1. Art & Fear
Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
by Ted Orland and David Bayles
This small classic book is still vital and relevant as it was when it was first published almost 20 years ago. Many books on creativity emphasize the spiritual views of creativity, Art and Fear deals with more practical aspects. The book is about overcoming the challenges that all artists face—-the challenges of becoming an artist and staying an artist.
The book's primary thesis is that the artist must develop an artistic routine, and find pleasure in that routine. When we take pleasure in our routine, we relax and the fears associated with art-making disappear. This is a must read book for anyone who is considering a life as an artist and for the person who has become paralyzed in their artistic pursuits.
1. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
The Definitive, 4th Edition
by Betty Edwards
There are dozens of good books on drawing, but most of these are written by right-brained individuals. There are two sides of the brain, the right and the left. Right brained people are more visual and imaginative while the left-brained ones are more analytical and linear in their thinking. Since the most successful artists are right-brained, their books are well-received by other right-brained artists.
Drawing on the right side is written for the left-brained artist who wants to develop his or her right brain creative powers. Betty Edwards' lessons and exercises have shown amazing successes, and readers say they realize an imaginative improvement in only a few weeks.
The irony of the book is that right-brained artists are often turned off by the book's analytical approach. Of course, the book is not written for these people.
1. Selling Your Own Art
How to Succeed without Galleries
by RL Foster
Selling Your Own Art is an informative books for those artists who want to take control of their own art business without relying on galleries. With so many galleries closing in recent years, selling your own art may be the only realistic route for artists. The first chapter offers an enlightening discussion of "gallery or no gallery."
The book covers everything an artists needs to know about creating their own art business including comprehensive sales and marketing plans. The book suggests other revenue possibilities besides art sales. A chapter also covers barter as a way to save on expenses and improve your lifestyle. A must read for artists who are launching their art careers.
The Art Spirit: Annotated with Illustrations
by Robert Henri with a new introduction by RL Foster
Written 100 years ago, The Art Spirit by Robert Henri continues today as one of the most influential books for artists, and especially American artists. It still remains one of the bestselling books on creativity and art, and attracts new readers with every generation. Henri with the assistance of Margery Ryerson prepared Art Spirit from four decades of his lecture notes and hundreds of letters to students and friends.
The Art Spirit provides insights into the mind of one of America’s most influential artists and teachers. The reader comes away with an uplifting sense of what it means to be a part of the great “Brotherhood” of art.
One of the shortcomings of the original edition was that Henri was a frequent name-dropper, and he assumed his readers were well versed in art history. In this new edition, names and terms are annotated along with illustrations. With its annotations and illustrations and modern typography, this is by far the best edition of Robert Henri's classic, The Art Spirit.