5 Creative Books to Kick Off 2017

img_6966A huge way I keep myself full on creative input is just by reading books that inspire me. Sometimes this is fiction or nonfiction novels. Sometimes it’s theology or literature. But most of the time it’s creative or artistic books. They don’t necessarily need to be about art or art-making but if they touch on the creative life at all, I’m into it.

So, I put a whole bunch of books on my Christmas list this year. And I got these five winners. This month, I’ll be working through these and making art as I read them. Go check them out!

Here you go (in no particular order):

  1. The Drawing Club of Improbable Dreams: How to Create a Club for Art by Cat Bennett img_6972


This book is basically an 24-week lesson plan for a drawing club. I’ve been really wanting to start a drawing club with a friend and using this book, we can use some of these really fun ideas for organic art-making.

2. Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch


This delightful book is full of art by other watercolor artists with details on how they achieved certain techniques. The photos themselves are inspiring enough but the little write-ups next to them will definitely inform some new things I want to try this year.

3. Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art by Jennifer New


I’m so so excited to dig into this one. Featuring journals from over 25 different artists, it highlights the inner thoughts and behind-the-scenes for creating art in a journal. Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with journaling as an art form and I already know this book is going to be a favorite this year.

4. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami


This is definitely one of the weirder books I asked for but I’m so glad I got it. It’s hard to describe as a book. It’s like a graphic novel in that there are illustrations and artwork throughout but it doesn’t have a comic book layout. It’s a fictional story about some people trying to escape from a library. I don’t know. I’ll probably get through it in a couple hours and then want to read it again because it went by too quickly.

5. How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith


This one is a bit more mainstream as creative books go and for that reason, I have held off on getting it (or asking for it). But I keep coming back to it and am in love with the concept of the book anyways. The idea that the mundane around us is interesting if we actually look at it and therefore worth documenting. For an artist and a journaler, this has obvious appeal since this is how I already think. It has lots of fun prompts for collecting interesting bits of life and I’m excited to try some of them out.

So now you know that if I have disappeared from the land of the living, it’s probably because I’m in one of these books. And hopefully more art-making will come out of my time in them. That’s always the goal!

Thanks for reading…and let me know what you’re reading! Any creative books on your list this year? Any books at all on your list? Let me know!



One thought on “5 Creative Books to Kick Off 2017

  1. […] “This idea of inspecting life’s smallest details is the most vital role of the journal. Too often, we go blindly, numbly through our days, unable to recall the shape of a peach eaten at breakfast or the color of a co-worker’s sweater.” –Jennifer New, Drawing from Life […]


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