9 Best Books on Creativity to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Looking for creative inspiration? Here are the best books on creativity to point you in the right direction.

9 Best Books on Creativity to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

A creative’s journey often comes with various ebbs and flows. 


Sometimes you’re bursting full of ideas and inspiration that you can’t wait to execute... and other times it’s an absolute struggle. 


Here’s a list of the best books on creativity to inspire you to action. 


These books will open your eyes to new ways of thinking, so you can find opportunities in the seemingly mundane routines and activities of life.


They’ll also bolster your determination and confidence to keep creating, even if you aren’t currently seeing the results you hope for.


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What are the Best Books on Creativity? 

Here are the best books on creativity to spark your imagination: 


1. Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are


Does your busy schedule often get in the way of your desire to be more creative? 


If so, this book is for you.


Art Before Breakfast is a creativity book by artist and author Danny Gregory that conveys a simple yet powerful message: 


Don't try to become an artist, just let yourself rediscover the artist you were when you were still a kid. 


The book contains various 5-10 minute exercises that encourage you to work on short, creative projects that are exciting, unintimidating, and fulfilling.


Along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, you'll find encouraging words and motivating illustrations that show you how to develop a creative habit and lead a richer life through making art.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon


2. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative


This New York Times Bestseller by author Austin Kleon is a book about creativity that everyone should read. 


Have you ever felt that you're only truly creative if you're able to generate a completely original idea? 


In this book, Kleon completely busts that common myth.


He explains that everything has already been created, and this in fact, is a good thing. 


Instead of reinventing the wheel, Kleon invites you to embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, and craft out your own path based on what you discover.


Throughout the book, he reveals and explains key ten principles that will help you discover your artistic side and build a more creative life.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon 


3. Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking


As a creative, there are a few questions you should ask: 


What is your art really about? Where is it going? What stands in the way of getting it there?


Art & Fear is a book that explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way.


The book's co-authors, David Bayles and Ted Orland, are themselves both working artists, who are able to relate with the daily problems of making art in the real world. 


This book is all about the creative process - what it feels like, how to make peace with it, and how to face your greatest fears. 


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


4. Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step


Lateral Thinking is a popular book on creativity by world-renowned writer and philosopher Edward de Bono.


Bono presents a worldwide issue: In schools we are taught to meet problems head-on through the process of vertical thinking


This works well in simple situations, but most of the time, life is far from simple. 


Instead, there's a better option: lateral thinking.


Lateral thinking is all about freeing up your imagination. Through a series of special techniques, in groups or working alone, Edward de Bono shows how to stimulate the mind in new and exciting ways.


By the time you finish reading this book, you will have become a much more productive and a formidable thinker in your own right.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon 


5. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All


Do you have to be a painter, a musician, or a writer to be a creative person? Not at all. 


In this book, the founder of IDEO, a leading global design and innovation company, and his brother demonstrate the boundless creativity that lies within each and every one of us.


Drawing on countless stories from their work at IDEO, the Stanford d.school, and with many of the world's top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles that allow us to tap into our creative potential in our personal and professional lives. 


More than anything, this book reminds us not to hold back from embracing creativity - but to keep innovating in terms of the way we approach and solve problems everyday.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


6. Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind


Wired to Create is a book that offers a glimpse inside the "messy minds" of highly creative people. 


It's written by Scott Barry Kaufman, an American psychologist, and Carolyn Gregoire, a features editor at the Huffington Post. 


Combining the latest scientific research with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking.


Each chapter explores one of the ten attributes and habits of highly creative people:


  1. Imaginative Play
  2. Passion
  3. Daydreaming
  4. Solitude
  5. Intuition
  6. Openness to Experience
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Sensitivity
  9. Turning Adversity into Advantage 
  10. Thinking Differently


By explaining the connections between these seemingly conflicting attributes, the authors show that it is only by embracing our inner complexities that we are able to tap into our deepest creativity.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


7. Show Your Work!


Show Your Work! is another iconic book on creativity by Austin Kleon. 


Whereas Steal Like an Artist explained how to effectively draw ideas and inspiration from people you admire, this book contains tips on reaching that critical next step on a creative journey - getting known.


Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about being brave and providing value through your network, which involves letting others into your process, then letting them steal from you.


Through stories, quotes and examples, Kleon shows that success as an artist is achieved through being transparent and embracing the communal nature of creativity -  what he calls the “ecology of talent.”


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the Audio Trilogy


8. Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives


Do you ever feel like giving up in your creative endeavours? 


You're not alone - even the most passionate artists have felt the same way at some point. 


Things Are What You Make of Them by artist and author Adam J. Kurtz is a collection of various heartfelt, handwritten reminders that will renew your energy and determination to keep going.


Designed with tear-and-share pages that are meant to be displayed on your wall, this vibrantly-coloured book is a touchstone for writers, artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who dares to be creative and different - even when it would be easier to blend in. 


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon 


9. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?


You've probably heard the story of Icarus from Greek mythology - the boy who is instructed not to fly too close to the sun...but does anyway. 


As a result, his wings of feather and wax melt, he tumbles out of the sky, falls into the sea, and drowns.


But there's a part of the story that we don't often focus on - the fact that flying too low, close to the sea, could also have been fatal. 


In The Icarus Deception, author Seth Godin reveals a new, fascinating truth: It's better to be sorry than safe. You need to fly higher than ever.


This book, which is quite frankly one of the best books for creatives, shows how we can thrive in an economy that rewards art, not compliance.


The path of the artist isn't for the faint of heart, but Godin shows why it's your only chance to stand up, stand out, and make a difference.


Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook


Final Thoughts


Thanks for reading this roundup of the best books about creativity for people of all sorts of creative backgrounds. 


The above books can be like a light at the end of the tunnel, bringing you hope and a fresh perspective, or even reminding you of things that you already knew but needed to hear again. 


Ultimately, as you discover inspiring books on creativity, add them to your collection, and read them, you'll create a treasure trove full of words of wisdom and encouragement from one artist to another. 


=> Get a free audiobook on creativity of your choice here


Enjoy! 


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