it. However, I have nothing but venom for people that discovered Garage Band on their laptop, come up with some garbage, and then do whatever it takes in LA to get some money out of it. Music should be more about the music and less about how much cocaine you have to offer to your industry contact. And for those of you who think that the coke thing is an exaggeration, you have another thought coming. Actions like that redefine the word “success.”
    In the end, I decided that I’m not going to have my life dictated to me by a bunch of people who have never even met me or listened to my music.

  5. My Name is Logan
    aka LoWGritt
    My goal for 2014 is to continue becoming a more well-rounded player in the music industry. In 2013 I suffered from SAS. Throughout the course of this year I have slowly battled out my thinking, expanded on how to run my business and take control of my creative career. I intend to partner with artists and businesses that share common goals, continue to create new and exciting content that people can connect with emotionally. I aim to increase my viability on social media marketing and maintaining my fan relationships. This year I will become financially independent through available income streams such as licensing/publishing, performance, and production work. I intend to utilize my current resources to help other artists achieve what they’d like to do. This year I will lay the foundation for my newly established recording company so that in one to two years it shall be a thriving business dedicated to content creation and artist services. The most important thing to me is to continue having fun doing what I love to do, being grateful for what I already have, and being present in the moment to properly conduct my business and creations. I will work everyday forward so that one day I will have succeeded in creating a legacy for others to follow.

  6. Haven’t most artists always starved?
    Maybe it’s the wrong belief that everybody can make it. That isn’t the case. It takes talent, work, contacts and luck.
    To my knowledge it has always taken these four things. And talent and luck cannot be acquired.

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