Few artists achieve fame and fortune, but that doesn't mean your creative life can't flourish. Writer, illustrator, zinemaker, and playwright Ayun Halliday interviewed dozens of creative people and shared her own experiences to produce this rallying cry for the "small potato"—someone whose focus is making cool, meaningful work and living a creative life rather than achieving wealth or celebrity. Sections range from the practice of artmaking to wrangling self-doubt to DIY marketing and self-promotion. Along the way, Halliday shows that your art can bring you satisfaction, success, community, and a modest income—without losing sight of your reasons for doing it in the first place.
"What a great project, full of great insights from artists I love!" - Jeffrey Lewis, musician
"Ayun Halliday’s writing had buoyed my small-potato spirit since her genius genre-bending “Neonatal Sweet Potato” first appeared in my zine P.O. Box in the ‘90s—was it puppet show script? Was it a NICU vigil? Did it matter? Her ability to transmute love and anxiety into creative inspiration felt like something akin to magic. Now she’s collected all her best hard-won knowledge and advice plus a whole bunch of other artists' and writers' best hard-won knowledge and advice and we all win! This book is the antidote to both imposter syndrome and the bullshit of every gatekeeper you’ve ever met. Every writer and artist—aspiring, emerging, or old and bitter—must read it." - Ariel Gore
"Full of wisdom, practical advice, anti-capitalist ethos and joy that will inspire any artist to get cracking and stay excited about their work." - Nicole J Georges, Calling Dr Laura, Relative Fiction
About the Author
Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the long running, award-winning zine, The East Village Inky, and co-founder of Theater of the Apes. She is the author of seven books, including No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late and the Zinester’s Guide to NYC. She created and hosts the ongoing Off-Off-Broadway variety show, Necromancers of the Public Domain. Ayun lives in New York City with her husband, playwright Greg Kotis. Find her online at ayunhalliday.com.