one anthropomorphic potato holds a guitar, the other potato paints a banana on a canvas and easel.

Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto

by Ayun Halliday Author

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. 

Want to amp up your creativity with weird, juicy activities? Check out the Creative, Not Famous Activity Book, a standalone companion workbook and journal for all flavors of creators.

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Comments & Reviews


The Genius Grant you so rightly deserve


I found Creative, Not Famous inspiring, reassuring, and relatable. There’s a sense of community amongst small potatoes. We have to be support each other in a world that often ignores us, and if it recognizes us, it can be quite dismissive. This pocket-sized manifesto can be tucked into a knapsack or handbag. Creative, Not Famous is a book of encouragement and advocacy for small potatoes everywhere.


Full of wisdom, practical advice, anti-capitalist ethos and joy that will inspire any artist to get cracking and stay excited about their work.


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.


What a great project, full of great insights from artists I love!