9 Best Books About Creativity to Inspire You

Some days, we just need a jolt of creative inspiration. Whether you’re an artist, maker, designer, writer, and/or blogger, there will inevitably be days where your creativity tank is running on empty.

Books are a perfect medium to boost inspiration and encourage brainstorming. They help us eliminate all other distractions and focus on one topic.

One of the best parts of my morning routine is enjoying a cup of tea while reading. It helps refresh my mind and prepare me for the day’s work.

However you choose to enjoy them, these 9 books on creativity and artistic inspiration may just lead you to your next creative breakthrough.

Best books on creativity and inspiration

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1. Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors; it seems his imagination knows no bounds. He’s a perfect source of inspiration for creativity.

This book puts his powerful commencement speech at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts into writing. He presses the importance of making impactful art, tapping into your dreams, and discovering your artistic strength.

2. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

The overarching message in this book: creativity is everywhere, and it’s perfectly find to get ideas from others, as long as you put your own spin on them.

3. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace

Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, writes about how creativity and business can mingle in harmony.

It details how creativity is encouraged in the corporate world, including how Pixar has built a culture that sparks new ideas and molds them into the ultra-popular films we know and love today.

4. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

This book lays out the paths that lead us to those “aha” moments of inspiration, and how we can use our ideas to enrich others’ lives.

It also delves into why creativity is so important for our future as human beings.

5. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

In this book, MacLeod, creator of a widely popular blog comic series, unlocks the 40 key ingredients to creativity.

He writes about how to cultivate ideas in a world where it seems consistency and standards are valued over creative ideas and unique perspectives. He also discusses how to stand out from the crowd and why it’s so necessary.

6. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

If you’ve ever had a creative block, this book is for you. Pressfield provides powerful tips on finding artistic inspiration and getting out of your creative rut.

7. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, encourages readers to embrace their creativity and let go of the baggage that holds us back.

She details how to approach living a creative life and reach for the dreams we’re most passionate about.

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

Tharp teaches us how to hone our creative talents by making them a habit in our daily lives.

She also details thirty exercises to help readers get out of a creative rut, and channel inspiration instead of always waiting for it to strike.

9. The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are by Danny Gregory

Gregory discusses how to use drawing as a form of creative inspiration for all aspects of your life (fun illustrations included!).

There you have it: my list of the 9 best books about creativity and artistic inspiration. Feel free to click on the links for a more detailed synopsis of each book.

I hope these books help you channel your imagination and unique perspective on the world, so you can do what you do best: create.

And if you’re a creative entrepreneur, here’s a post to help you save time and get more done in your creative business (so you can spend more time reading & relaxing!).

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