10 Art Books That Will Nourish Your Creative Soul This Month

Creative Books

Photo: Alex Loup
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As the snow starts to fall, it's the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book. But with art publications, chances are you'll only be on the couch for as long as your tea is warm. The wisdom and ideas in these books are bound to launch you on an artistic journey of your own—whether it's creating something new or planning on how you'll live your best maker life.

We've picked a selection of art books that are sure to nourish your creative soul. Many will help you with the intangible parts of being an artist, designer, or general maker. Books like Art Matters will demonstrate how to navigate through creative doubt while We Inspire Me is about finding a community to support you. Other books, such as Vivian Maier: The Color Work provide inspiration by sharing the work of trailblazing geniuses who still influence our culture today.

Check out 10 of our top creative books for this month. Ready to add even more to your library? See what we were excited about in October.

Looking for new creative books? Scroll down for our list of 10 new publications to check out.

Seeing Science: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of the Universe by Iris Gottlieb

Science is strange but ultimately beautiful and fascinating. Take a “curated ride” through some of the universe's greatest mysteries with artist Iris Gottlieb as the lay scientist explains how glaciers are like Snickers bars and beyond.


Creative Books

Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017 by Lucinda Gosling, Hilary Robinson, and Amy Tobin

Art of Feminism offers a comprehensive international study of feminist art. The book features more than 350 works that show the ways in which feminists have shaped visual arts and media—from the Suffrage Atelier in the early 20th century to the contemporary work of South African artist Sethembile Msezane.


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Draw and Be Happy: Art Exercises to Bring You Joy by Tim Shaw and illustrated by Catchejack

It’s true—drawing makes you happy! If you're feeling stumped about what to draw, try some of the exercises in this book by Tim Shaw. Some are thought-provoking, others meditative, but they're all fun. Once you're done expressing yourself on paper, you're sure to feel a little less stressed.


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We Inspire Me by Andrea Pippins

Author-illustrator Andrea Pippins has created a one-of-a-kind handbook for creators who are looking to “expand and nourish” their creative community. The helpful book will offer tips on how to reach out to your heroes, take a class, shake up your perspective, and have fun doing it.


Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Art Matters will give you the creative boost you need. It features Neil Gaiman's trove of speeches, poems, and manifestos that offer a powerful reminder of how the act of creating can transform our lives and, by extension, the world.


Photography Book

Vivian Maier: The Color Work by Colin Westerbeck

This is the first definitive monograph of color photographs by the legendary street photographer Vivian Maier. Featuring 150 images, it allows us to learn more about the mysterious woman by seeing how she chose to record the world around her.


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Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

Edward Gorey has had a profound impact on our culture. Some of the biggest names today, including Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman, find inspiration in his eccentric nonsense. But who was the man that had over 20,000 books and six cats? Through newly-discovered correspondence and interviews with contemporary creators, Born to Be Posthumous will help shed a light on the mysterious genius that was Gorey.


Flower Color Guide by Darroch Putnam and Michael Putnam

If you like to host events—or just have an interest in flowers—the Flower Color Guide will help you select your arrangements carefully. The book features 400 blooms that are represented through stunning photography. Each image shows the flower at its peak so that you can marvel (and plan) accordingly. “What Pantone is to color,” the book teases, “Flower Color Guide is to flowers.”


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The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox by Evan Amos

Consider yourself a game fanatic? The Game Console is a textual and photographic tour through 86 consoles starting with the early ones like the Atari 2600 and ending with the current generation including Xbox One and PlayStation 4.


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Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza

If you've been following the former White House photographer Pete Souza on Instagram since the 2016 election, you'll know that he loves to throw shade at the current Commander in Chief by sharing past images of former President Obama. Shade is a creative tale about the Obama and Trump presidencies as told through striking visual juxtapositions.


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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