Creativity Reading List for 2021

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If you’re looking for ideas, tips and advice to spur your creativity, have a look at Communication Design student Ariel Ronayne’s reading list for 2021.

As someone who was a bookworm and baker even before Covid struck, this past year has given me more time than ever to indulge in my favorite habits. Books are something very dear to my heart; they allow us for a time to step outside of our current realities and venture into a world completely different from our own. As artists, we are all familiar with this ultimate goal of transporting our viewers to another place, time, or feeling.

With Covid still firmly in our lives, now more than ever people need the escapism books can provide. The books listed below can be a great support in this ever-evolving year, and hopefully their words will help thaw your creativity and give birth to new ideas in time for spring.

Without further ado, here are the ten books that I’m adding to my reading list for 2021:

1. Creative Block by Danielle Krysa

A book to help you push past and through creative blocks all artists face at some point. Interviews with 50 international artists providing you with their advice and tips for getting started.

2. Yves Saint Laurent: The Scandal Collection by Olivier Saillard, Dominique Veillon

January 21, 1971, designer Yves Saint Laurent presented his Spring-Summer haute couture collection. An inside look into the collection that earned the title of “Paris’s ugliest collection”.

3. The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics Of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson

Why are some artworks sold for millions of dollars while others go unnoticed? This book explores the intersections of art and economics, including interviews with industry professionals.

4. The Louvre: All the Paintings by Vincent Pomarède

Louvre houses the most iconic artwork in the world, and this book contains all 3,022.

5. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

Nothing is original, so you might as well learn how to steal properly. A book about creativity in the digital age with 10 guiding principles.

6. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Although it was written for writers, all artists can find these universal ideas helpful. Featuring different artists who overcame their creative roadblocks.

7. The Design Of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Good design allows us to live our lives in a better world. This book outlines the essential rules for good design, and the mistakes of those that frustrate users.

8. Design As Art by Bruno Munari

Anything can be art. Design can be in anything. This book explores these concepts through the author’s experienced eyes.

9. Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic by Lisa Congdon

Developing your own style, your own voice is many artists’ goal. With the help of this book, you can explore different ways of reaching that goal through various interviews with established artists, illustrators, and creatives.

10. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles

Making art takes courage, and sometimes that courage fails us. This book is an exploration of the fear that comes with making art. While not everyone can be a genius, it doesn’t take one to make good work.

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