Books Recommended by Creatives from Our Community

Books Recommended by Creatives

I’m going to start out by letting you know that I was never a big fan of reading. In fact, it wasn’t until I was about 15 years old when I finished a book for the very first time. I’ve read books before, but I would quit halfway through. Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of reading books and I’m amazed at how big of an impact just one book can make. If you don’t think reading books is important, let me try to convince you with these quotes from one of my favorite authors, Jim Rohn.

“Successful people have libraries. The rest have big screen TVs” ― Jim Rohn

“Most homes valued at over $250,000 have a library. That should tell us something.” ― Jim Rohn

“It isn’t what the book costs. It’s what it will cost you if you don’t read it.” ― Jim Rohn

“Those who will not read are no better off than those who can’t read.” ― Jim Rohn

“The difference between where you are today and where you’ll be five years from now will be found in the quality of books you’ve read.” ― Jim Rohn

“Everything you need for better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library.” ― Jim Rohn

“Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.” ― Jim Rohn

“Don’t read a book and be a follower; read a book and be a student.” ― Jim Rohn

“Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book.” ― Jim Rohn

“Books are easy to find and easy to buy. A paperback these days only costs six or seven dollars. You can borrow that from your kids!” ― Jim Rohn

Recently, I asked creatives from our free online mentoring community to share some of their favorite books that really impacted their lives. The response was great and I’ve listed the books below.

How To Win Friends & Influence People – This book changed my life in the way I interact with people. It taught me valuable lessons about human interaction. If you want to improve your people’s skills, this book is definitely for you!


Creativity, Inc. – “A fascinating story about how some very smart people built something that profoundly changed the animation business and, along the way, popular culture . . . [Creativity, Inc.] is a well-told tale, full of detail about an interesting, intricate business. For fans of Pixar films, it’s a must-read. For fans of management books, it belongs on the ‘value added’ shelf.”—The Wall Street Journal


The War of Art – If you struggle with fear and procrastination, you should definitely read this book.


Steal Like an Artist – This book is a great reminder that creativity is everywhere and it’s for everyone. It will put you directly in touch with your artistic side.


Show Your Work! – “Some people are natural self-promoters. For others, it’s painfully difficult to put their work out there. In this creatively designed pocket-sized book, Kleon offers the latter group effective strategies that allow them to share their work without leaving their comfort zone…. Kleon’s advice is sassy and spot-on.” ―Publishers Weekly


Real Artists Don’t Starve – I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to make a living from their creative work


Ignore Everybody – A great, fun, and profound, read for all creative types. Solid advice presented in an easily digestible, and memorable fashion.


The Artist’s Way – “This is a book that addresses a delicate and complex subject. For those who will use it, it is a valuable tool to get in touch with their own creativity.” —Martin Scorsese


Never Use Futura – “Never Use Futura tells a smart, incisive story about the way one typeface became woven into our cultural sentiments and movements. New designers will start to notice Futura everywhere. Seasoned designers will see layers of meaning in Futura (and its look-alikes) everywhere. In either case, Never Use Futura may change the way you see our world.” – Maya Lim, Design Observer


The DV Rebel’s Guidea – While this book is now a bit dated, it is still incredibly relevant for any new filmmaker. It has many useful tips, tricks, and knowledge for anyone with little or no budget. Stu Maschwitz, the author of this book, is responsible for giving the movie Sin City that iconic artistic feel. Stu goes into more details about Sin City in this book. He also gives references to other useful books that go beyond his expertise. “Don’t make a movie without reading this book!” – Robert Rodriguez (an American filmmaker)


Art of the Cut – Art of the Cut may indeed be the essential tool for the cutting room. Here is a reference where you can immediately see how our contemporaries deal with the complexities of editing a film. In a very organized manner he guides the reader through approaching the scene, pacing and rhythm, structure, storytelling, performance, sound design and music. I am placing this book on my shelf of editing books and I urge others to do the same. ―Jack Tucker, ACE


In the Blink of an Eye – If you want to learn how to think like an editor, this book is for you!


Design is a Job – This book is for any designer who is looking for solid guidelines to handling clients, getting work, and understanding the worth of your service.


So Good They Can’t Ignore You – “Do what you love and the money will follow’ sounds like great advice — until it’s time to get a job and disillusionment quickly sets in. Cal Newport ably demonstrates how the quest for ‘passion’ can corrode job satisfaction. If all he accomplished with this book was to turn conventional wisdom on its head, that would be interesting enough. But he goes further ― offering advice and examples that will help you bypass the disillusionment and get right to work building skills that matter.” ―Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind


Design for Motion – “Austin is one of the first to identify and put down on paper a tangible, in-depth account of a new field that has quickly emerged within the design genre. For years, even professionals in the industry have had trouble giving it a title. Not only does Austin give it a name, but he also captures the essence of the field in a way that both young designers and professionals can appreciate. With words and pictures, he shares the process and explains in detail the knowledge base required for the field. He even questions industry leaders to qualify his process, making it a perfect balance of the academic and professional worlds.” – Erin Sarofsky, Executive Creative Director, Sarofsky


Animated Storytelling – This book is great for mograph designers that want to learn the creative process.


Universal Principles of Design – An amazing reference book full of design principles that apply to many areas of design. Each design principle takes a 2-page spread and is illustrated with a brief explanation, examples, and a visual illustration.


The Non-Designer’s Design Book – Excellent starting point for a non-designer. It offers quick, simple, and easy to follow guidelines that anyone can follow.


Digital Lighting and Rendering – A must have for any CG artist interested in proper lighting techniques.


The Vignelli Canon – This free PDF is a gift to the design world from one of the greatest graphic designers of the past century. A must read for designers.

Do you have a book that made a difference in your life? Let us know in the comments below.

– Sergei Prokhnevskiy


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