A Few Inspirational Gems

I can’t say I’m an avid reader on art. My personal library isn’t filled with magazines and books on artists or art related material. Nor do I keep up on the latest art trends and movements. Personally I have this thought that has burrowed its way deep into my brain and that’s that too much art ruins art. I don’t know where that came from and maybe it’s a bad idea to have stuck in your psyche as an artist but I just feel that being too deeply immersed in the art world may have too much of an influence on the art I create and therefore lead me away for my own authenticity. But every now and then I come across some gems of inspiration or a book that serves as a wellspring of artistic motivation that I just have to have for myself. Two of those gems…well, my only gems, are the books “Art Inc” by Lisa Congdon and “Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles To Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision” by Ian Roberts.

Art Inc is a wonderful gem of practical and inspirational information. It’s filled with short but insightful interviews with artists on how they make a living, tips on the ways in which you can sell your artwork, whether through galleries, online or licensing and it comes complete with a list of resources such as what platforms are available to sell online, printing services, professional organizations and many more useful resources that might be of interest to creatives.

Creative Authenticity is my art bible. Whenever I have doubts, feel unsure about my craft or the direction I want go, this is the one book I reach for. It brings together the spiritual, the philosophical and psychological aspects of being an artist into 16 principles that are easy to digest. I have to admit that it is because of this book I haven’t looked much further or else where for inspiration and solace. It’s full of  rememberable quotes and encouraging words to help keep the creative fires burning when you feel your spirit getting low. I encourage any creative to give these books a look see but if they’re really not your cup of tea here’s a wonderful little article from Creative Boom that list other inspirational gems that as an artist you may be interested in adding to your personal library.  

10 Great Books For Artists and Makers Launching A Creative Business. 

The Technical Pen

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When it comes to resources, there’s one book I recommend any pen and ink artist to have in their library and that’s The Technical Pen by Gary Simmons. For anyone who wants to learn more on not just how to get the most out of their technical pen but also on just drawing with pen and ink in general, this book is full of explanations on how to build form, tone and textures in pen and ink renderings. Simmons does a wonderful job of giving step by step demonstrations that illustrate how to develop good, solid image construction from the initial pencil sketch to the final inking. He also points out the common mishaps and pitfalls and how to avoid them when mastering the medium. Although I mainly do stipple work, this is still my go-to reference guide for when I want to get a good idea on how to construct various line techniques and patterns. So if you come across this book at your local library be sure to pick it up and take a look through it. It’s also available on Amazon here, if you want to get your own copy. If it’s currently out of print, you may still be able to purchase a used copy at a descent price from some of the Amazon merchants.