10 Art Books That Will Nourish Your Creative Soul This Month

Art Books

Photo: Nicole Honeywell
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The weather outside is no longer frightful, and it’s a delightful time to enjoy the outdoors. A good book is an ideal companion; not only are you getting some sun, but you’re stimulating your mind, too. With so many books released every month, it can be hard to choose what to read first. Luckily, we’ve picked 10 creative books that will nourish your soul this month.

The books in our selection are a celebration of art, design, and the people that dare to live unconventionally. From intrepid travelers to designers who dreamed up New York’s Central Park, you’ll be introduced to incredible stories and artistic approaches that will encourage you to make your mark—in whatever way inspires you.

Scroll down for our suggestions. And if you have a Kindle device, you’re in luck—many of these publications are available through the e-reader, too. Through Kindle Unlimited, you have access to unlimited reading of over a million ebooks that can be read on any device.

Looking for a book to inspire your creativity? Here are our 10 picks of photography, design, and art books for April 2019.

Design Books

The Central Park: Original Designs for New York's Greatest Treasure by Cynthia S. Brenwall

This book tells the story of New York City’s iconic public park by sharing original designs from the Municipal Archives. From detailed maps to plans for buildings—some that were never realized—author Cynthia S. Brenwall takes us through the massive space based on how it was originally envisioned.


Art Books

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future by Tracey Bashkoff

Swedish artist Hilma af Klint passed away in 1944 at the age of 81 and left behind more than 1,000 works that she had kept private. She believed that the world “was not ready for her art,” so she asked that the pieces remain unseen for another two decades. Paintings for the Future presents these works while exploring the scholarship of her life and art.


Art Books

Vitamin T: Threads and Textiles in Contemporary Art by Phaidon Editors

Vitamin T celebrates textiles and includes visual artists who work in tapestry, embroidery, knitting, knotting, and more. With more than 100 artists represented, the book showcases a breadth of materials and applications.


Vanlife Diaries: Finding Freedom on the Open Road by Kathleen Morton, Jonny Dustow, and Jared Melrose

Have you ever wanted to hit the road? Get a taste of the nomadic lifestyle with the Vanlife Diaries. Interviews and advice accompany more than 200 photos of these incredible rolling homes.


Design Books

The Designer's Dictionary of Type by Sean Adams

Learn the stories behind some of the most well-known fonts in the world. Author and graphic designer Sean Adams demystifies 48 of them to describe their history, visual style, and common applications. It’s an ideal book for anyone who wants a foundation of typography.


Travel Books

My Tiny Atlas: Our World Through Your Eyes by Emily Nathan

Get ready for some wanderlust with My Tiny Atlas. The book comprises more than 200 stunning photos and stories of travel as well as tips for experiencing places like a local. From Paris to Buenos Aires to the Arctic Circle, you’ll traverse the globe when you open this book.


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Happy Abstracts: Fearless Painting for True Beginners! by EttaVee

Whether you’re a seasoned painter or a complete beginner, it doesn’t matter—this book is for you! Happy Abstracts is a guide where you’ll learn to create “bright and uplifting” paintings on canvas. Through six projects, you’ll be encouraged to experiment and play. Everyone can use some more of that in their lives.


Threadfolk: A Modern Makers Book of Embroidery Projects and Artist Collaborations by Libby Moore

Libby Moore has created a comprehensive guide for you to start stitching. Threadfolk: A Modern Makers Book introduces you to supplies you’ll need and the stitches you’ll use to create 14 contemporary embroidery projects.


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Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon

Author Austin Kleon, known for his best selling books Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work! is back with his latest publication called Keep Going. In it, he offers 10 rules for how to stay creative, focused, and true to yourself—for life. One of his guidelines? Take it one day at a time.


How to Draw Book

Beginning Drawing Atelier: An Instructional Sketchbook by Juliette Aristides

Every artist needs to learn basic drawing skills. In this book, which is part instruction and part sketchbook, author Juliette Aristides presents sketching techniques through a series of manageable and progressive lessons. As you move through the book, you’ll be practicing alongside the works of the Old Masters. It's perfect if you want to improve as an artist but would like to work at your own pace.


Related Articles:

15 Must-Have Art Books for the Creative Mind

20 Books Every Artist Needs on Their Bookshelf

8 Essential Art History Books for Beginners

10 Inspiring Children’s Books for Budding Little Artists

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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