Best Books for Creatives

Best Books for Creatives

We picked seven of our favorite books for art and creativity to get you motivated. The topics vary from overcoming blocks, silencing your inner critic and tackling the business side of your art practice.

1. Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative

By Danielle Krysa

"This book is duct tape for the mouth of every artist's inner critic. Silencing that stifling voice once and for all, this salve for creatives introduces ten truths they must face in order to defeat self-doubt. Each encouraging chapter deconstructs a pivotal moment on the path to success—fear of the blank page, the dangers of jealousy, sharing work with others—and explains how to navigate roadblock."

2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

"Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration."

3. ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career

By Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber

"The most comprehensive guide of its kind, Art/Work gives artists of every level the tools they need to make it in an art world so competitive one dealer likens it to "The Sopranos, except nobody gets killed." Whether you're an art school grad looking for a gallery, a mid-career artist managing a busy studio, or someone just thinking about becoming a professional artist, this indispensable resource will help you build your career and protect yourself along the way."

4. The Art Cure: A Memoir of Abuse and Fortune

By Bridgette Mayer

"How did a young girl who came through social services and foster care end up in the art world with a multi-million dollar gallery and consulting business? 

Through the kindness of strangers, fierce determination, and a survivor's sheer will, Bridgette Mayer's is a success story for the ages. In her inspirational memoir of gross neglect, violent abuse, and ultimately redemption, she shares her journey from the projects of Jersey City to eventually becoming one of Philadelphia's most celebrated gallery owners."

5. Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists

By Danielle Krysa

"Creative block presents the most crippling—and unfortunately universal—challenge for artists. No longer! This chunky blockbuster of a book is chock-full of solutions for overcoming all manner of artistic impediment. The blogger behind The Jealous Curator interviews 50 successful international artists working in different mediums and mines their insights on how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated, and get new ideas to flow."

6. Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist

By Lisa Congdon

"You don't have to starve to be an artist. Build a career doing what you love. In this practical guide, professional artist Lisa Congdon reveals the many ways you can earn a living by making art—through illustration, licensing, fine art sales, print sales, teaching, and beyond. Including industry advice from such successful art-world pros as Nikki McClure, Mark Hearld, Paula Scher, and more, Art, Inc. will equip you with the tools—and the confidence—to turn your passion into a profitable business.

7. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

By Austin Kleon

"You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side."

Emily Hoerdemann

Emily Hoerdemann

Stella Diming Zhong

Stella Diming Zhong