Over the years I have invested a considerable amount of my time into consuming books, blogs, articles, podcasts, documentaries, series, and video tutorials all promising me I will be a better artist / creative/ all round better human being if I just give them a chance.
Well, I figured I could put all of that effort into good use and start recommending the most helpful information I have come across. And it seems to make sense to start with books that I find creatively motivating.
Now there are plenty of tomes out there on the technicalities of art practice, or the intellectual and philosophical pursuit of art, so if you're looking for some heavy duty reading, this list probably isn't for you. Buuut if you're into easily digestible, motivating and informative books from fellow artists and creatives, take a look!
Find your artistic voice - Lisa Cogdon amazon
This is a kind, motivating, easy-to-digest book about exploring and discovering your artistic voice.
Art Inc - Lisa Cogdon amazon
A comprehensive guide to making a living from your art! This is a must have for anyone wanting to become a professional artist.
Steal like an artist //Show your work // Keep going - Austin Kleon
So this is technically three books, but I can't mention one without the others!
I feel like almost everyone has heard of Austin Kleon's work by now, but if you haven't you should definitely take a look. These are bite-sized powerhouses of motivation for the creative soul. I learnt to take a sketchbooks everywhere with me after reading his work.
The Conscious Creative - Kelly Small amazon
An actionable guide to mindfulness and practical ethics for any creative professional who wants to make a living without selling their soul.
You're inner critic is a big jerk - Danielle Krysa amazon
Ever been so worried that you'll make something ‘bad’ that you just don't make anything at all? This book is for you. Learn to understand and break through your fears and make work that you love.
This is marketing - Seth Godin amazon
Ok so, maybe a book on marketing seems a little left of field for this list, but every artist needs to be able to market themselves now. This gem is compact, easy to read and free from incomprehensible marketing jargon - yay!
I just want to add, if you wanted to buy any of these books please buy from your local independent bookshop, (or use your library!) if you're lucky enough to have one. My favourite in Toronto is Queen books in Leslieville.
Oh, and one last thing. Take your time when reading books like these. If you're anything like me you'll be tempted to grab them all at once and devour them in no time at all. It's so easy to do with quick reads like this. But I find it's best to take your time, let the information ferment for a little while, maybe try some things out. This is something I wish I could tell my younger self.
Also remember that no one person is the same. You might not connect with all of these books, or even everything within a single book. Treat them like pick n' mix. Take what you like, leave what doesn't interest you (ok I promise that's the actual last thing!).
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