Persist: In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad with Commerce, by Los Angeles author Peter Clothier, won first place in the Art/Graphics Non-Fiction category. The book is not about art per se, nor does it contain artwork. Rather, it’s a collection of compelling essays offering inspiration and encouragement to artists and creative people of all kinds, especially those who struggle against the stream of commercialism and profit.
In the Introduction to Persist, Peter writes:
Earning a living with art is a fanciful expectation for the vast majority of those we certify as artists with the award of a college degree, thanks largely to a self-supporting, self-perpetuating system that provides teaching jobs for otherwise unemployable artists. What results is a disconnect between what students have been led to expect and the realties that await them . . . and there is an army of the walking wounded out there to prove this point. Our culture celebrates creativity from the earliest age in schools. Children are encouraged to express themselves even before they learn the ABC’s that enable them to do it. So many of our brightest young people dream of careers in music, acting, film, and television, but later find themselves in a career market that offers scant possibility of fulfilling the dream they have been fraudulently urged to dream. I live in Hollywood and go to restaurants. I talk to the servers.
This collection of essays is intended to celebrate and encourage these amateurs—or rather, more honestly, us. Because, though I myself have been fortunate enough to enjoy a good measure of success as a writer, I too am confronted with the reality of a publishing world in which many thousands of worthy writers flounder against the formidable rocks of commercial demands. If I write about the survival of the creative spirit in such a cultural context, it’s because I myself have needed to develop strategies and mind-sets that enable me to persevere with a sense of dedication, self-respect, and persistence that might otherwise seem foolishly quixotic. These essays have been written to remind myself, at moments of discouragement, that I am, first, foremost, and always, a writer—if only because that is what I have been given to do.
The ebook edition of Persist is available for immediate download in both MOBI and EPUB formats directly from Parami Press through the Gumroad download service. You can also order Kindle and NOOK editions from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Of course, the paperback edition is available, too.