The road to studying children's book illustrations has taken me in many directions. My artistic interests vary, as evidenced by this motley list of books. While my goal still is to illustrate, I take the time to explore. I trust that the pieces will come together, and my unique voice will emerge.
Society puts overwhelming pressure on us to succeed. I heard a quote recently that went something like this - To be successful, "hurry up and fail." I've been thinking about that quote and where I am today, a published writer with a desire to be a published writer/illustrator. The truth is, I fail daily, advance slowly, and enjoy the process of play. I've come to realize that the culmination of my days, rather than achievements alone, constitutes happiness.
With that - here is a list of my favorite art books. I hope you take a few minutes to play today!
“Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.”― Corita Kent
THE ART PACK Christopher & Helen, Frayling Ron van der Meer
Who can resist a book about the history of art with pop-ups!!
PRINTS AND THEIR MAKERS Phil Sanders
A great introduction to contemporary printmakers and their techniques.
PICTURE THIS: HOW PICTURES WORK Molly Bang
How placement of shape, line, color, and placement evokes emotions. A must have for picture book creators!
QUICK DRAW PEOPLE: STEP-BY-STEP MASTERPIECES Sarah Wimperis
Before Instagram reels showed an artst's process from start to finish, this book did it.
LEARNING BY HEART: TEACHINGS TO FREE THE CREATIVE SPIRIT
Corita Kent, Jan Steward
Easy and creative assignments and exercises. "There's only make," Corita Kent.
BEGINNING DRAWING ATELIER: AN INSTRUCTIONAL SKETCHBOOK Juliette Aristides
Sketch right inside this book. Touchy-feely paper and cover.
INK: DO MORE ART Bridget Davies
Tons of cool ink techniques and its unpredictable nature.
PAINTING WITH MIXED MEDIA Paula Guhin, Geri Greenman
Media, tools, substrates, and techniques. This book has it all!
ALTERED BOOKS WORKSHOP Bev Brazelton
Messin' up old books to make new books.
ENCAUSTIC WORKSHOP Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
I don't work with wax, but this book makes me want to learn. The beautiful textures serve as inspiration for other media as well.
COVER TO COVER: CREATIVE TECHNIQUES FOR MAKING BEAUTIFUL BOOKS, JOURNALS, & ALBUMS Shereen LaPlantz
Tons of book binding techniques!
PAINT MOJO A MIXED MEDIA WORKSHOP: CREATIVE LAYERING TECHNIQUES FOR PERSONAL EXPRESSION Tracy Verdugo
Exercises and examples to inspire. This artist is a great teacher as well.
SLOW STITCH: MINDFUL AND CONTEMPLATIVE TEXTILE ART Claire Wellesley-Smith
I purchased this book for the feel of the fabric cover. Another touchy-feely. Oh, and it has great photos too.
DISRUPTED REALISM: PAINTINGS FOR A DISTRACTED WORLD John Seed
Features artist who distort realistic images.
PROJECT CALM: MINDFULNESS THROUGH MAKING
A quarterly magazine to inspire creativity. Look, read, make, enjoy the freebies and pullouts.
CARTOONING: PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICE Ian Brunetti
A guided, fifteen-week course in cartooning.
ART BEFORE BREAKFAST: A ZILLION WAYS TO BE MORE CREATIVE NO MATTER HOW BUSY YOU ARE Danny Gregory
Drawing practice, ten to fifteen minutes a day.
READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS Henry Carroll
An impulse buy from a gift shop, but it offers super quick, easy to read and understand photography tips for the less knowledgeable, like me.
STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST: 10 THINGS NOBODY TOLD YOU ABOUT BEING CREATIVE
A super quick read. Read it when you head keeps saying, "I can't ..."
DRAWING LAB FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS: 52 CREATIVE EXERCISES TO MAKE DRAWING FUN Carla Sonheim
Super fun and creative exercises! And I love this artist's work.
THE BORDER TRILOGY Suzy Lee
My absolute favorite book for picture book creators. This artist offers an in-depth, analytical study into the artistic choices she made for the books, MIRROR, WAVE, and SHADOW.
DESIGN IS STORYTELLING Ellen Lupton
Everything tells a story. This book shows you how with tons of graphics.
FECK PERFUCTION: DANGEROUS IDEAS ON THE BUSINESS OF LIFE James Vicotore
I throw this one in here for any creative who gets too much in their head. Me.
GYPSY: A WORLD OF COLOUR & INTERIORS Sibella Court
Beautiful book #1. You'll just want to look and savor, maybe redecorate too. A great book for finding color palettes.
ETCETERA ETC. CREATING BEAUTIFUL INTERIORS WITH THE THINGS YOU LOVE Sibella Court
Beautiful book #2. Stylish photographs. Tons of muted colors. Reads like a journal.
CUT PAPER PICTURES Clover Robin
Even if you're not into cutting paper, working with shapes helps develop the muscle memory for drawing.
ART SCHOOL: A COMPLETE PAINTER'S COURSE Halyn Publishing Group (Editor)
Looks like a textbook. Reads easy. Very comprehensive. It has just about any painting technique imaginable. Great reference book for beginning painters.
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