This summer I’ve spent a lot of time reading and researching. I’m currently most interested in the creative process: how people find inspiration, implement their ideas and get past potential hurdles. Although I may not see eye-to-eye on every point each author makes, I believe there’s a lot we can learn from each other as creatives and have really enjoyed the inspiration, ideas and encouragement I’ve found their writings. In-case you’re interested in reading each book’s official synopsis or blurb, I have posted a thumbnail image of my recommended reads below that will take you directly to where you can find them online.
So here it is, my summer reading list:
1. The Creative Call, by Janice Elsheimer
Finding purpose in your art and encouraging you to USE your creative abilities in daily life. I loved this book so much that I began meeting with a small group of creatives in my home to discuss some of the challenges Janice gives in it. I have this book to thank for what has lead to a meaningful creative community where we can share ideas and struggles as artists.
2. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon
10 tips about being creative with the overall theme being that you are a combination of what you let into your life. Austin has a fun and straight-to-the-point writing style that I loved. Also complete with the occasional drawing or diagram which is always a plus in my eyes.
3. What The Dog Saw, Malcom Gladwell
Inspirational stories of successful entrepenuers and inventors. This was a slower read for me, but still worth it. For ease of describing this one to you, here’s Wikipedia’s Synopsis… “The first part… describes people who are very good at what they do, but are not necessarily well-known. Part two… describes the problems of prediction. This section covers problems such as intelligence failure, and the fall of Enron. The third section… discusses a wide variety of psychological and sociological topics ranging from the difference between early and late bloomers and criminal profiling.”
4. The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau
Stories of unconventional entrepreneurs who started their businesses to either do what they loved, with a small initial investment, no special skills or fewer than five employees. Author encourages you to start doing what you love and offers advice for your journey.
5. The Heart of the Artist, by Rory Noland
Explores the heart of the artist and how your art can have purpose and value in the church.
6. Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier
Encourages you to break the mold of standard business practices and be more productive doing it.
7. Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer
Picks apart how creativity works and then how it can be implemented to make your community better (business, schools, etc)
8. The Accidental Creative, by Todd Henry
Ideas to structure your life around being creative so creativity is something you’re accessing on a daily basis.
9. A Whole New Mind, By Daniel Pink
Stresses the value of right-brained thinking in today’s world and marketplace and is filled with tips and exercises to help you practice thinking creatively.
10. Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
Anne addresses what it takes to be a writer and offers guidance to help you work through and write your own story. I have yet to read this one, but I can’t wait as I’ve heard great things about it and am going to hear her speak in September at Story in Chicago, Illinois!