10 Books We Love on Art and Creativity


We love books around here.  As a matter of fact, even though I don’t often make the time to just sit and read, I can’t help but want more books.  Printed books are my very favorite when it comes to books on art and/or creativity.


10 of My Family’s Favorite Books on Art and Creativity

steal like an artist

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

This one was a fun and easy read.  Seriously, if I say it’s a fun and easy read, then you know it’s going to be quick but enjoyable.  I sometimes have a hard time finishing books because I always want to start looking at something new, but this was easy to read through in one sitting and gave me lots to think about.  With sections like “Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started” and “Write the book you want to read,” there are some real gems of advice.

creative family

2. The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

I used to read Amanda’s blog all the time, but not being a fan of partial feeds, I got away from it.  Still, I love her writing style and her love for the simple pleasures of life.  This book is a must have for any parent wanting to infuse more creativity into their family’s life.  This was another that I managed to read cover to cover without pining away for another book to read.


3. Zenspirations: Letters and Patterning by Joanne Fink

A beautiful book, this came in very handy while I was teaching an art class at our homeschool co-op.  Without having to spend much money on a project (just some pens and paper), the kids could make some very cool art.  If you’ve ever though of trying some zentangle stuff, this is definitely a book to check out.

made by me

4. Made by Me by Jane Bull

We checked this out from the library once, and Molly just fell in love with it.  With instructions for a great variety of hands on crafting projects and beautiful full color pages, we just knew that we had to own this book.  I’m surprised by how often Molly refers to the book while talking or might just be curled up on the couch reading it.  I think this would be an especially good gift for a young crafter.

handmade marketplacejpg

5. The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online by Kari Chapin

This one isn’t for everyone, of course, but if you’re new to trying to sell your art or crafts, this is a great introduction to your options, as well as things that some artists or crafters don’t think about initially, such as setting up and maintaining a blog.  If you’re already established, this still might be a good read if you can get it from the library.  If you’re new, it might be worth buying to be able to keep it much longer.


6. Manga for Beginner Chibis by Christopher Hart

7. Manga for Beginner Kawaii by Christopher Hart

These books both belong to Eric, but I love that they, unlike a lot of other manga books, are safe enough for my kids to look at too.  (Well, at least as far as I remember.  Don’t hold me to that 100%, but I’m almost positive.)  Although Eric started with a regular manga book by Christopher Hart, he found that he enjoyed the cutesy characters that the Chibis and Kawaii had to offer.  Or, maybe it was because he liked the way we would ooh and aah over them.

Side note: While Eric started drawing manga with Prismacolor colored pencils (which are awesome colored pencils, by the way), he found that he far preferred the process and finished product once he started using Prismacolor markers.


8. Felties: How to Make 18 Cute and Fuzzy Friends by Nelly Pailloux

If you’re looking for small felt sewing projects, this is such a fun book.  The little creatures and people are just so cute!  The book comes with patterns, which is so helpful.  These would be great projects for learning how to hand sew for kids or as Christmas gifts to make for younger siblings or cousins.

life is a verb

9. Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally by Patti Digh

While not specifically a book about creativity, there is just something about living life intentionally that seems to also encourage creativity.  I really loved reading through this book and found myself often laughing, crying, or deeply touched by a message.  Plus, I loved that this is a very visual book that will inspire your artsy side.


10. Doodling for Papercrafters by Maelynn Cheung

If you want to work on doodling, but just get stuck for ideas, this might be a good book for you.  I like the process of these kinds of doodles, but sometimes I just get to where I can’t think of what to do next, so I like having this and some other doodling books to look at for inspiration.

List it Tuesday

This post was originally published on May 21, 2013.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  They don’t add anything to the cost of an item, but I get a very small percentage of the sales, which helps support my family and this site.  Thank you so much for that!

Angie Kauffman
Angie, a domestically challenged nerd and mom of three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home.  Angie also listens to music every chance she gets, writes eBookspodcastsloves Pinterestdocuments the little moments in life on Instagram, and occasionally sleeps.


  1. says

    Oh boy. Looks like I’d better check out the Creative Family one …. Rachel has developed quite the drawing skills, and is better at taking pictures than I am. Argh!

    Great resources!

    • says

      I was really inspired by it. I just wish that I would have had it when my kids were much younger. I think it would be perfect for your family. :)