Top 5 Books for Artists and Creatives plus a Bonus Recommendation.
I've dug into these books several times over this year, and have them on repeat on my Audible playlist. But I liked them so much, I bought all of them in hardcopy too. They are so packed with useful information, and external links that take you to guides, and workbooks. Check them out.
This book was recommended to me by my creative friend who I met on the ArtPreneur retreat with Cat Coquillette and Logan Elliot.
I listened to this Playing Big on Audible and when it first started, I initially thought it was going to be a bit self-helpy (I was mega wrong) but I was driving back from the retreat and I couldn’t change the book while I was driving so I persisted past the first few minutes (I know I’m a tough critic) But I’m so glad I did. And you will be too.
This book is especially for women entrepreneurs who want to play big and she tackles all the limiting beliefs you have to the point that I was cringing because she nails every single thing I did, without even knowing I did it. You know, to be likeable and non-confrontational for example. I often sit at boardroom tables with all males, many of whom are world leaders in their field of expertise, and she articulated every single issue present that I experienced in that environment.
Every - single - one.
Then I love that she explains why, as women, we have been conditioned to do these things. And it makes sense. A lot of sense. But she doesn't leave it there, Tara then goes on to explain how to make those changes, even in seemingly small things like words we use, and how to exactly rephrase it. I’ve just finished listening to her book, and It’s already on replay.
I first heard about this book on the podcast The Goal Digger - by Jenna Kutcher (see my list of Podcast Recommendations for Creatives)
I find that being a solo entrepreneur can mean you experience overwhelm with doing all the things and all those things have equal urgency and it's all up to you. So you end up doing all the things but none of them, well.
Atomic Habits helps you break it down into micro tasks, and by reframing the way you think about goals and your trajectory, small changes and small achievements, consistently, can have a major impact.
This is even more important for those perfectionists among us (raises hand) who think if they can't do it all, now, and perfectly, then it can't be done. The perspective and belief shift this book teaches, transforms the way you look at your to do list, which allows you to. Move forward in your business (or even other aspects of your life)
Never Split the Difference - Chris Voss
Cat Coquillette recommended Never Split the Difference in a live she did with Logan Elliot pre-retreat. So I read it. Ok, so I listened to it because you know, mumming and homeschooling with 3 kids and CEO-ing!
If you do listen to it on Audible, you’ll really enjoy the Author, Chris Voss’ narration especially during his explanations of negotiating with terrorists or in hostage situations. How he changes his voice depending on the situation. As an expert hostage situation negotiator, he breaks down the elements of negotiation, key phrases to look for to let you know if you are making progress, and even how to place the dollar value of your quote. So, we aren’t going to be negotiating with terrorists for hostages, but it can feel high stress to be new to negotiating your contracts, terms and conditions.
There is also a Summary of Never Split the Difference for a quick refresher on his negotiating tips pre-meeting. I’ve since used the “DJ” voice and I pause a lot more often now during negotiations, and allow that awkward silence to fill the room (ok so its only been in a zoom room but it's still just as effective). Since listening to this book, and some help from my business coach, I negotiated my highest rate yet, on my commissioned artworks.
Art, Money, Success - Marie Brophy
When I first googled Art Licensing, this was the person who showed up at the top of the results, but I persisted in reading blogs and scrounging around trying to find our more about it. Now I wish I clicked on that link and I would have saved myself a whole lot of time. Over and over, Maria Brohpy’s name came up and I’d have to say she is on the top of my list of experts in Art Licensing.
Art, Money, Success is so packed with information that I couldn’t just have the audio book and I needed to buy the hard copy. She covers everything from contracts, pricing, copyright, art licensing, negotiations and follow up and everything in between and more. This is another book I will listen to again and again, as you travel through your art business journey, different parts of this book will be more relevant and she goes into such detail that she really gives you the blueprint for achieving all of these goals.
Art Inc. is a great book for beginners to creative entrepreneurship! If you are new to your creative business, this book provides really great information to get you moving in the right direction. It breaks down the creative business basics and can even help you figure out which direction to take. She also includes useful interviews with other artists. This book contains information I wish I knew when I first started instead of scrawling the internet for this info. This book gives you all of that and wraps it in a succinct, useful bow.
BONUS RECOMMENDATION FOR BEGINNERS
How to Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon
Another fabulous book for beginners in art and creative work that reassures you, it's all been done before, its just that now, in our digital age, you see it all and it's hard not to be influenced by what we see because this is how we get inspired and create. Instead of shying away from this, the How to Steal Like an Artist articulates it beautifully so you can understand the difference between copying and being inspired by.
I loved reading this book because it was validation of my creative process. Especially as a self-taught creative, knowing this is how artists around the world manage in this digital overload of images, was reassuring and satisfying.
I am so heavily influenced by the environment, country and culture that I'm visiting, from what grows on trees there, to how people build their homes, to colloquial sayings people use but I'm always gathering multiple points of inspiration and putting them together to make my own interpretation of those inspirational moments or things. And if you ever thought that wasn't ok... now you know, it's how we create! So go forth! Read this book (super easy read btw) and get stealing!
These are all my recommendations for everything creative from art supplies I personally use, and love, books for your creative business that I've read and gained value from, and any other tools, and products that I find really useful in my creative business and creative digital nomad lifestyle, I'll share them with you so you can gain traction in yours.
As I develop this creative recommendation guide for you, I will be writing about them, on my blog, just like this one. This page also contains affiliate links, so if you make a purchase (yay you) I will also get a small commission (yay me). So, thank you.
If you read these books, drop me a note below to let me know your fave part, or what helped you move forward in your creative life.
PS: if you'd like to keep the conversation going between posts, and be the first to get my recommendations, freebies, and hear about new artwork, be sure to JOIN ME HERE.