5 powerful books on creativity to unlock your next best idea

Simply looking at our creative friends and colleagues, it shouldn’t surprise us that there are plenty of excellent reads on creativity out there. After all, reading is one of the best ways to learn new skills, develop insights, and gain knowledge.

It’s not uncommon for a creative’s journey to be full of ups and downs. And just as our creativity ebbs and flows, it is natural to have periods when we are full of ideas and inspiration and times when we are unable to find them.

You will discover new ways of thinking through these books so that even the most straightforward routines and activities of life can offer opportunities. Even if you are not currently seeing the results you desire, they’ll boost your determination and confidence to keep creating.

The upcoming year is your chance to be more creative. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most powerful books about creativity to help you unlock your best ideas yet.

1. You Are an Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation

By Sarah Urist Green

Sarah Urist Green, a curator at an art museum for many years, traveled around the country asking artists for prompts related to the way they work. Over fifty assignments from today’s most innovative creators are collected in the resulting book; You are an Artist.

It’s a creative journey where you’ll invent imaginary friends, sort books, declare a cause, make a landscape, find your band, and even become someone else (or at least try). To make the best of this read, you need to filter these assignments Sarah profiles through the prism of your own experience.

Drawing well, stretching a canvas, or perfectly matching paint colors to real life isn’t a prerequisite for success as an artist. No matter what level of experience one has, this book is perfect for anyone interested in making art. You will only need materials you already possess or can obtain for free.

2. Creative Confidence

By Tom Kelley & David Kelley

IDEO’s founder and his brother demonstrate in this book how we as human beings possess an inexhaustible reservoir of creative potential. The main message here is that everyone is born with the ability to think creatively, but putting it to use requires hard work.

For anyone seeking more creativity and innovation in their work or personal lives, Creative Confidence is an excellent read. The book offers practical advice on how to apply creative thinking. Additionally, the book lays out a framework for innovation that enables innovators to consider the world in ways they might not have before.

There are numerous examples and stories given by the authors from both their own and others’ experiences. Plus, there are a few innovation roadmaps that anyone with a creative streak can use as a starting point.

3. Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic

By Lisa Congdon

This book explores the process of artistic self-discovery from bestselling author, artist, and illustrator Lisa Congdon. Artists and creatives reading Find Your Artistic Voice will be empowered to discover and develop their own visual identity.

Artists, who want to gain a deeper understanding of their own journey while exploring the influence of creators they admire, will find this book invaluable. Find Your Artistic Voice utilizes the advice of Congdon as well as interviews with artists, illustrators, and creatives to help you answer the question, “How do I develop my own artistic voice?”

Artists are known for their voices. The uniqueness and value of each artist’s work make it valuable, but it takes effort and persistence to develop that type of artistry. Find Your Artistic Voice offers practical strategies, inspirational stories, and advice to overcome your fears and insecurities in the creative process.

4. Things are what you make of them: Life advice for creatives

By Adam J. Kuntz

If you’ve ever felt like giving up on your creative pursuits, you’re not alone. No matter how passionate they are, almost all artists have felt this way at some point in their careers.

Full of the pick-me-ups you need, artist and author Adam J. Kurtz, in his book Things Are What You Make of Them, offers a collection of heartfelt, handwritten reminders that will energize and inspire you.

This vividly-colored book was designed as a wall piece and can be ripped out and shared with anyone willing to dare be creative and different!

5. Out of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative

By Ken Robinson

This book examines creativity’s importance in business, how children learn it, how many adults lack it, and the way it disappears and proposes a more comprehensive way to regain it.

TED’s most-watched video in history is author Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk on creativity. Robinson is a globally recognized expert on creativity; he argues in this book that schools and universities are at the root of the problem that all organizations are battling.

All businesses compete in a world that changes every day. Adaptability and creativity are essential for developing novel solutions to old and new problems. The book describes how schools, businesses, and communities can work together to bring creativity out of the closet and realize its value at every stage of life.

The key to the future is education and training, but it can also be turned the other way, preventing people from accessing their own creative potential. Businesses can achieve their full potential only by actively nurturing creativity.

Taking action and thinking creatively are essential in modern business. Taking action and thinking creatively are crucial to modern business. At what point does this disappear? We have the answers, and we have a plan for getting it back in Out of Our Minds.

Illustration in Web Design by Julia Hanke

Are you ready to get creative this year?

So there you have it, five powerful books on creativity. Hopefully, you’ll find this little compilation of creative thinking books helpful in unlocking your creative potential and getting you thinking more innovatively in the coming year.

The books mentioned above can give you hope and a fresh perspective or they can remind you of things you already know but need to hear again. In the end, as you collect and read inspirational books on creativity, you’ll build an invaluable collection of advice and inspiration from one artist to another.

Olivia Hoskin About the Author: Olivia Hoskin is a freelance writer with a background in tech and marketing. A true design fan at heart, you’ll find her writing about the latest industry trends, technologies, and the inspiring endeavors of fellow creators. She’s a champion of remote work, a lover of responsible technology, and a fitness geek and enjoyer of the outdoors in her spare time. Find her at

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