by Rachel Stigers, Bookseller at Wicked Good Books
and Joey Phoenix, Editor at
Creative North Shore

Creative people need a constant supply of input and inspiration to do the things that they do. When they’re not actively creating, they’re often attending art shows and concerts, having interesting conversations and reading everything they can get their hands on.

Reading, in particular, allows the creative minded person to gain more perspective and develop a wider range of understanding. It provides inspiration and encouragement, allowing for the influx of new thought that a reader may not have come across otherwise. It opens the door to new ways of thinking, observing, and creating.

Basically, books are food for the creative mind, and the more widely we read and vary our inputs, the more we are able to put back into the world.

Here are eight books perfect for gobbling up this summer:

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

One of the forerunners of the motivational art/self-discovery genre, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way guides readers in uncovering problem areas that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to free up any areas where they might be stuck, opening up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery. 


Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens

Your Art Will Save Your Life helps artists build a sustainable practice while navigating the world of MFAs, residencies, and institutional funding. Its a guidebook for dealing with the high-stress tricky real-world problems of being a creative person.


Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Show Your Work! is about why it’s important to let others into your process, not just your final results. Kleon uses illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples to demonstrate ten rules for being open, generous, brave, and productive in your creative life.


Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After – by Miki Agrawal

In Do Cool Sh*t, Miki shares her many adventures in entrepreneurship and life and shows readers how to start a business, fund it very little, create a business plan, test a product, get the press on your side, and lots of other little nuggets of wisdom.


The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life by Jessa Crispin

Written for novices and seasoned readers alike, Jessa Crispin’s The Creative Tarot is a guidebook that reimagines tarot cards and the ways they can boost the creative process, using them as tools to illustrate how to live a more inspired life.


Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas

Every artist deals with creative block. In this book, the blogger behind The Jealous Curator interviews 50 international artists working in different mediums about how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated, and get new ideas to flow.


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Creativity, Inc. is, at heart, a book about creativity, but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is and in this book, Catmull reveals some of the truths behind them.


Prosperity Pie: How to Relax about Money and Everything Else

Artist and writer SARK urges readers in Prosperity Pie not to let money be the focus of their lives. With her whimsical line drawings, handwritten text and personal anecdotes, SARK guides readers through self-awareness exercises aimed at keeping an artist’s relationship with money far from the front and center.


Editor’s Bonus: What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities-One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time by Dar Williams

In What I Found, internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Dar Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, drawing on her own travels and the work of urban theorists and community planners, Williams offers solutions and helpful tools to rebuild declining communities.


Rachel Stigers is a bookseller at Wicked Good Books and classically trained opera singer whose passion for literature informs her perspective behind the books counter and her performances on stage. For more of her personalized recommendations, head to the counter at WGB during opening hours.


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Joey Phoenix is a performance artist and the Managing Editor of Creative North Shore. Follow them on Twitter @jphoenixmedia. If you have an idea for a story, feature, or pictures of adorable llamas, feel free to send them a message at joeyphoenix@creativecollectivema.com