Read It: 5 Books to Nurture Your Inner Artist

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Is your inner artist itching to make an appearance? Even if you have a major artsy streak, it can be hard to harness that talent and turn it into something tangible. The key is knowing where to start! And we’ve got just the spark you need—these five books target the creative process and give the inside scoop on how to start a project and meet your goals. So have some fun, curl up with one of these books, and don’t forget your pen or sketch-pad!

What it Is, by Lynda Barry: Using rich images, illustration and collage, author Lynda Barry has created a book that’s part-philosophy and part-workbook. Aimed specifically for teens, What it Is encourages your own writing, shares elements of Barry’s creative journey and provides concrete exercises to get the creativity a-flowin’.

The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron: If you’re serious about delving into creative pursuits, this modern classic is a great place to start. The book provides a 12-week program designed to quash your self-doubt and guide you in your creative pursuits. Cameron takes a combined philosophical/practical approach to creativity, with plenty of exercises to take your inspiration out of your head and onto the page. (Plus, she advocates taking yourself out on “artist dates”—how fun is that?)

The Big-Ass Book of Bling, by Mark Montano: This fun and instructional book is for all you bling-loving crafty souls out there. It includes over 150 projects ranging from funky to sophisticated—and budget-friendly too. So if you love jewelry (or love making it), look no further.  (And be sure to check out the two volumes of The Big-Ass Book of Crafts too!)

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, by Hugh MacLeod: Shifting back to the creative process, this book tackles questions like “Where does inspiration come from?” using both the written word and MacLeod’s original cartoons and illustrations. This book encourages you to be unique and to find your own creative voice instead of looking to jump on an existing trend.  Follow along with the “40 keys to creativity” and get ready to turn ideas into reality.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon: Both a writer and artist, author Kleon fills his book with practical advice and exercises—geared towards creative souls trying to make it in this “digital age.” Inspired by a speech he gave to college students, this book teaches you how to recreate, reinvent and forge your own creative path.

Can’t get enough? Check out our other article on “books for creative teens” for more great titles!

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