The Artist’s Reading List
Bookshelf looking a little lonely? Don’t worry! We’ve got a few recommendations just for you.
Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, it’s always refreshing to get a look at the process and thoughts of others. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list featuring books for artists of all kinds. Pick these up for yourself or as a gift for a friend and you won’t be disappointed.
2 books that will convince you to follow your wild ideas
If you’ve ever stopped yourself from pursuing something that’s exciting and risky, here are a couple books you should read.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - “Q: What is creativity? A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.”
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the guidebook to living a creative life without fear. She writes this book not for the reader, but for herself as a simple reminder: “You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”
Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson - “With learning, our progress doesn’t follow a straight line. It is exponential and expands by multiples. Instead of learning a fixed number of facts and figures each day, what we learn is proportional to what we’ve already learned. We needn’t merely plod along, moving one up and one over on the graph paper of existence. If we apply the right variables, we can explode into our own mastery.”
Whitney Johnson is an investor and writer and one of the most respected thinkers on the concept of disruption - the idea of improving in unexpected ways. In this book, she applies disruption to your everyday life and career to show how you can quickly move towards your goals.
2 books that will inspire you to make art
Staring at the blank page is intimidating. Sometimes, it’s easier to busy yourself with day-to-day life instead of doing the work you’re meant to do. We get it, we really do. But we dare you to read these books and see if you still find yourself wanting to take the safe path.
Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland - “Making art is a common and intimately human activity, filled with all the perils (and rewards) that accompany any worthwhile effort. The difficulties artmakers face are not remote and heroic, but universal and familiar.”
David Bayles and Ted Orland are accomplished writers and teachers with a radical idea: “Art is made by ordinary people.”
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna - “When you choose Must, what you create is yourself. It is a body of work. As you change, so too does the work. As you grow, so too does the creation. Your work lives and breathes because you live and breathe. When you live the fullness of your life, you lift the collective human experience.”
Elle Luna is a designer, painter, and writer who has worked on some of today’s most popular apps and online services. In her beautifully designed book, she tackles what you should do when you find yourself at a fork in your creative road.