5 Books Every Artist Must Read
Updated: Mar 26
Reading gives artists a chance to explore new ideas, find inspiration, and make connections between different topics that can be used in their own work. By reading regularly, artists can become more creative and better equipped to create meaningful works of art that stand out from the crowd.
The ability to understand and comprehend books is a necessity for an artist, as it helps sharpen creativity and ultimately aids in the production of great works. Reading is an effective way of learning, which is why artists need to read various things that they are not familiar with.
The following books are some of the best out there to get you started and push your creative boundaries.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
This classic novel by Oscar Wilde is a must-read for artists who need to see the dangers of self-indulgence. By painting a portrait of his lover, Dorian becomes consumed with obsession and wants nothing more than to keep the portrait perfect and unchanging. It’s not long before tragedy sets in as Dorian allows himself to age while his image remains youthful.
The Artist's Way
The self-help book for artists, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, has been translated into numerous languages and has helped countless artists become more productive and better able to create their best work.
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield's Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative BattlesThis book is so good because it teaches you how to stay motivated and be artistic despite all of the fear, doubt, and inertia that come along with the creative process.
The Secret Lives of Great Artists: From Michelangelo to Vincent Van Gogh
The book by Elizabeth Lunday is a biography of many great artists and features many stories, anecdotes, and quotes from their lives. The author combines the artists' biographies with sketches, caricatures, and reproductions of their work to show the development of each artist's style.
Art and Fear
Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland is a book about what it feels like to create art. The authors explore the process of creating art and the fears that plague artists, such as fear of criticism, failure, and never being good enough.
It is important for every artist to have a well-stocked bookshelf. Books are a great way to expand the artist's creativity and knowledge. It can also introduce artists to ideas that can trigger their creativity as well as deepen their knowledge about certain topics.