My favorite books for artists to monetize their creativity and unlock their potential

Why am I passionate about this?

With over 20 years of experience as a professional artist and a successful track record of earning six figures a year from my art, I know firsthand what it takes to build a thriving artistic career. As the host of the Inspiration Place podcast, and founder of the Artist Incubator program, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to helping artists everywhere achieve their full potential and reach their goals. When you overcome the common challenges and mindset blocks that hold so many artists back and learn the practical tools and strategies you need for selling your art, you too find the same success.


I wrote...

Book cover of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity

What is my book about?

Whether you’re a musician, photographer, painter, writer, dancer, singer, or any other creative with aspirations of making a living from your art, this is the perfect time to turn your creative ideas into a sustainable business. With gatekeepers no longer controlling the market, anyone with a laptop and a dream can make a thriving living from their creativity.

Each page provides the inspiration and practical steps you need to build a personal brand, overcome starving-artist syndrome, and finally make consistent sales from your art. Artpreneur breaks down the 5 core elements in the “Passion to Profit” planning framework to help you develop your art business, including production, pricing, prospecting, promotion, and productivity—so that you can have the time and freedom to do what you love.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Miriam Schulman Why did I love this book?

Real Artists Don't Starve challenges the popular belief that artists must sacrifice financial stability in order to be true to their craft. The author argues that creativity and commerce can coexist, and uses examples from history and contemporary culture to prove his point. What I liked most about this book was learning about the great artists of the past, like Michelangelo, who was not only talented but also a great businessman who made a lot of money from his art. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make a living from their artistic passion and believes that being a true artist and wanting to make money aren’t mutually exclusive. Goins offers practical tips and inspiration for artists looking to build a successful and sustainable career and provides a fresh perspective on the age-old debate about the relationship between art and commerce.

By Jeff Goins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Real Artists Don't Starve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jeff Goins dismantles the myth that being creative is a hindrance to success by revealing how an artistic temperament is a competitive advantage in the marketplace.?

The myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their pursuits. The truth is that the world's most successful artists did not starve. In fact, they capitalized on the power of their creative strength.

In Real Artists Don't Starve, bestselling author and creativity expert Jeff Goins debunks the myth of the starving artist by unveiling the ideas that created it and replacing them with…


Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Miriam Schulman Why did I love this book?

As much as I would love to plagiarize and quote long passages from this text, I encourage you to unearth these treasures yourself. In sum, her whole book is about the myth of genius or the myth of talent. Now, this may not be a new concept as Nietzsche was writing about the cult of “genius” in the 19th century. He said, "For if we think of genius as something magical, we are not obliged to compare ourselves and find ourselves lacking.” What he means is that defining others as genius or talented lets us off the hook for working hard, but as Nietzsche and the studies have pointed out, genius and talent are acquired through hard work. And I’ve been saying that marketing and mindset will trump talent every time. That’s why I wrote my book to teach artists how to transform their mindset and learn the skills for marketing.

By Angela Duckworth,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

UNLOCK THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

'Impressively fresh and original' Susan Cain


Book cover of Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art

Miriam Schulman Why did I love this book?

This is an in-depth and well-researched exploration of the abstract expressionist movement, with a particular focus on the female artists who played a crucial role in shaping the movement. This book offers a fresh perspective on a significant period in the history of modern art and provides readers with a deeper understanding of the contributions made by women artists during this time. What I liked most about this book was the spotlight it shines on the critical role of key female artists in the abstract expressionist movement, who often get overlooked in traditional art historical narratives. Overall, Ninth Street Women is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about the groundbreaking contributions of female artists in the 20th century, and the impact of the abstract expressionist movement on contemporary art.

By Mary Gabriel,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Ninth Street Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NINTH STREET WOMEN is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating story of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting--not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they painted, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and groundbreaking artists to come.

They include Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning, whose careers were at times overshadowed by the fame of their husbands, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, but who emerged as stunning talents in their own right, as well as a younger…


Book cover of Art Is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night

Miriam Schulman Why did I love this book?

This book is a great choice for anyone looking to dive deeper into the creative process and find inspiration for their own artistic journey. The book, written by the well-known art critic and historian Jerry Saltz, offers practical advice and thought-provoking insights into the nature of art and the role of the artist in society. One of the key themes in the book is the idea that every piece of art you create has the potential to make an impact, no matter how big or small, and that it is your responsibility as an artist to keep creating, even if your work may not always be perfect. Overall, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the creative process and find the motivation to keep pursuing their passions.

By Jerry Saltz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art Is Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of How to Be an Artist: a deliciously readable survey of the art world in turbulent times

Jerry Saltz is one of our most-watched writers about art and artists, and a passionate champion of the importance of art in our shared cultural life. Since the 1990s he has been an indispensable cultural voice: witty and provocative, he has attracted contemporary readers to fine art as few critics have. An early champion of forgotten and overlooked women artists, he has also celebrated the pioneering work of African American, LGBTQ+, and other long-marginalized creators.…


Book cover of Chill and Prosper: The New Way to Grow Your Business, Make Millions, and Change the World

Miriam Schulman Why did I love this book?

If you're looking for a book that offers practical solutions for overcoming money mindset blocks as a female entrepreneur, Chill and Prosper by Denise Duffield-Thomas is definitely worth checking out. The author provides valuable insights and actionable advice to help women entrepreneurs build a positive relationship with money and achieve financial success. As an artist, you may face challenges with the "starving artist" mindset, but Denise's wisdom on the importance of setting fair prices and not crowdsourcing them will be incredibly valuable in helping you run a profitable art business. Overall, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to change their money mindset and create a successful and fulfilling career.

By Denise Duffield-Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chill and Prosper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Want to make twice as much money with half the work? It's time to shift your mindset, recognize your worth, and become a successful entrepreneur on your own terms!

'Denise is a much-needed voice of practical wisdom.' Marie Forleo, founder of B-School

Feeling burned-out by your business? Sick of the 'hustle and grind' culture of your industry? There's a better way. Get over your perfectionism, chill, and prosper!

With her trademark humour and down-to-earth wisdom, money mindset coach Denise Duffield-Thomas shares the invaluable business and counterintuitive millionaire mindset lessons (no blood, sweat or tears necessary) that will set you on…


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By Marian L Thomas,

Book cover of Saving Raine

Marian L Thomas

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Saving Raine is a captivating tale of resilience, redemption, and the enduring power of love, penned by the acclaimed author Marian L. Thomas.

This contemporary fiction novel chronicles the compelling journey of Raine Reynolds as she confronts heartache, betrayal, and loss. Against the vibrant backdrops of Atlanta and Paris, Raine's story unfolds as she grapples with the aftermath of her husband's infidelity and tragic passing.

Through poignant prose and compelling characters, "Saving Raine" delves into themes of forgiveness, healing, and the strength discovered in confronting life's greatest challenges. Readers will be captivated by Raine's emotional odyssey as she unearths hope, redemption, and the courage to embrace a brighter future.

Saving Raine

By Marian L Thomas,

What is this book about?

Raine Reynolds stands at the crossroads of despair and opportunity.
 
When the life you've built crumbles and the past refuses to release its grip, sometimes you need a fresh start-a new beginning that promises hope and redemption.
 
Once a celebrated author, Raine's life unraveled, sending her fleeing to the picturesque streets of Paris to escape the tormenting heartache that threatened to consume her. Yet, no matter how far she traveled, the pain remained her unwelcome companion.
 
Returning to bustling Atlanta as a senior VP for an ad agency, Raine is forced to confront a city steeped in…


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