Creating is fueled by inspiration. When I am feeling creatively stuck I often head to my collection of art books to find ideas, direction, and, of course, inspiration.
Here are my top 10 art books that inspire me.
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
When I am feeling stuck while in the middle of creating and I want to simply crumple up the paper and throw it into the trash, Beautiful Oops reminds me that there are no mistakes in art. Instead these "oops-moments" are times when I can "think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!"
Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists by Carla Sonheim
When I was first dabbling with the idea of being an artist, I dove head first into this and other Art Lab books. Drawing Lab for Mixed Media I especially enjoy because the 52 different creative exercises are well described and filled with fun, attainable examples of delightful ways to explore art.
Craft-a-Doodle by Jenny Doh
I find that doodling gets my creative juices flowing and positively impacts my mood. Craft-a-Doodle is filled with creative doodling exercises, each of which has simple, yet fun, doodling prompts. It is not uncommon for me to grab this book, my sketchbook and favorite pens and find a comfy place to sit and doodle. Doodling always make my day happier.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
I love The Art of War because it reminds me, in a plain and simple way, that I must ignore my inner mean girl and that I have to sit down and "do the work". Mr. Pressfield says, "Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got." This book is a must for anyone who thinks they might want to explore their creative-side.
Once Upon a Piece of Paper by Andrea D'Aquino
This fun, whimsical book about collage making is awesome! Not only does the author give suggestions and ideas of how to use papers and create collages, but she gives you a pad of random printed papers to use in your own artwork.
Zendoodle by Susanne Schaadt
A while back, my sister took a zentangle class and soon after, she taught me some of what she learned. Since then I have been hooked on the beauty of the intricate patterns that can be drawn. Zendoodle is my current go-to book when I want a zentangle resource. I am now finding that I have been incorporating zentangle doodles from my sketch book in many of my collages.
365 Things to Make and Do by Fiona Watt
Clearly this book was written for kids but it's marvelous for adults too (or at least for this adult). Its a great book to pull out when my boys want to create - but I find inspiration for my art every time I flip through the pages. I love the silly and clever ideas of ways to be creative. 365 Things to Make and Do always gets my child-like creative juices flowing!
Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley
Flora Bowley's personal story is so inspiring! Her ability to engage all of her senses and intuition into her art is fascinating. Each time I pick up this book I am reminded to get out of my head and trust my gut. And, when I do that I am never disappointed. Creative Revolution makes me strive to be a better, more authentic artist.
Art Quilt Collage by Deborah Boschert
Some of the most amazing pieces of artwork I have seen are quilts. The craft bringing together of colors, patterns, and fabrics intrigues me. Therefore I have begun to look for inspiration in quilts. I really like the texture of the stitching, the softness of the fabric and handmade look of quilts. But, mostly I love the stories that quilt-makers tell. While paging through Art Quilt Collage I am reminded that art is simply a form of storytelling and I am inspired to incorporate my stories into my art.
In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
This book, recently recommended by a friend, is packed full of inspiration! The author interviewed over 100 amazing and talented makers, artists and entrepreneurs an their thoughts are uplifting, empowering and insightful. When I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed this is my go-to book to find a sense of community. As I read each woman's story I am reminded that I am not alone on this journey of creativity.
Make is a HAPPY Day!