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10 Amazing Creativity Books

I have compiled a list of 10 amazing creativity books, some that I have read and love and some that have been recommended to me and may be waiting on my bookshelf to be read. What are you reading now?

1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. One of my favourite of all time. Julia Cameron has many different books and workbooks but this is my favourite. I have used this book over and over again throughout the years to get back on track with my creativity and to dig deep. I will be running a course on this book in the near future.

“The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist's life. it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work.”

2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I personally am an Elizabeth Gilbert fan, her Eat, Pray, Love made me want to run away and travel more, to write more, to live more.

“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. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.”

3. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. I have owned this book for years and have also taken courses that are based on this book. This is a great book if you are learning to draw, it really breaks things down so they make sense. Gives you lots of good tips and tricks to use.

“Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain® was published in 1979 and since then has remained the preeminent book on its subject, used as a standard text in many art schools around the world and on the shelves of artists everywhere.“

4. One Drawing a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration & Mixed Media by Veronica Lawlor. This is currently on my wishlist at Amazon for when I place my next order. It has popped up in my life numerous times and I am ready to pay attention to it. I have heard great things about it.

“Through 46 daily exercises which make up a complete 6-week course, you will keep your artistic skills sharp and your imaginations fertile by doing One Drawing A Day. Each spread in the book features a beautiful drawing by one of 8 professional illustrators, with a description and comments by the illustrator as well as a companion exercise. Each exercise includes suggestions for various mediums or mixed-media solutions, advice on how to approach and execute the drawing, as well as professional tips. The book also includes exercises designed to spark new ideas and increase creativity.”  

5. 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. This one has been popping up on my radar for a while now. I will be looking into it soon. Everyone raves about it.

“Combination guidebook and inspirational treasure, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women profiles 45 dynamic women who share their secrets for success: Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Christina Pickles, Shakti Gawain, Sigrid Olsen, Barbara Sher, Sarah Ban Breathnach, and many others. Each chapter offers the 12 secrets, keys, and challenges to help women work through the creative process. Together they offer an inspirational roadmap, providing all the tools women need to uncover their own authenticity and realize their creative dreams.”

6. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon.
Austin has a few book available that look amazing. I have Steal like an Artist on the bookshelf waiting to be read. I may have to check Audible to see if I can listen to it so I can get to it faster.

“When I was asked to talk to students at a community college in upstate New York in 2011, I sat down and wrote a talk based on a list of 10 things I wished I’d heard when I was starting out:

  1. Steal like an artist.
  2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.
  3. Write the book you want to read.
  4. Use your hands.
  5. Side projects and hobbies are important.
  6. The secret: do good work and share it with people.
  7. Geography is no longer our master.
  8. Be nice. (The world is a small town.)
  9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)
  10. Creativity is subtraction.”
Maybe I just gave the whole book away, but I still can’t wait to get to it.

7. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp.
Also sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to get to it. I wish I had more time to read, Audible may be my new best friend. (No, I’m not trying to promote them, I just found them).
“One of the world’s leading creative artists, choreographers, and creator of the smash-hit Broadway show, Movin’ Out, shares her secrets for developing and honing your creative talents—at once prescriptive and inspirational.
All it takes to make creativity a part of your life is the willingness to make it a habit. It is the product of preparation and effort, and is within reach of everyone. Whether you are a painter, musician, businessperson, or simply an individual yearning to put your creativity to use, The Creative Habit provides you with thirty-two practical exercises based on the lessons Twyla Tharp has learned in her remarkable thirty-five-year career.”

8. The Book of Doing: Everyday Activities to Unlock Your Creativity and Joy by Allison Arden.
I love books like this, and am so excited I finally got it. I look forward to starting right away. This one is actually on my nightstand and as soon as I finish the one I am reading now, it is next. This is what I want to share with people. So many of these books are what I want to share. We all need more creativity in our lives.
“When did you last take the time to do the things you loved as a child: crafts, games, getting your hands dirty? Or feel the same delight and wonder that you took from your favorite childhood activities?
Despite the joy we gained from these pursuits, in our adult lives, we've left them behind-they're too frivolous, we're too busy or too old, and there's too much "real" work to do. It's time to change this mind-set. It's time to rediscover the things you love to do, because they energize, center, and connect you with the world in a meaningful and positive way.”
​9. Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory
Another one waiting for me to read, Danny has gone on to co-found an online school and has really been an inspiration to me (and others I am sure). He is a self taught artist and I can’t wait to dig into this one. Now I just need to figure out eh 10 minute reading schedule.

“Creativity is increasingly important for us to succeed and get the most out of life. This book shows you how to develop a creative habit, despite the many demands on your time.  
For aspiring artists who want to draw and paint but just can't seem to find time in the day, I give you 5– to 10–minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule—whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table—along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that's exciting, unintimidating, and fulfilling.”

10. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom & David Kelley
This one I just heard about, but have heard so many great things I felt the need to share. I’ll have to put it on my list. They have the same belief system as I do so I feel it will be a good fit.

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the “creative types.” But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet, David and Tom Kelley, show us that everyone is creative.

In an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO and with many of the world’s top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work and personal lives, and innovatively approach and solve problems. It is a book that will help each of us be more productive and successful in our lives and in our careers.

Do you have any recommendations for great reads about creativity? Have you read them? Did they help get you motivated?

Have an Amazingly Creative Day!


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