Some days, we just need a jolt of creative inspiration. Whether you’re an artist, maker, designer, writer, or someone who enjoys creative hobbies, there will inevitably be days where your creative tank is running on empty. So, I put together a list of the best books on creativity to help inspire you!
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Books About Creative Inspiration
Books are a perfect medium to boost inspiration, encourage brainstorming, and fuel creative thinking. They help us eliminate all other distractions and focus on one topic.
These books on creativity and artistic inspiration – written by a variety of outstanding creators – are perfect for getting those creative juices flowing.
In fact, they may just lead you to your next creative breakthrough. Enjoy!
1. Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors; it seems his imagination knows no bounds. He’s a perfect source of inspiration for creativity.
This book puts his powerful commencement speech at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts into writing.
He presses the importance of making impactful art, tapping into your dreams, and discovering your artistic strength.
2. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
The overarching message in this book: creative inspiration is everywhere, and it’s perfectly fine to get ideas from others (and the world around you) – as long as you put your own spin on them.
3. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace
Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, writes about how creativity and business can mingle in harmony.
It details how creativity is encouraged in the corporate world, including how Pixar has built a culture that sparks new ideas and molds them into the ultra-popular films we know and love today.
4. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
This book lays out the paths that lead us to those “aha” moments of inspiration, and how we can use our ideas to enrich others’ lives.
It also delves into why creativity is so important for our future as human beings.
5. Winning The Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield
If you’ve ever had a creative block, this book is for you. Pressfield provides powerful tips on finding artistic inspiration and getting out of your creative rut.
6. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, encourages readers to embrace their creativity and let go of the baggage that holds them back.
She details how to approach living a creative life and reach for the dreams we’re most passionate about.
7. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
Tharp teaches us how to hone our creative talents by making them a habit in our daily lives.
She also details thirty exercises to help readers get out of a creative rut, and channel inspiration instead of always waiting for it to strike.
8. The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are by Danny Gregory
Gregory discusses how to use drawing as a form of creative inspiration for all aspects of your life (fun illustrations included!).
9. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
In this book, MacLeod, creator of a widely popular blog comic series, unlocks the 40 key ingredients to creativity.
He writes about how to cultivate ideas in a world where it seems consistency and standards are valued over creative ideas and unique perspectives. He also discusses how to stand out from the crowd and why it’s so necessary.
There you have it: my list of the best books on creativity and artistic inspiration! Feel free to click on the links for a more detailed synopsis of each book.
I hope these books help you channel your imagination and unique perspective on the world, so you can do what you do best: create. Happy reading!