10 Art Books That Will Nourish Your Creative Soul This Month (January 2020)

Best Creative Books

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How has your 2020 been so far? Are you well on your way to crushing your goals, or are you starting to lose steam? If you’re finding that you need a little pick-me-up to make “new year, new you” happen, try grabbing a book. Creative publications can do so much; they can teach you new skills, help you cultivate a positive mindset, and offer endless inspiration.

With new books being released every week, it can be a challenge to know where to start. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve scoured the recent releases to find 10 creative books that each offer something different. Some, like The Modern Artist’s Way, give practical business advice for anyone looking to grow in their career. Others, like Jordan Sondler’s Feel It Out, want to empower you to love yourself so that you can overcome setbacks (career, romantic, or otherwise) and move forward in your life. And, of course, there are books that showcase great work from amazing artists and photographers that are sure to get your creative juices flowing.

Scroll down for more of 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 unlimited access to reading over a million ebooks that can be read on any device.

Keep crushing your 2020 goals with our picks for creative books for January 2020.


Photography Book

PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice by Sasha Wolf

PhotoWork author Sasha Wolf was inspired to write this book after hearing from young photographers that they often felt “adrift” in their practice. She interviewed 40 photographers about their approach to the field and creating a “sustained body of work.” What emerges from their responses is that there is no one path to having a photography career.



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It’s Your Weirdness that Makes You Wonderful: A Self-Acceptance Prompt Journal by Kate Allan

Mental health affects everything in your life, from your relationships to your creative practice. Kate Allan, known for her adorable illustrations that tackle the difficult subject matter, has created a journal with prompts that encourage self-love and self-care.


Embroidery Art Book

From Thread to Needle: Contemporary Embroidery Art by Charlotte Vannier

Embroidery has long been seen as “women’s work” that's nothing more than decoration on pillows, curtains, and clothing. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, feminists reclaimed needlework as art. From Needle to Thread showcases 84 contemporary artists who use embroidery to convey their message.



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Feel It Out: The Guide to Getting in Touch with Your Goals, Your Relationships, and Yourself by Jordan Sondler

Are you still figuring your way through adulthood? Jordan Sondler is too, so she created an illustrative book that’s a “self-love pep talk” that will help you get through heartbreak, career setbacks, and beyond—all while cultivating a generous relationship with yourself.


Business Book for Artist

The Modern Artist's Way: How to Build a Successful Career as a Creative in the 21st Century by Bridgette Mayer

Building a creative career is not the same as it used to be. Author Bridgette Mayer has spent the past two decades helping run multimillion-dollar businesses and leading artists in crafting their careers. Through her book, she guides you in defining what makes you happy, how to value your work, and creating a vision—and ultimately a plan—to build a career you’re proud of.


Fashion Photography Books

Peter Lindbergh. A Different Vision on Fashion Photography by Thierry-Maxime Loriot

German photographer Peter Lindbergh helped usher in a new era of fashion with his iconic British Vogue cover in January 1990. In this collection of his work, you’ll see more than 400 images he produced over a span of 40 years. The photographs are accompanied by words from the likes of Cindy Crawford, Anna Wintour, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and more.


Architectural Travel Guide

Where Architects Sleep: The Most Stylish Hotels in the World by Sarah Miller

No one appreciates a building like an architect does. In this book, more than 250 of them reveal where they like to stay when they travel. The unique guide features 1,200 listings in more than 100 countries, and it runs the gamut from renowned locales to hidden gems that will delight architectural enthusiasts.



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15-Minute Watercolor Masterpieces: Create Frame-Worthy Art in Just a Few Simple Steps by Anna Koliadych

Creating a fantastic watercolor painting doesn’t have to take you all day. Artist Anna Koliadych shares 50 projects that can be completed in just 15 minutes. This makes her book a great resource for those that want to infuse a little creativity in their day or are looking to make watercolor a regular part of their artistic practice.



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Creative Journaling: A Guide to Over 100 Techniques and Ideas for Amazing Dot Grid, Junk, Mixed Media, and Travel Pages by Renee Day

Looking to make your own art journal? Author Renee Day will spark your creativity with her helpful book. It features 52 projects that include quick tips and tricks as well as guides to larger endeavors like creating a custom planner. When you’ve completed her book, you’ll have all the tools necessary to transform an ordinary notebook into a unique companion.


Botanical History Book

Botanical Inspiration: Nature in Art and Illustration by Victionary

Plants are a vital part of our survival on Earth, and they’ve proven to be a timeless source of creative expression. Botanical Inspiration highlights scientific explorers who were in search of new species as well as artists who used flora as a way to “convey the essence of our very existence.”


Related Articles:

20 Books Every Artist Needs on Their Bookshelf

10 Inspiring Books to Celebrate Remarkable Women for Women’s History Month

8 Essential Art History Books for Beginners

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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