100 books like The Art of Noticing

By Rob Walker,

Here are 100 books that The Art of Noticing fans have personally recommended if you like The Art of Noticing. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative

Peggy Dean Author Of Mindful Sketching: How to Develop a Drawing Practice and Embrace the Art of Imperfection

From my list on creative books for the wildly imperfect artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey into art began as a serendipitous discovery that unfolded through curiosity. As a “can’t-be-tamed” creative, I understand the tug-of-war artists feel – craving to learn skills and create “quality” pieces, while also thumbing the snooze-fest of sticking to one thing. Been there, done that, got the paint-splattered t-shirt. This has ignited a passion for encouraging others to find their own creative voice, as I've navigated the same path while building a multifaceted career in watercolor, gouache, line drawing, urban sketching, brush lettering, and calligraphy…need I go on? The thing is, I will because there is still so much to be explored.

Peggy's book list on creative books for the wildly imperfect artist

Peggy Dean Why did Peggy love this book?

I can't recommend this book highly enough, and here's why: it completely shattered my misconceptions about originality in the creative process. Kleon's candid and approachable narrative made me realize that all art is, in some form, a reinterpretation or recombination of what already exists.

This book came into my life at a pivotal moment, just when I was grappling with the dreaded "impostor syndrome" and the paralyzing belief that everything I created needed to be unprecedented. Kleon's perspective is liberating. He argues that embracing influences and integrating them into your work is not only acceptable but essential for creativity. 

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Steal Like an Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When asked to talk to students at Broome Community College in upstate New York in the spring of 2011, Austin Kleon wrote a simple list often things he wished he'd heard when he was their age: 'Steal like an artist; Don't wait until you know who you are to start making things; Write the book you want to read; Use your hands; Side projects are important; Do good work and put it where people can see it; Geography is no longer our master; Be nice (the world is a small town.); Be boring (it's the only way to get work…


Book cover of Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind

Mary Potter Kenyon Author Of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity

From my list on to jumpstart your creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began exploring the topic of creativity after my mother’s death in 2010. Mom was an extremely creative woman. The mother of ten children, living in poverty, she was a self-taught artist who managed to beautify her simple home with her art, building a home business selling paintings, woodcarvings, wall hangings, and quilts she created. When I began speaking to groups of women about creativity, I was shocked to discover just how few of them saw themselves as creative. Thus began my odyssey into creativity research and therapeutic art, and the resulting book and workshops that inspire and encourage others to discover their creative self.

Mary's book list on to jumpstart your creativity

Mary Potter Kenyon Why did Mary love this book?

This book is perfect for anyone who likes to see research that supports what they believe. There’s science behind the study of creativity and Wired to Create does an excellent job explaining it. Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research, this book offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire study the latest findings of neuroscience and psychology, and the practices of well-known “creatives,” concluding that we are all, in some way, wired for creating, and everyday life presents endless opportunities to express that.

By Scott Barry Kaufman, Carolyn Gregoire,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wired to Create as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is it possible to make sense of something as elusive as creativity?

Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Revealing the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes— like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration –…


Book cover of An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake

Mary Potter Kenyon Author Of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity

From my list on to jumpstart your creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began exploring the topic of creativity after my mother’s death in 2010. Mom was an extremely creative woman. The mother of ten children, living in poverty, she was a self-taught artist who managed to beautify her simple home with her art, building a home business selling paintings, woodcarvings, wall hangings, and quilts she created. When I began speaking to groups of women about creativity, I was shocked to discover just how few of them saw themselves as creative. Thus began my odyssey into creativity research and therapeutic art, and the resulting book and workshops that inspire and encourage others to discover their creative self.

Mary's book list on to jumpstart your creativity

Mary Potter Kenyon Why did Mary love this book?

I was introduced to Srini through his first book, when I realized that "Unmistakables" are my people. Rao, host of the podcast The Unmistakable Creative, argues that we should stop worrying about creating art for money or fame, but focus on creating for an audience of one, ourselves. Rao’s words speak to the inner spark that may have been doused in our childhood, that deep restlessness we carry within. This book includes fascinating true stories of creatives who took this path, along with research from creativity experts.

By Srinivas Rao,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Audience of One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The creator of the Unmistakable Creative podcast makes a counterintuitive argument: By focusing your creative work on pleasing yourself, you can increase your productivity, happiness, and (eventually, paradoxically) the size of your audience.

Creating for your own pleasure--whether you're writing a novel, composing songs, or painting a landscape--can seem pointless. It's tempting to focus on pursuing money and fame, rather than the process itself. But as Srini Rao warns, creating then turns into a chore that can harm your self-esteem and suck the pleasure out of life, rather than being a source of joy.

Rao, host of the podcast The…


Book cover of Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

Craig Detweiler Author Of Honest Creativity: The Foundations of Boundless, Good, and Inspired Innovation

From my list on creativity and deepening your spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I blame my mother. She took us to the public library every week and let us check out as many books as we could carry. Consequently, reading was a joy rather than a burden. The writing came after I got over my false assumptions about English Lit and Modern Poetry. As a screenwriter, I craft silly stories to make audiences laugh. That’s why I watch movies after an exhausting week. As an author, I gravitate towards non-fiction–trying to reconcile my artistry with my faith. I’ve written about movies, music, video games, technology, and art–with an eye toward lifting our spirits and comforting our aching souls.

Craig's book list on creativity and deepening your spirituality

Craig Detweiler Why did Craig love this book?

As a young man who loved the violent films of Martin Scorsese and the soothing sounds of Gregorian chants, I wanted to reconcile these seemingly contradictory passions.

Madeleine L’Engle offers wise words of encouragement for integrating our faith and our art. While I’d enjoyed her science fiction novels like A Wrinkle in Time, I was surprised by the practical, down-to-earth aspects of Walking on Water. This book slowed me down, allowing child-like wonder to return. She challenged me to develop a daily creative practice because one day off ends up disconnecting us for three.

We all have to ‘feed the lake’ every single day.

By Madeleine L'Engle,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Walking on Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this classic book,Madeleine L'Engle addresses the questions, What does it mean to be a Christian artist? and What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L'Engle's beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one's own art.


Book cover of A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life

Karen Eber Author Of The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories that Inform, Influence, and Inspire

From my list on unleashing your storytelling and creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have told stories since the age of five when I shared one about my different colored eyes. Tired of being pointed at and ridiculed for the thing I loved most about myself, I learned that stories can shift energy and create connection, even in the most artificial of settings. I’ve spent my career working in and with the Fortune 500 building leaders, teams, and culture, one story at a time. I’ve used storytelling to persuade people when one had the authority to say yes but 99 others could say no. Stories not only slowed their “No,” but they also helped me recruit them to persuade the decision makers.

Karen's book list on unleashing your storytelling and creativity

Karen Eber Why did Karen love this book?

Brian Grazer is the silent figure behind so many popular, award-winning movies. He’s worked on films like Splash, A Beautiful Mind, and Apollo 13 and his films have been nominated for more than 47 Academy Awards.

In this book, he lets you peek behind the curtain at his creative process. Which is essentially that he embraces curiosity in all aspects of his life. When someone intrigues him, he spends time asking them questions to learn more. While the book is focused on his approach, it’s easy to take inspiration from his mindset and seek your own curiosity daily. 

By Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Curious Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly "curiosity conversation" with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyonewilling to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer's movies and TV shows, including Splash, 24, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, and many others.

A Curious Mindis a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you're looking…


Book cover of Living Your Life Out Loud: How to Unlock Your Creativity

Jeff Davidson Author Of The 60 Second Innovator

From my list on becoming more innovative.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the recognized expert on work-life balance, harmony, and integrative issues, and since 2009, hold the registered trademark from the USPTO as the “Work-Life Balance Expert®." My books have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers and, in two instances, advertised in Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. In all, 16 of my books are published in Chinese, among them Simpler Living, appearing as a 3-volume set, Everyday Project Management, The 60 Second Innovator, The 60 Second Organizer, The 60 Second Self-Starter, Ten Minute Guide to Time Management, and Ten Minute Guide to Project Management. I also have 13 books published in Arabic.

Jeff's book list on becoming more innovative

Jeff Davidson Why did Jeff love this book?

Here is a book that I found to be highly engaging. The Greek philospher Plato was quoted as saying that "you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." If so, he has offered us a valid rationale for taking a stroll with someone whom we've just encountered, versus meeting at, say, a restaurant. The authors discuss one study where up to 90% of 5-year-olds tested as being highly creative. Yet by age 7, this figure declines 10%, and then declines to 2% after age 8. Hence, creativity seemingly declines as structured education begins.

Creativity involves the pressure to 'keep up' along with a bombardment of information. The accelerating pace of environmental damage is symptomatic of damage to the human spirit. One centurion said, “I lived my life" so that I would exceed age 100. For nearly all of his life,…

By Salli Rasberry, Padi Selwyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living Your Life Out Loud as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An anecdotal manual offers guidelines on how to eliminate stress, resist external pressures, overcome financial obstacles, set and pursue healthy goals, and realize inner potential through creative expression. Original.


Book cover of The Artist's Way

Mandy Ingber Author Of Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover

From my list on activity books for mind body spirit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Los Angeles and attended a progressive experiential learning school. The libraries were my classroom, the parks my playgrounds, and our twice-weekly field trips developed my journalistic skills. The week began with a contract agreement between myself and my teacher. My education made me a self-starter. My home was emotionally volatile. I became curious about healing: aligning my heart, mind, body, and spirit. My path unfolded to me. I became an actress on Broadway as my parents divorced and my school fell apart. My training in my mobile school delivered me into the real world. I was hungry to feel whole. Thus began my journey. 

Mandy's book list on activity books for mind body spirit

Mandy Ingber Why did Mandy love this book?

This book was a perfect companion for my creative process. I first tried it when it was originally published, and I wanted to jump-start my creativity.

As an actor, author, and artist, I needed something to motivate me. When I put myself into action and got help with a daily structure, my mindset and life completely shifted. It helped me tap into and stretch myself to do what I would normally not do alone.

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it."—The New York Times 
 
"Morning Pages have become a household name, a shorthand for unlocking your creative potential"—Vogue

Over four million copies sold!

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way phenomena has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron's novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems…


Book cover of Conscious Creativity: Look, Connect, Create

Rachael Taylor Author Of Power Up Your Creativity: Ignite Your Creative Spark - Develop a Productive Practice - Set Goals and Achieve Your Dreams

From my list on increase your creative productivity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning art director, creative mentor, and print and pattern designer with nearly two decades of experience working successfully in the creative industries. As a young person, I loved drama, dance, and art, and was constantly bursting with creative passion. As I grew older, I faced doubt from the people around me about pursuing a creative career. I stubbornly pursued it anyway and ignored the naysayers who told me to “stop dreaming” or to “get a real job.” I am now described as a “powerhouse” in the design world and someone who fearlessly strives forward in her creative career and helps thousands around the world to believe in their own creative power.

Rachael's book list on increase your creative productivity

Rachael Taylor Why did Rachael love this book?

What I loved most about Conscious Creativity is just how much it really opened up my creative curiosity to the world around me. Seeking inspiration from my surroundings has always been something I do for my creative practice, but after reading this I feel like my ability to do that is on another level.

I’m noticing the creative beauty and potential in so many more things, from the spill of my tea to a leaf I’ve found on a trail. I feel like I can see, hear, and touch so much more to inspire my daily practice, so I couldn’t be more grateful for this book.

By Philippa Stanton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Conscious Creativity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Full of tips and tricks on how to look at the world with a curious eye, it's a brilliant way to breathe creativity (back) into our lives." - Flow magazine

"Crammed with practical ideas, inspirational images & creative exercises, Conscious Creativity leads the reader through the process of establishing what kind of creative you are..."-Mslexia

"The purpose of this book is to enable you to look at things in an alternative and more substantial way, so that you arrive at composition through genuine interest."-Juno magazine

"Philippa Stanton is passionate about people connecting to their innate creativity and has distilled these…


Book cover of Make Your Art No Matter What: Moving Beyond Creative Hurdles

Jennifer Louden Author Of Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next

From my list on when you’re creatively stuck.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with the creative process since I was 8 and read Harriet the Spy and realized her writing saved her and after I spied on one of my parent’s cocktail parties and wondered why everybody was so dull (I was so cheeky). Still, it’s the quest that drives me: how do we be fully ourselves in this world and how does creativity help? I explore this question on my podcast Create Out Loud and in my weekly newsletter, and these books have helped me formulate, if not answers, creative and mindful practices that sustain me daily. I hope they inspire you too.

Jennifer's book list on when you’re creatively stuck

Jennifer Louden Why did Jennifer love this book?

Most creatives struggle with maintaining a creative practice in the face of busted water heaters, draining day jobs, and pesky emotions especially anxiety and depression. Beth’s refreshingly honest handbook is built on the premise you must find a way to make your art no matter what. She’s also been a guest on my podcast Create Out Loud and I loved everything she shared.

By Beth Pickens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make Your Art No Matter What as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way for the 21st century-from esteemed creative counselor Beth Pickens.

If you are an artist, you need to make your art. That's not an overstatement-it's a fact; if you stop doing your creative work, your quality of life is diminished. But what do you do when life gets in the way? In this down-to-earth handbook, experienced artist coach Beth Pickens offers practical advice for developing a lasting and meaningful artistic practice in the face of life's inevitable obstacles and distractions. This thoughtful volume suggests creative ways to address the challenges all artists must overcome-from making decisions about time,…


Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Diana Drake Long Author Of Dream It, Design It, Live It: The Ultimate Guide to Manifesting Your Next-Level Life

From my list on creativity, happiness and success in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been enthralled with the idea of “dreams come true” for as long as I can remember. In middle school, I discovered the field of psychology. I made weekly trips to the library and read books on personal development, spirituality, and memoirs. This commitment to learning and growth has never wavered. Those early seeds that I planted and nurtured have bloomed into my long-standing career of professional coaching, facilitation, and leading transformational retreats. My passion is empowering others to believe in their dreams and goals and bring them to life. 

Diana's book list on creativity, happiness and success in life

Diana Drake Long Why did Diana love this book?

This is another book that I consider a classic and, for years, has held a place of honor on my bookshelf. I go back to it from time to time. It's like visiting a wise friend who inspires you to be the most self-expressed you can be. Julia is a great guide, and I enjoy the author's writing style, which is easy to read and relate to. As a prolific author of dozens of books, she is intelligent and generous, and she encourages readers to go deeper and wider in their creative lives. She leads the reader through a twelve-week program in the book to unleash one's creative genius.

Her signature "field work" for readers is an exercise called "morning pages," a practice of writing down your unedited thoughts each morning to clear out the old thoughts and make space for new perspectives and ideas to come forth. I have…

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the 'I'm not talented enough' conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist. Its step-by-step approach enables you to transform your life, overcome any artistic blocks you may suffer from, including limiting beliefs, fear, sabotage, jealousy and guilt, and replace them with self confidence and productivity. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. Whatever your artistic leanings, this book will give you the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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