24 Books Every Artist Needs on Their Bookshelf

Stack of Art Books

Stock Photos from Skylines/Shutterstock
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your creative career, there's always more to learn. From brushing up on your marketing skills or learning how to sell your art online, there's no end to the business skills that can help you push your career further. Because, as we all know, it takes more than raw talent to make it as an artist. Ambition, tenacity, and the willingness to grow are just some of the characteristics that will help you build your career.

And while there are no shortage of articles online to help—including our own section of creative career advice—sometimes you just need to pick up a good book. Luckily, there are fantastic resources out there to help you with all aspects of the art business. From learning how to set prices to techniques on how to keep you inspired and productive, there are endless books to help your career survive, and thrive.

Ready to start building your library? Clear some room on the bookshelf for our list of 24 books every artist needs to own.


Looking for inspiration and encouragement?


Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic by Lisa Congdon

Find Your Artistic Voice Book

Lisa Congdon | from $7.09


The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Twyla Tharp | from $3.64


Creative Confidence, Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley & David Kelley


Pocket Frida Kahlo Wisdom by Hardie Grant

Frida Kahlo Book

Hardie Grant | $9.99


Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland


Need business basics for your art career?


Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion into a Full-Time Gig by Ilana Griffo

ind Your Business Book

Ilana Griffo | from $13.89


How to Build Your Art Business With Limited Time or Energy by Corinna Thurston

How to Build Your Art Business Book

Corinna Thurston | from $5.99


Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon

How to Become an Artist

Lisa Congdon | $10.30


Art/Work: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career by Heather Darcy Bhandari & Jonathan Melber


The Business of Being an Artist by Daniel Grant

Books About Art Business

Daniel Grant | from $7.13


Real Artists Don't Starve by Jeff Goins

Books for Artists

Jeff Goins | from $3.25


The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love by Jackie Battenfield

How to Become an Artist

Jackie Battenfield | from $3.96


Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business by Jason Malinak

Etsy Business Books

Jason Malinak | from $1.98


Art Money & Success by Maria Trophy

How to Become an Artist

Maria Trophy | from $9.99


Want to improve your marketing and networking skills?

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

Art Marketing Book

Austin Kleon | from $6.08


I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion by Alyson Stanfield

Art Marketing Book

Alyson Stanfield | from $10.97


Art-Write: The Writing Guide for Visual Artists by Vicki Krohn Amorose

Writing for Artists

Vicki Krohn Amorose | from $5.99


Guerrilla Marketing for Artists by Barney Davey

Art Marketing Book

Barney Davey | from $3.49


Wish you were better at selling your art?


Selling Fine Art Photography by Nigel Merrick

How to Sell Your Photography Book

Nigel Merrick | from $4.99


How to Sell Art: A Systematic Approach to Creating Relationships with Collectors and Closing the Sale by J. Jason Horejs

How to Sell Art

J. Jason Horejs | from $7


How to Sell Your Art Online by Cory Huff

How to Sell Art Online Book

Cory Huff | from $7.99


Need help with finances and legal matters?


Arts & Numbers: A Financial Guide for Artists, Writers, Performers, and Other Members of the Creative Class by elaine Grogan Luttrull


Don't Panic: A Legal Guide (in plain English) for Small Businesses & Creative Professionals by Art Neill & Terri Karobonik


Business and Legal Forms for Fine Artists by Tad Crawford

Legal Advice for Artists

Tad Crawford | from $7.53


Related Articles:

6 Reasons Why Every Artist Should Have Their Own Blog

8 Innovative Ways to Make Money From Your Art

How to Successfully Find Gallery Representation as an Artist

6 Tips for How to Accept Art Commissions and Stay Successful

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content