Art & Creativity Related Books

The Artist’s Way: a spiritual path to higher creativity

Julia Cameron

Don’t be thrown by the word “spiritual” in the subtitle. Ms. Cameron speaks to that right in the beginning so you understand what she means. This is BY FAR, one of the best books I’ve read for discovering yourself as a person AND an artist. The book is organized into twelve weeks of “work” and each week is so densely packed with thought provoking questions and exercises that I took longer than a week with each one. Similarly to the book review I did of Loveable, this book can unearth a lot of truths you either didn’t know about yourself, didn’t want to know, or perhaps did but had buried deep inside. I recommend this sourcebook to anyone questioning themselves as an artist and what it is they want from their art. In fact, I may peruse this one again myself!

Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk:

and other truths about being creative

Danielle Krysa

First off this is a great book because the artwork is by the super fun and talented Martha Rich. This is a book of encouragement and learning. Ms. Krysa normalizes the struggle and fear all artists face. And then she gives us ways to handle them, and most of the solutions are fun. I love a book like this! Another go-to book for when you’ve hit a wall, creative block, or just fear starting something new.

The Creative Habit:

learn it and use it for life

Twyla Tharp

I started and then stopped reading this book. The first time I wasn’t ready for it. I believe the best time to read this is when you’re committed to making the most of your creative career-then, it’s very applicable and helpful. I haven’t yet read another book like this one. Ms. Tharp focuses strongly on creativity and how it relates to us as humans and artists. She touches on the advantages and the pitfalls of being creative and provides exercises on dealing with it all.  

Find Your Artistic Voice:

the essential guide to working your creative magic

Lisa Congdon

In a world of social media and influx of images and data, one of the most important, and sometimes hardest, things to do as an artist, is find your own artistic voice. I know I’ve struggled with it and am still working on it. Lisa does a great job with the emotional side of this process as well as the tangible how-to part. One of my favorite things about this book is Lisa’s interviews with other artist. These include tips and insights on how other artists work. One of the most important chapters for me is called: “The Importance of Showing Up, Practicing, and Setting Routines.” 

Show Your Work:

10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered

Austin Kleon

As far as what the book is about, I think the title/subtitle of this one is pretty self explanatory. Why do I like it? Mr. Kleon encourages the reader to share themself, their process, and their life-as it relates to them as an artist. Allow your audience in and give them a reason to make a connection. Easier said than done if you ask me, but he’s got some great suggestions.

Art Inc.:

the essential guide for building your art career as an artist

Lisa Congdon

I read this book several years ago which was a bit premature for where I was with my art business, however it’s a tool you can grab at any point for some good advice. Just a great guide and resource for running your art business. She even gets down to details like how to name your files on your computer for better organization! Will definitely dive into this one again.

Steal Like an Artist:

10 things nobody told you about being creative

Austin Kleon

This book of 10 chapters, or ideas, is one that all artists should digest. It’s a quick easy read but filled with timely reminders and tips that we could all benefit from following. One of my favorite tips: Be boring, it’s the only way to get work done. 

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