Novelist and author of the popular book ‘The Writer’s Room’, Charlotte Wood continues her in-depth conversations about the creative process. She talks to writers and other artists about how they work, what keeps them going, and the joys and challenges of making art.
In Episode 4, we hear from Jerry Saltz about how he went from life as 'a failed artist' to long-haul truck driver to renowned art critic, and about his new book, How To Be An Artist.
Jerry Saltz is the senior art critic at New York magazine and its entertainment site, Vulture. He won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and a 2019 National Magazine Award. Before joining New York in 2007, he was art critic for The Village Voice where he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. A frequent guest lecturer, he has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum and many other major galleries.
How To Be an Artist formed out of a story in NY magazine in 2018 - which has now been read now by more than 600,000 people - which contained 33 rules for life as an artist. The book has 63 rules: warm, funny, sometimes brutal truths about what it takes to make a life in art, and why it's so rewarding.
This conversation was recorded online via Zoom so the sound quality is a little variable - but Jerry's enthusiasm is so infectious you won't notice.
What does a writer do when a novel in progress seems to die under her pen? Keep pushing on? Throw it out and start a new one? Vicki Hastrich, author of the acclaimed NIGHT FISHING, did neither of those things. In her words, she ‘went fallow’ – she stopped making her own art, and instead spent time absorbing other people’s. In Episode 3 we’re looking at artistic cross-pollination – the way one art form can speak to and inspire another, completely different one. This conversation was recorded at Charlotte's home in inner Sydney, so you’ll hear some aircraft noise and bird squawks in the background (and listen out for Charlotte's bizarre spooneristic mispronunciation of the great Zane Grey's name! ).
Every artist must be self-reliant, but it’s also true that creative people have always sought out the community of like-minded others. From Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury circle to Elizabeth Gilbert’s online clan, writers in particular have often worked alongside kindred spirits - consoling, challenging and inspiring each other to look more closely, and think more deeply. Today’s episode is an edited version of a public conversation between Charlotte and Tegan Bennett Daylight, recorded in Sydney in December 2019.
Every artist comes up eventually against some big, scary questions, like: what’s the point? How can I justify making art in the face of the world’s catastrophes – a burning planet, endless cruelty, broken politics? And yet we know other people’s art has saved each of us, again and again. Art clarifies our thinking, challenges our ideas, illuminates our darkest moments. In this episode of The Writer's Room, novelist Charlotte Wood speaks with PEN-award-winning author and theologian Sarah Sentilles, cutting through the despair to talk about why artists should keep showing up to make something meaningful, ethical, and beautiful.