We all have a creative person inside of us. Some live with that person more on the forefront then others. Maybe that artist in you comes out regularly, or perhaps she just peaks her head in from time to time. Either way, a little extra motivation and inspiration never hurts. Whether you're hoping to jump start a more creative lifestyle, feel stuck in a rut, or just want to enhance the artist life you're already living, the right book can give you the tools and the empowerment you need to be at your best. Here are 10 must read books that'll make a huge difference for creative people.
1. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei
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One of the toughest part about being a creative person is managing the day to day expectations you put on yourself. Given that at least initially, most creative people have a regular "day job." This can make the biggest struggle finding time to juggle your responsibilities with finding the time to do what your soul really loves. Manage Your Day to Day takes a realistic approach and will help you use your time wisely, which will enhance your creative work, and help you be less frustrated. With advice and tips from 20 creative leaders, this book will help train your left brain, making your right brain even stronger. (Goodreads)
2. Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland
(Photo Source: TedOrland.com)
Embracing the fact that yes, there are artistic geniuses, but there are also regular good art. We get intimidated because we compare ourselves to the greats in history. Art and Fear view art in a more practical sense, literally observing and examining it without necessarily looking for the genius in it. The reason this is important, is because when you compare your art to the greats, you're less likely to even create the art in the first place. Which makes sense. It's jut too much pressure. This is just one of the many perils Bayles and Orland tackle. And as artists themselves, they also explore the benefits of creating art, even just "ordinary" art. Spanning artist avenues all all times, the book, with it's huge following, has become a go-to for newbies and veteran artists alike.
3. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
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“If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.” Just one of the many Ah-ha statements you'll find in Steal Like an Artist. The book's main take away is that you don't need to be a genius, just be yourself, which of course is easier said than done. With examples, exercises and illustrations you'll find pointers that can help with this goal, things like - writing the book you'd want to read, set up routines, sharing your work with others who's feedback you trust, and the ever popular, but true \"Fake it till you make it\" adage then when followed really does make a difference. Kleon's book isn't just for "creative types," because as he puts it creativity is for everyone, because it's everywhere.
4. What It Is by Lynda Barry
(Photo Source: Matilda All Grown Up)Do you wish you could write? This is the question that Lynda Barry asks in her book, the “Deliciously drawn (with fragments of collage worked into each page), insightful and bubbling with delight in the process of artistic creation. A+” — Salon. What It Is, is a creative how-to graphic novel by the painter, writer, illustrator, cartoonist, editor, teacher (and the list goes on). She teaches fun, playful, yet powerful lessons for those with that desire. Whether you're looking for inspiration and improvement or starting from scratch, this first of her Drawn & Quarterly books is a gorgeous read that will guide you on how to take your art and your ideas to a level you may not have even known was in you.5. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
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What makes you genuinely satisfied? As a creative person this can be a hard and painful struggle to figure out. This national best seller by the psychologist reveals the investigations he found searching for \"optimal experience.\" What Csikszentmihaly discovered was what he called Flow, those deep moments of creativity and the joy you find in being in the zone. The best part is that he shows that this state isn't just a magical happenstance, it can be controlled and learned. By doing so, no matter where you are artistically, professionally or personally, you can find that happiness we're all searching for. (Barnes and Noble)
6. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
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"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.\" Chalked full of great insight like this, Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird has practical and inspiring advice for writers and creative types alike. Her honesty and straightforwardness goes beyond just writing though, teaching you how to make sense of every day and how to live a more fulfilled life. (Brainpickings)
7. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
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These experts of innovation, design and creativity want you to know that innovation doesn't only belong to the creative. Each and everyone of us has this power in us. Creative Confidence aims to give you the tools to build just that, your confidence. With examples of inspiring stories from their work at IDEO, which David founded and Tom is a partner of, as well as the world's top companies and design firms, you'll feel more self-assured in your work and personal life. The book of strategy will help you realize that, “That combination of thought and action defines creative confidence: the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out.” In the end, you'll find yourself being more productive, therefore, more successful when you're problem solving. (Book Depository)
8. Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
(Photo Source: Wired)
Imagine is a fascinating book that will make you rethink the way you do things. From learning the habit of genius's like Bob Dylan, to the thinking behind the Pixar office space, designed to generate even more creativity, Imagine shows the science of creativity. It turns out it's a skill that can be learned, utilized and fostered in more effective ways than you're probably currently experiencing. From allowing for more childlike playtime, daydreaming and traveling, to embracing criticism, this book shows the why age-old tips really work, as well as new ways of thinking about generating ideas. It isn't just about magically making your brain more creative, it's about creating an environment in your school, or company that will make you more effective and inventive. (Good Reads)
9. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
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“Like other global skills – for example, reading, driving, skiing, and walking – drawing is made up of component skills that become integrated into a whole skill.\" A classic, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain has been read by over 3 million people and is a must-have for artists, specifically drawers and illustrators. In America especially, we're used to thinking analytically, yet Edwards book, which she continues to update, teaches her readers about the research done and why the ability to draw with the right hemisphere of your brain is a must for releasing a stronger artist within you. It even has cool, yet simple exercises to enhance these skills and give you the confidence to master them.
10. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
(Photo Source: Simon and Schuster)
You don't have to be a dancer to gain insight from the world renown choreographer. In The Creative Habit Tharp shares the lessons she's learned from an inspiring career that's spanned over 50 years. From beginning your creative practice with a ritual, to recognizing your own distractions, learning to feed your own creativity and taking care of yourself she'll inspire you to continue to work hard and teach you how to sustain a creative lifestyle, which is often a long, hard, yet fulfilling marathon. (Kim Manley Yort)