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

Creative Art Books

Photo: Stock Photos from GoodStudio/Shutterstock
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In the age of staying home, books can be a source of comfort, entertainment, and learning. They can introduce us to new perspectives and inspire us to appreciate people and places. But with so many books out on the shelves (and new ones launching all the time), where do you start? We’re here to help with our selection of titles that will nourish your creative soul this month.

The pandemic has made it a challenge to connect with people in person. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t relate to them through their stories. Brandon Stanton of the popular Humans of New York has recently released his book titled Humans, and it features narratives from people around the world. Dive into this publication and appreciate someone else’s life and perspective.

If a walk is the only way you’re getting outside your home right now, pick up the illuminating book titled The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt. They’ve created a field guide to the hidden design that makes our cities run. You'll be surprised by what you discover on your next walk.

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 over a million ebooks that can be read on any device.

Nourish your creative soul this month with these recently released art books.



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Humans by Brandon Stanton

You might know Brandon Stanton’s work from his compelling—and very popular–ongoing series Humans of New York. His latest book, aptly titled Humans, takes his signature storytelling and photography around the world. Stanton trekked to more than 40 countries and the book is a “definitive catalog of these travels.”


America the Beautiful Book

America the Beautiful: A Story in Photographs by National Geographic

Inspired by the song “America the Beautiful,” this book by National Geographic showcases the breathtaking beauty of the country, region by region. All 50 states and six territories are represented through stunning photographs and words by activists, historians, conservationists, and more.



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The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt

There’s a lot about the places that we live in that we don't notice; there are crucial design elements hiding in plain sight. But these features, such as those weird marks on the sidewalk, help make cities work. The 99% Invisible City takes a close look at the parts of the built landscape that often go unnoticed.


Botanical Art Techniques Book

Botanical Art Techniques: A Comprehensive Guide to Watercolor, Graphite, Colored Pencil, Vellum, Pen and Ink, Egg Tempera, Oils, Printmaking, and More by American Society of Botanical Artists, Carol Woodin, and Robin A. Jess

Whether you’re a watercolorist, avid sketcher, or you simply adore pen and ink, the book Botanical Art Techniques will show you how to create botanical artistry through more than 900 photographs and examples of finished art.



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How to Photograph Food: Compose, Shoot, and Edit Appetizing Images by Beata Lubas

Have you learned to cook during the pandemic? Learn how to photograph your meals so that they look as tasty as they are with the help of Beata Lubas’ book. It’s geared towards amateur photographers as well as social media folks and will tell you the gear you need, how to get the lighting right, style the food, and edit like a pro.



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Nevertheless, She Wore It: 50 Iconic Fashion Moments by Ann Shen

Illustrator and author Ann Shen presents some of history’s most iconic styles and the women who changed the world with them. Some fashions include the bikini, the “presidential pantsuit,” and red lipstick.


Art Hiding in New York Book

Art Hiding in New York: An Illustrated Guide to the City's Secret Masterpieces by Lori Zimmer and illustrated by Maria Krasinski

New York City is ripe with amazing works of art, and you don’t need to go to a museum to find them. Art Hiding in New York shares the treasures that are in office building lobbies and on street corners—including location information so you can see the pieces in person.


Zaha Hadid Book

Zaha Hadid: Complete Works 1979–Today (2020 Edition) by Philip Jodidio

The revolutionary architect Zaha Hadid is known for her incredible contemporary architecture. Her unique vision made her legendary, and she remains so even after her untimely death in 2016. This book covers her complete works including ongoing projects through photographs, sketches, and her own drawings.


Young Gifted and Black Book

Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art. Edited by Antwaun Sargent.

Young, Gifted and Black is a survey of a new generation of Black artists that features mission-driven collectors Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi.  Edited by writer Antwaun Sargent, the book examines this collection to draw attention to these contemporary emerging artists of African descent.



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365 Days of Art in Nature: Find Inspiration Every Day in the Natural World by Lorna Scobie

Get outside and enjoy it with the help of Lorna Scobie’s book 365 Days of Art in Nature. It has activities that challenge you to “observe the slow, constant pace of nature” and how it can inspire your creativity.

Related Articles:

24 Books Every Artist Needs on Their Bookshelf

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

10 Essential Art History Books for Beginners

20+ Children’s Books That Discuss Race and Racism

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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