Best Art and Creativity Books

Updated on September 7, 2021

By Erica Fleming

Creative people who are dealing with art often have the problem trying to find good art and creativity books. Below is a list of the best art books ever, each of which is worth spending your time reading. There are various wonderful and motivating among them that would satisfy any creative person.

The top list of creativity and art books:

1. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone

In this book, the author covers the principles of a person’s behavior. She states that in many cases, one’s behavior is determined by one’s desire to reach a particular level of status, corresponding to those one could see around. Having the conversation with others people automatically lower or raise their status through the use of words and body language. The author claims to control this situation and never let oneself block the opportunities, saying yes only to more.

2. Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod

The author of this book touches an urgent problem of the influence of others on one’s choices in life. He proves that there is no person in the world that could know the best way of transferring somebody’s original idea. Every artist should define his own way of delivering his works. Understanding your own voice is the most important thing for any successful artist.

3. The War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

This book is a practical and engaging guide on achieving success in the sphere of art. It states lots of urgent questions giving exhausted answers to them. The author tries to explain what prevents people from doing something they have a willingness to do. He also teaches how to overcome the blocks on the road to success. In several words, this book names the enemies that every artist meets on his road.

4. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp

The author of this book is one of the most famous and talented artists and in this work she shares her tips on how to develop and hold the talents. The book accentuates on one important thing: in order to make an art a part of one’s life, one should make creativity a habit. The book includes some practical exercises that will help with this task.

The top list of artist biographies:

1. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin (recommended by Adam Savage)

The author of this book, Steve Martin, definitely has the right to called himself a successful artist. He was one of the most famous comedians in his times. In this book, he describes his career as ten years learning, four years refining, four years of great success. He presents the details of his early life, his comedy act, and interesting facts about his career development.  

2. Just Kids by Patti Smith

This is the first book of Patti Smith written in prose. Here she gives the unknown before details of her relationship with the famous photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It is a touchable story that honestly describes friendship. There feels a specific lyrical style of the author that is presented in all her works.

The top list of photography books:

1. Intimations of Paradise by Christopher Burkett

This book provides 73 pictures made by talented landscape photographer Christopher Burkett. On creating this book, the author was forced to spend 25 years. This book proves that there is craftsmanship in great art and great art is in craftsmanship. The book also proves that God is in every detail of nature. Burkett had become one of the most talented color photographers in his generation.

2. Resplendent Light by Christopher Burkett

This is another book that includes 68 pictures of the talented photographer Christopher Burkett. All of these photos were made with the Hasselblad camera. They show the beauty of nature, picturing plants, forests, and the water of California, Virginia, and Alaska. An essay included in this book is complete by James Enyeart.

Other creativity and art books:

1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This is a book that states a simple truth: if one wants to become a better writer, one should practice writing more. In order to define what one is writing about, one needs to write. While writing, one opens the hidden gems that existed inside without one’s knowledge about it. The book also points the simple rule: one should never judge one’s initial work too sternly as every single writer has horrible writing drafts.

2. The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner

The author of this book believes that everything in life needs practice. Practicing something is not the same as learning it passively, and these activities have different results. If one wants to achieve success and become proficient in something, one should practice those things actively. Only this way could lead to high levels. The author states that it is not enough to have a goal; the goal should be a guide to the success. And the road to the goal means practicing.

3. Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews by Calvin Tomkins

This book includes some parts of the interview that took place between an artist Marcel Duchamp and a writer Calvin Tomkins. Duchamp in his saying expresses the idea that the artwork should be free from the traditions and an artist should start from the blank state. He also expressed a specific attitude to the laziness, stating that t is a good thing.

4. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

The book places and describes the daily rituals of different artists. The author was struggling to show what was behind the excellent masterpiece and what their authors experienced while creating them. The book brightly shows the specifics of every artist and give some interesting facts of the way they were completed their work.

My name is Erica Fleming. I support the effective adoption of new technologies or ways of working within writing by communicating complex information in an informative and inspiring way.  I’m fond of writing articles for students, helping with essays like tartuffe summary.

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