On this page you will find links to a selection of books or products that I have read or used and which I have found particularly useful or inspiring.
This site is reader supported, so from time to time is talk about products that I believe will help you make a living doing what you love, and add significant value to your life. For some of them, I will get a commission if you buy the product through the links on my site (it won’t cost you any extra).
I will never recommend anything unless I have either read or used it myself, or I trust the author and believe it will provide significant value.
Making a Living From Art
The Unconventional Guide to Art & Money by Chris Guillebeau
This is the book that really made me realise that it’s possible to make a living as an artist. With some great insights from working artists, Chris takes you step-by-step through how to plan your artistic strategy, the tools and tactics that will help you on your journey, and how to put all together to create your artistic empire. I wish this information had been available when I was in school. I would definitely have made some different choices.Read my review of the guide here, and take advantage of my small bonus offering.
Renaissance Business by Emilie Wapnick
One thing I’ve found is that a lot of artists have more than one passion in life, and the thing that puts them off pursuing these passions is that from an early age they are encouraged to specialise in a single area of study. In Renaissance Business, Emilie teaches us that it’s ok to be a ‘multipotentialite’, and she guides us through the process of creating a business that encompasses all of our passions under one ‘overarching theme’.
I had struggled to define a theme for my blog, but within a day of reading Renaissance Business, I had my theme, title and tagline nailed down, and I was raring to go!
Read this book if you have a lot of different interests that you would like to pursue, and you have no idea how you could possibly tie them all together.
For a deeper insight, read my review of Renaissance Business and interview with Emilie Wapnick in How You Can Build a Creative Career Out of All Your Interests.
Publish Your Own Book With Blurb.com
Blurb.com allows you to create and publish your own book, which you can then purchase yourself, or make available for sale to the public.
I’ve made good use of this service by creating a portfolio book to advertise my art commissions, which I leave in the waiting areas of local businesses.
Writing a blog can be a fantastic way to explore your creativity, be it painting, writing, video, podcasting… a blog can be the central hub of your creativity.
It’s easy to start a blog these days, but very few people will start a blog that matters.
This 13-week online course by Corbett Barr, contains everything he has learned about successful blogging over the past three years.
Corbett runs 3 successful blogs, which between them attract over 100,000 monthly visitors, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to blogging.
For more on blogging, read my post on how to make your art blog matter.
Find out more and sign up for the course at How to Start a Blog That Matters
Schoolism is a revolutionary way to learn art.
Some of the leading artists in their fields have produced a range of art courses, which are presented in the form of video tutorials, and you are given assignments to complete to ensure that you have fully grasped the concepts and techniques presented.
Many of the courses can be studied in one of two ways: Critiqued session and Self-taught.
With a critiqued session it’s just like having your own personal art tutor. The course instructor will record a video of themselves giving a personal critique on your assignments.
With self-taught classes, you just get access to the video lessons and you can go at your own pace, but you can still submit assignments for marking if you wish, you just won’t get a personal critique video.
I took Jason Seiler’s The Art of Caricature class a couple of years ago, and it was one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had. My artwork improved in leaps and bounds after taking the course. Here’s a sample video of one of Jason’s critiques, to give you an idea of the level of personal feedback you get.
Most of the courses available are based around digital media, but there’s also an oil painting course which I’m planning on taking at some point.
My Amazon Recommendations
The following links take you to my Amazon store, where you can see some books and DVDs that I like. If you buy anything from Amazon after clicking those links, I will get a small commission. Choose the correct Amazon store based on your location (if you aren’t in the UK or the US, you may still be able to find these products on your local Amazon site.)