In a day and age where information comes at you like a fire hydrant, it can be hard to feel like you’re keeping up, much less contributing your own breed of brilliance to the world. Nothing is more valuable than your creativity.
When the day-to-day has drained all the creativity you think you have left, how do you get it back? We’ve hand picked these 10 books to inspire that spark in you:
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
Tharp has had a stunning 35 year career of creativity. From Broadway to being a leading creative artist, Tharp believes that the crux of creativity is simply the willingness to be creative. The Creative Habit details 32 practical and straightforward exercises tried and tested over the life of her career.
Her habits will help you observe your life, write it down, cut the clutter, and give you peace. With this book you will take a deep breath, begin to find your inner strength, and break new ground on creativity.
The Garden of Earthly Delights: A Lush Wonderland of Coloring For Adults
Adriana Picker’s delicate and fanciful illustrations pull you into her world of botanical beauty. Through The Garden of Earthly Delights you will find your creativity pairing with hers, allowing you to develop Picker’s illustrations in your own way. Be on the lookout for hidden insects in the flora. The more you color, the more you see.
The Book of Questions: Revised and Updated
Gregory Stock PhD
Gregory Stock is a biophysicist, bestselling author, and biotech entrepreneur. A pretty solid person to take advice from, we think. Without offering a single opinion of his own, Stock will challenge and potentially change the way you think about yourself and the world around you.
Revised and updated, this New York Times Bestseller asks 300 questions like, “How would you react if you learned that a sad and beautiful poem that touched you deeply had been written by a computer?” and “If you were handed an envelope with the date of your death inside, and you knew you could do nothing to alter your fate, would you look?”
This book is perfect for group settings or time alone. It will grow you personally and deepen your relationships with other through the lively conversations that it will spark.
Change Your Mind: 57 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self
Rod Judkins, a figurative artist whose work has been showcased numerous times in prestigious London galleries, lectures at Central St. Martins College of Art in London. His first book, Change Your Mind, tells 57 habits of remarkably creative people.
Judkins displays remarkable insight into the idea that you don’t have to be born a creative genius to strike inspirational gold within yourself. Change Your Mind shows you how to focus, make moves towards creativity, and transform your failures into success.
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice
Todd Henry, the Founder and CEO of Accidental Creative as well as a speaker, consultant, and coach, is an expert on how to be brilliant at a moment’s notice. It feels near impossible for your creative brilliance to keep up with the “always on” mentality that has become expected. We treat our creativity like a vehicle and kick the tires when it runs out of gas.
Henry’s book, The Accidental Creative, is the high octane fuel you need to propel your creativity forward. This book is instrumental in helping you learn how to be an effective generator of ideas without running out of gas.
Steal Like An Artist
Austin Kleon, described as a “writer who draws,” is a New York Times bestseller that has spoken for Google, TEDx, and Pixar to name a few. Hailing from Austin, Texas, his mission is to help people unlock their creativity by learning that they don’t have to be a genius, they just have to be themselves. Treating creativity like free love, Kleon writes that creativity is everywhere, for everyone.
Birthed from a speech he gave at a community college that went viral, Steal Like An Artist is a 10 point manifesto that calls your bluff then acts like a master key to your locked closet of creativity. Steal Like An Artist will equip you with new ideas about being creative and new ideas about yourself.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace
Gordon McKenzie, a cartoonist and writer that worked for Hallmark for 30 years, is a pioneer for creativity. McKenzie championed the idea of breaking out of the corporate merry-go-round and maintaining the creativity among his colleagues.
McKenzie’s strategic pursuit of detangling the “giant hairball” of normalcy in the workplace resulted in his cult classic book, Orbiting The Giant Hairball. For any professional looking to rise above the hamster wheel of monotony, this is a must read. Orbiting The Giant Hairball will ignite the creativity in you and help you feel more fulfilled in your work.
Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity
Hugh Macleod, cartoonist, marketer, blogger and author of the wildly popular blog Gaping Void, has a reputation for his remarkably sharp wit and useful insight. In his book, Ignore Everybody, MacLeod lets you in on 40 keys to creativity that are equally simple and useful. He notes things like, “The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours” and “Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.” Ignore Everybody distills concepts in an engaging and entertaining way that will ignite your own brilliance and teach you to think differently.
Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!)
George Lois is arguably America’s most prolific advertising communicator. He has helped pioneer a creative revolution since his twenties and gone on to transform numerous high level brands. His book, Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent!) has been described as an “Innovation Bible” by Huffington Post and has been a Best Seller for years.
Damn Good Advice is chalk full of bite-sized lessons, advice, stories, and inspiration. Louis’s in your face approach will help you see the creative process in a whole new light. For anyone looking to learn the best ways to be successful in communication and creativity, you need this Damn Good Advice.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author and three-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration with her book, Big Magic.
Big Magic delves into Gilbert’s creative processes and generously guides you through her wisdom and unique perspectives like a treasure map. She encourages you to explore the “strange jewels” hidden in yourself, and pursue the dreams that have been cast aside. Your journey through Big Magic will bring a sincere peace and a renewed enthusiasm for the creativity that is burrowed inside you.