10 Must Read Books for Artists and Art Business Owners

As an artist, it’s important to be constantly learning and growing in your craft. There are a lot of great books out there that can help you do just that. Here are 10 must read books for artists and art business owners that I’ve personally read and highly recommend to you!

10 must read books for artists and art business owners

These books cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to both artists and art business owners. From managing your creative business to overcoming creative blocks, marketing, spirituality and more, there’s a book for everyone on this list. So, grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and start reading!

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1. Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon

Art Inc. is a great read for artists and art business owners for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it provides a comprehensive overview of the business side of the art world. For artists who want to commercialize their work, this book is invaluable. It covers topics such as marketing, PR, social media, licensing, and more.

In addition, Art Inc. offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of successful artists. Lisa Congdon interviews a number of well-known artists and art entrepreneurs, which provides insight into what it takes to make it in the art world. Finally, Art Inc. is simply a well-written and well-researched book. Lisa Congdon is a respected authority on the business of art, and her book is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic.

books for artists Art Inc by Lisa Congdon

2. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

the artists way by julia cameron

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is one of the most popular books on creativity and the creative process. In it, Cameron explores the idea that we all have a “inner artist” that is blocked by fear and self-doubt, and offers a step-by-step program to help readers overcome these barriers and reconnect with their creative selves.

The Artist’s Way is a book that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt creatively stuck. Cameron’s writing is both funny and inspirational, and her program is easy to follow and really works. If you’re looking for a book that will help you get in touch with your creative side, this is it.

3. How to Sell Your Art Online: Live a Successful Creative Life on Your Own Terms by Cory Huff

If you’re an artist looking to sell your work online, Cory Huff’s book is a must-read. The creator of TheAbundantArtist.com, Huff offers a wealth of practical advice, from choosing the right platform to promoting your work, pricing your art, and dealing with inevitable rejection.

He also addresses the emotional side of being an artist, and offers advice on how to stay motivated and inspired. Perhaps most importantly, Huff stresses the importance of living a creative life on your own terms – something that is often harder than it looks. This book is an essential read for any artist who is serious about selling their work online.

how to sell your art online by cory huff

4. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

books for artists, big magic by elizabeth gilbert

If you want to lead a more creative life, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is an inspiring read, touching on spiritual. The book dives into what it means to be creative and how to live a life without fear. If you’re a fan her most famous book, Eat Pray Love, then you’re going to love this one.

Gilbert offers readers plenty of advice, such as to embrace curiosity, take risks, and enjoy the process. She also provides inspiring stories from her own life as a writer. Big Magic is an empowering read that will leave you feeling ready to conquer your own creative endeavors.

5. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

One of my favourite books for artists is Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. It’s a quick and easy read, and one of the most inspiring and insightful books that I’ve read on the creative process.

Kleon’s book is structured around 10 principles for artists, which he refers to as ‘stealing’: finding inspiration in the work of others, embrace collaboration, embrace your influences, work hard and be persistent, be open to new ideas, and embrace your inner weirdo. Each of these principles is explored in depth, with Kleon sharing examples from his own life and work, as well as from the lives and work of other artists he admires.

Steal Like an Artist is an essential book for artists who want to tap into their creative potential and create meaningful and lasting art.

steal like an artist by austin kleon

6. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

must read books for artists start with why by simon sinek

If you’re an artist or business owner who wants to better understand how to inspire others, then you need to read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. In this book, Sinek argues that the key to success is not what you do, but why you do it. Sinek explains that businesses and individuals need to start with their purpose, or their “why.” Once you know your purpose, it’s easier to communicate your message and connect with others. This is because people are more likely to be inspired by a shared purpose than by a product or service.

Sinek provides plenty of examples to illustrate his point, including Apple, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright brothers. He also explains how to apply the “why” to your own life and business. If you’re looking for a book to help you “find your why”, then you need to read this book.

7. Crush It: Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

In today’s business world, it’s all about standing out from the crowd and being unique. If you want to be a successful artist or art business owner, you need to be constantly creating and marketing new and innovative content. One of the best ways to learn how to do this is to read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Crush It.

In Crush It, Vaynerchuk explains how to use your passion and creativity to build a successful business. He provides practical advice on how to market your work, connect with your audience, and stand out from the competition. If you’re looking for a motivational read that will inspire you to take your art business to the next level, Crush It is a must-read.

crush it by gary vaynerchuck

8. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

must read books for artists show your work austin kleon

There are a lot of books out there that claim to be helpful for artists and art business owners, but many of them are full of big promises and not much substance. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough, and one of those is Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work.

Kleon is a writer, artist, and speaker who tackles the modern world of marketing and networking in a way that is both simple and effective. In Show Your Work, he provides 10 easy-to-follow steps that will help you get your work out there and start getting noticed. One of the most helpful aspects of Kleon’s book is that he doesn’t try to sell you on the idea of self-promotion as some sort of necessary evil. Instead, he shows you how self-promotion can be a fun and rewarding process that will help you connect with your audience and build a career that you love. If you’re looking for a practical, no-nonsense guide to marketing your art, then Show Your Work is a must-read.

9. The One Thing by Gary Keller

The One Thing by Gary Keller is a book about finding your focus and achieving success in your chosen field. Keller argues that focus is the key to success in any field, and he provides readers with actionable steps for how to achieve it.

He also includes inspiring stories of people who have attained great success by singularly focusing on their chosen field. This book is a must-read for anyone who is looking to achieve success in their career or creative endeavors. The author provides a clear and concise roadmap for how to achieve focus, and the stories of successful people provide motivation and inspiration.

must read books for artists, the one thing by gary keller

10. Atomic Habits by James Clear

atomic habits by james clear

The final book on our list is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is all about how to change your habits and make them stick. If you find yourself struggling to make changes in your life or business, this is the book for you.

Clear lays out a step-by-step process for making changes and gives you all the tools you need to make sure those changes stick. One of the things I love about this book is that it’s not just about changing your habits, it’s about changing your mindset. If you want to make lasting changes, you need to change the way you think about change. This book will help you do just that.


There you have it, 10 books for artists and art business owners that I think you should read. Hopefully, at least a few of these books resonate with you and provide you with the information, inspiration, or push you need to take your art business to the next level. There are plenty of books out there for artists, but these are the 10 that I think are essential for artists and art business owners. These books will teach you about the business of art, how to market yourself, and how to run a successful art business. If you’re serious about making a living as an artist, I highly recommend these books for artists.

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