My top 5 creative reads

For the first time since Blue was born, I’ve been able to sit down and read. At least for a good 20 minutes or so. Reading from physical books is something I’ve missed greatly. Audiobooks are great, and they keep me focused while I work, but there’s something about sitting in the bathtub with a great book that just can’t be beat.

There is something motivating and empowering about a great creative read, whether that be instructional, motivational or otherwise. These first 5 books I want to share with you are educational and motivational in nature, but I’ll soon have a post with my favourite Instructional books.

All of these books can be purchased through Chapters Indigo or Amazon, and I’ve hyperlinked each title, but I encourage you to order them through an independent bookstore (support local!). If you’re here in the HRM, Bookmark and Atlantic Newsstand are two local shops that will order books in for you, if they don’t have them in stock :)

Without further adieu!

My Top 5 Creative Reads of 2019 (so far)

  1. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

If you haven’t read any of his award winning books, and you are a creative spirit or entrepreneur, I highly recommend you hit up your local library! Show Your Work talks about the importance of inviting people along your creative journey, and how showing your work helps to build a connection with your community. Kleon makes a point of highlighting that every single artist makes “crappy” work, and that the sucky bits make up the majority of our work. It’s important to share the highlights, but it’s also important to show your progress in the world of social media. Not to mention, showing your work is a great connection tool between you and other creatives.

2. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

First of all, no, this book does not advocate plagiarism. The title isn’t exactly click bait, either, though. Kleon talks about how every creative person, no matter their degree of success or fame, pulls inspiration and elements they love from different artists. He talks about how your work as an artist is essentially a collection of many different elements you’ve “stolen” from other artists, to create something new and original. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this concept in her novel, Big Magic: No idea or concept is original. We don’t own ideas.

There is a distinct difference between (1) copying an artist’s work and mirroring many or all elements from their art and (2) seeing the way in which they paint hair and trying it out in your own work. Kleon also highlights the absolute importance of crediting concepts or ideas to where you found them. Where was the idea sparked? In example, the circle cheeks featured in many of my watercolor portraits were inspired by the Sleepy Eye mugs by Hinkleville Handmade.

In my opinion, this book is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ for any and all creative entrepreneurs.

3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I know you’ve all heard of this one. No, it’s not for everyone, and it’s definitely a touch spiritual, but whenever I am feeling uninspired or creatively challenged, I like to listen to the audiobook version of Big Magic. If you’ve not read Big Magic, it’s about the magical journey of creativity. She talks about how ideas and inspiration are not stationary- how they ebb and flow. And how they may not wait for you to slow down and bring them to life.

She speaks of the necessity of creative endeavours and how you don’t need to consider yourself artistic to embark on some sort of creative journey. Your art does not need to be for anyone other than you. It’s easy to forget that in the wake of social media, but your creative journey can stay your own little sanctuary.

4. The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

This book was just what I needed a few months ago, and if you find yourself thinking “what the heck am I even doing? Who do I think I am?” Then you, my love, may find this is just what you need as well. Some of this book is a little poetic, but it’s much less spiritual. Instead, Luna has you explore your childhood, your passions… The activities and endeavours you’ve found yourself pursuing time and time again. While reading this book, I was able to uncover many childhood memories that were hiding below the surface of trauma. It helped me to uncover some pretty vital parts of my personality and creative journey, showing me that where I find myself now is merely another reflection of the creative journeys I’ve been pursuing my entire life. It’s very introspective, with activities and questions you’re asked to journal about throughout the book.

5. Mind Your Business by Ilana Griffo

Let me start by saying that I haven’t yet finished this one, but I’ve completed the majority of this workbook. Yes, it’s a business/entrepreneurial workbook, but it has some really valuable information and guidance. Best of all, it’s easily digestible. The way Griffin explains these exercises and business concepts doesn’t make my brain hurt, and that’s saying something! She breaks them down in a way that anyone can understand, and her illustrations serve as a great tool throughout. Highly recommend if you find that you’ve skipped a few parts of your entrepreneurial journey, or need a good refresher.

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Alycia Dort