I usually don't review this sort of book, but lately I've been encountering more and more young people envisioning careers in the creative and artistic fields. Whether or not this is a symptom of a culture lopsidedly influenced by the media is hard to prove, but the reality is that young people need to consider far more than the potential glamour if their goal is to make it in the arts.
Mr. Shumate writes in semi-autobiographical fashion, passing on wisdom from his own life experiences, both positive and negative. In a sense, he's teaching the virtues required to become an artist. Although this isn't a religious book, it gets to the heart of the attitudes necessary for real success. He also addresses the attitudes students need to lose if they want to make it in the arts. A quote from the book will give you the idea:
The important thing is that you can't skillfully break a rule that you don't know. And so it behooves us to learn all the rules of our particular art form, even if we wish to break them. Unfortunately, too many young artists are anxious to break rules, sometimes even before learning them. Moreover, it is just a token of pitiable immaturity to want to break rules for just the sake of doing so.
This excerpt is a little more didactic sounding than the rest of the book. It's very readable, I think, largely because Mr. Shumate speaks very openly and honestly about himself.
It doesn't address any particular realm of the arts. Rather, it discusses principles that apply across all artistic fields.
I suspect that parents of budding artists might be a part of the audience for this book, but it's really written directly to potential artists themselves. The reading level as well as a certain maturity level would make it most appropriate for those at least 15 or older.