5 Books that every artist must read

5 Books that every artist must read

I am an artist but I am also a bibliophile! As an artist and a book lover, here are a few books that have helped immensely in my journey as an artist:

1. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon 

I talk about this book a lot and I genuinely believe every artist must have this book in their library. It’s a book that you can pull out anytime and read from any page. This book tells you about inspiration, how it works and how you can find it for your own art practice. My favourite chapter in this book is ‘Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started’. Check out the book here

2. The Practice by Seth Godin 

This book talks about consistency, and how it can help you do what you want to do, and get better at it. With this book, what really stuck with me was the idea of repetition, i.e., doing something every day and sticking with it. I practised this through my sketchbooking, where I’d sketch something every single day. This truly helped me in my journey to creating and launching my own art collection. 

I genuinely believe that the best way to find your art style is by actually sitting down and creating regularly and watching your work evolve.  Check out the book here.

3. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield 

This is a very important book in my opinion, at least in my opinion because the author talks about resistance, the different ways it shows up in our lives to prevent us from doing what we want to do AND how to beat it! 

This book has helped me recognise and identify when resistance shows up when I want to create something and work through it. The author has written with such simplicity and clarity that it was easy for me to read and internalise the idea of resistance, recognise it when it shows up in my life, and know how to tackle it. It was a life-changing book for me and I highly recommend it to anyone in the creative field.  Check out the book here.

4. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron 

Another book that I talk about ALL the time! This book also talks about inspiration, resistance, etc. but also has really great tools and exercises for artists to help recognize and work with them. 

A tool from this book that I can no longer go a day without is doing my morning pages, which is basically just writing every morning. I write the most random things from groceries and chores to flushing out creative ideas but as a process, this helps me get things off my head and get some clarity and direction as I go about the rest of the day.  Check out the book here.

5. Color and Light by James Gurney 

Often there is a mismatch between the vision we have in our head and what we are able to paint. I personally feel that this mismatch stems from not understanding some of the basic theories and concepts. 

That is where this book comes in. It helped me get a better understanding of colour and light and how they behave, understanding pigments and tones, and basically reshaped my understanding of art and the way I went about it.   Check out the book here.

If you are a beginner and looking to get started, I also have a course on colour theory and mixing where I teach you everything you need to know so that even if you’re an absolute beginner, you don’t struggle too much to create pieces that are close to what’s in your head!

If you’re an artist, an art enthusiast, an aspiring artist, or a person in the creative field, I really hope you give these books a read! They’ve helped me immensely and I’d love for you to experience that too. If you think I’ve missed a book that you believe every artist must read, please drop a comment and I would love to check it out.   

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