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SHARING a few books for artists that might be helpful. Some offer advice on transforming artistic impulses into something tangible you can share with the world, and others are primers on writing.  A great way to get books is from your local library - support them by visiting, borrowing & donating. If you love to keep your books, visit your local independent bookstores :) 


At Watchung Booksellers in NJ, one of my fave bookstores

The Creative Habit - Twyla Tharp

"To get the creative habit, you need a working environment that's habit-forming. All preferred working states, no matter how eccentric, have one thing in common: When you enter into them, they compel you to get started.”

Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

"If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked."

The Essential Artist's Handbook

Tips, strategies & resources for artists of all disciplines in Quebec. Developed by YES Employment + Entrepreneurship, Montreal.

On Writing: A memoir of the craft - Stephen King

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.”

Art Matters - Neil Gaiman

"Now go, and make interesting mistakes. Make Interesting. Mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here. Make good art.”

Living by Fiction - Annie Dillard

"Art remakes the world according to sense". An examination of how art relates to our understanding of the world around us.

Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world - CalNewport

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not... If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.”

Art Inc. The Essential Guide for Building your Career as an Artist - Lisa Congdon

A practical book with marketing, budgeting, financing, and promoting tips, by a visual artist.

Real Artists Don't Starve - Jeff Goins

Entrepreneurial and networking take on art - a bit of practical info. “What does it mean to be a "real artist"? It means you are spending your time doing the things that matter most to you. It means you don't need someone else's permission to create.”

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege."

Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

“This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.”

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield

"[The artist] will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.” Dealing with 'resistance' when creating art.

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists - Sharon Louden

Short essays & narratives by artists from a range of disciplines. “The power of creativity does not just lie in an artist’s work, but also in how he or she continues to create regardless of the obstacles life places in the way." - Sharon Louden (editor)

Catching the Big Fish - David Lynch

Insights from the filmmaker. “Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”

Creative Block - Danielle Kyrsa

Interviews with 50 visual artists on creative work. "On Negative Criticism: No one can wrestle the pencil out of your hand. You get to keep going in absolute defiance. -amanda happe, painter, Canada"

The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life by Sharon Louden (Editor) 40 essays from various artists who have successfully expanded their practice beyond the studio and become change agents in their communities.'

Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss

Primer on punctuation that is amusing, easy to read and to remember.

The Elements of Style - Strunk and White

A practical, easy to follow guide. Get the newest fourth edition (though the 3rd is perfectly fine if you find it used).

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