10 Art Books That Will Nourish Your Creative Soul This Month

Creative Art Books

Stock Photos from Vtmila/Shutterstock
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Cooler temperatures are on their way (and soon, we hope), so it's time to load your library with good books. After all, there are few things better than hunkering down with an enthralling edition. Need suggestions for what to read? We've found some of the best creative publications that you can enjoy with a cup of hot apple cider. From photography to arts to crafts, you’re sure to never be bored, and you’ll definitely learn something new!

Each month we make our pick for creative books. For September, we have found fascinating photographs that will shed some light on other parts of the world and other people's experiences. Photographer Christopher Herwig, for instance, explored subway stations in the former USSR and documented their fusion of art, architecture, and propaganda. But if you’re looking to read about people, check out Corey Rich’s Stories Behind the Images: Lessons from a Life in Adventure Photography. For over two decades he has snapped pictures of folks who attempt amazing feats, and now he’s sharing the tales behind them.

Scroll down for more of our suggestions. And if you have a Kindle, 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.

Get your personal library ready for cooler temperatures with our picks of creative art books for September 2019.


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Figure Drawing Atelier: An Instructional Sketchbook by Juliette Aristides

Want to get better at figure drawing? Figure Drawing Atelier showcases methods that’ll help you successfully draw and paint the figure. In addition to instruction, the book includes high-quality blank paper pages for your own sketching.



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Soviet Metro Stations by Christopher Herwig and Owen Hatherley

Soviet-era metro networks were built differently than those of Paris or New York. They were used as “propaganda artwork” that combined a variety of artistic movements into spaces fusing art and architecture. Photographer Christopher Herwig explored the stations of each metro network in the former USSR. Accompanying the fascinating images is an essay by architectural and political writer Owen Hatherley.



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Year of Knots: Modern Projects, Inspiration, and Creative Reinvention by Windy Chien

Every day for a year, artist Windy Chien learned how to tie a new kind of knot and shared her process along the way. Chien has now authored The Year of Knots and describes her project and how it led her “on a path of discovery.” In addition, she shares tutorials, projects, and other personal stories that will inspire you to create your own knots.


Creative Art Books

Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage by Patrick Elliott

Cut and Paste marks the first historical survey book ever published about collage—despite the medium being one of the most popular art forms. This publication traces collage’s origins to the 1500s and through the present day and examines how it has been used in many ways.


Creative Art Books

Stories Behind the Images: Lessons from a Life in Adventure Photography by Corey Rich

For over 20 years, photographer Corey Rich has captured shots of climbers, skiers, surfers, and all-around adventurers. In Stories Behind the Images, he’s sharing some of his favorite tales while also sharing his insights into photography and the business of it.



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The Work of Art: A No-Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs by Heidi Luerra

The Work of Art promises to be a roadmap for turning your creative craft into a thriving business. Authored by Heidi Luerra, the Founder and CEO of RAW:natural born artists, she shares how to avoid “creative pitfalls” and action guides you can use in planning your success.


Photography Books

Ballerina Project by Dane Shitagi

New York City-based photographer Dane Shitagi created the Ballerina Project over a span of 18 years. Building off the success of the popular Instagram, this photographic archive—featuring 150 photos—highlights the delicate strength of ballerinas across the globe.



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Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky first featured pioneering ladies in her best-selling Women in Science book. Her latest installment in the series is Women in Art, which includes well-known painters like Frida Kahlo to lesser-known names such as 19th-century African American quilter Harriet Powers.



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Bill Cunningham: On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography by The New York Times

The late Bill Cunningham photographed style and trends on the streets of New York City and Paris. In doing so, he showcased not only fashion but also our visual culture. His photographs, many never-before-seen, are the subject of this book by The New York Times. It's divided by decades so you’ll see the world through Cunningham’s eyes starting with the 1970s and ending in the 2010s.


Photography Books

Libraries: Candida Höfer by Umberto Eco

Photographer Candida Höfer has traveled the world to showcase the quiet beauty of libraries. Her images highlight calming repetition in rows of books, floor-to-ceiling shelving, and stacks of paper. Devoid of any people, you’re sure to find the spaces both hypnotic and soothing.


Related Articles:

10 Drawing Books That’ll Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Sketching

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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