6 Books You Need To Read If You’re A Creative Professional

Photo Credit: Sharon McCutcheon

While life as a creative professional can often feel like a uniquely singular experience, the truth is that if you know where to look, there’s a ton of great advice to be had. From monetizing your art to creating a sustainable work-life balance, chances are someone before you has faced a similar struggle.

So in the spirit of progress, here are six books to help take you, your art and your business to the next level.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Although this bestseller was originally published over two decades ago, it remains a classic authority on the subject of creativity. Interactive in nature, The Artist’s Way is designed to help readers dive into their imagination by deeply examining the spiritual side of their psyche. Through a twelve week journey, author Julia Cameron challenges participants in a variety of writing exercises, activities and creative recovery tools including the well known “Morning Pages.”  

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Rightfully described as a “manifesto for the digital age,” Steal Like an Artist is a guide that helps to better connect creatives with, you guessed it, creativity. Derived from a viral speech concerning the ten things Austin Kleon wished someone told him about starting out, this refreshing read is as honest, practical and inspiring as it gets. Curious to know more? Here’s just one of his tweet-worthy quotes: “Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.”


Whether through Saturday Night Live or Mean Girls, you’ve more than likely come to know (and love) the talent that is Tina Fey. However, before she earned success as a comedian, actress, producer and playwright, Fey was a struggling young adult grappling her way through the world.

With the help of personal anecdotes, comical narratives and spot on advice, Fey’s memoir Bossypants reminds readers to fight for the lives they seek to create. Letting go of what other people think, standing up for yourself and never apologizing for the presence you bring to a room are just a few of the inspiring truth-bombs she drops throughout her story.

Start With Why

If you’re looking for a way to bring more meaning to your life and/or business, then consider Simon Sinek your new best friend. After studying some of the world’s most successful speakers, influential thinkers and iconic innovators, Sinek has turned the concept of inspiration on its head. In his literary exploration Start With Why, Sinek describes his personalized framework for leadership. Based upon one powerful word, he reveals to readers the true power of and purpose behind the question of WHY.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

As the creator of Broadway hit musical Movin’ Out, artist and choreographer Twyla Tharp knows a thing or two about creativity. In her celebrated piece The Creative Habit, Tharp invites readers to explore the secrets behind her success and to challenge themselves to similarly develop their own creative talents. With thirty-two practical exercises, this book reminds artists that true creativity is within everyone’s grasp. However, you have to be willing to reach for it.  

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

If the motto “live more, work less” resonates with you, then you may want to pick this one up. Written by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek provides readers with a step by step guide to optimizing income and escaping the rat race. Through his honest interpretation of all things business, Tim provides tools, tricks and personal anecdotes for building the career(and life) of your dreams.