Books for Beginners
I recently received an email from an old student seeking advice and inspiration for launching a career in art. She only asked one question- a surprisingly good question. What books influenced, inspired or helped you in your career?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint any one book that was of particular significance for me when I was starting out but, I can recommend these books.
Inside the Painter’s Studio by Joe Fig
This is a series of simple Q+A’s with contemporary artists and a glimpse inside their day-to-day life at the studio. To most recent illustration grads, the notion that he or she will actually make a living by drawing pictures seems like a fairytale. This practical portrayal of life as an artist can help make a fantastical career seem a tad more real. Includes incredible artists such as Julie Mehretu, Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman, Fred Tomaselli, Will Cotton and Chuck Close.
Making Movies by Sydney Lumet.
If you haven’t the slightest interest in films and how they are made (or were made), this one might not work for you but, I found it fascinating. Most useful are his words about developing a consistent theme throughout a project and how that theme informs the entire process from set design, costume, music, and color. It’s a valuable lesson that correlates to drawing, painting, illustration, and design.
A Smile in the Mind
A must have for anyone entering the field of design and related practices such as illustration. These are great examples of the origins of conceptual image making and visual wit.
How to think like a great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman
Illustration in publishing is really just one facet of the larger practice of graphic design. And, designers are the ones who seek out illustrators and give them money to make pictures. So, get to know the people in this book.
Hope these help. I would love to hear your favorite, inspirational books!
So not only did I blow by 300, which is an awesome number, but I also caught this incredibly cool series of numbers, which pleases me deeply.
This blog is a pretty unstructured assortment of things I like and/or do, and the fact that so many of you seem to enjoy it warms the cockles of my heart.
Pursuant to that, I want to give you guys things.
These are five art books that I no longer love enough to devote shelf space to. (The exception being the Kinuko Craft book - that one was given to me by a dear friend who did not know I already owned a copy, and who told me I could pass it on.) They are:
Hardcover, brand new, still in the plastic (the open book is my own copy). Lovely lovely lovely reproductions.
Paperback with, uh, somewhat janky binding but otherwise good condition. The reproductions are pretty lovely, though, and if I hadn’t treated myself to a Complete Works I wouldn’t part with it.
Hardcover, good condition. It covers a whole range of artists falling in this book’s broad ‘optical illusion’ category. Awesome! Just not my thang.
Hardcover, good condition. It’s a book with less art than I wanted it to have, and while the writing looks interesting it’s not what I have art books for. The reproductions are lovely though.
Hardcover, all-but-new. Lovely lovely lovely - but I don’t need an entire book devoted to him (especially when shelf space is running low).
I will be giving all five books away.
THE RULES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- One like, one reblog. (which means you can enter twice.)
- You don’t have to be following me to win, but if you are one of my followers and you win, I will draw you a thing! (also, it’ll be useful for when I announce who won; see below.)
- Have your askbox open and be comfortable giving me your address, which seems like a no-brainer but all of the giveaways mention this in their rules so I guess it’s a thing?
- I will only be eating the shipping for US and Canada addresses. If you are not on my continent, I will still be willing to mail the book to you as long as you chip in enough money that it’s not absurd.
- This will run for three weeks and a day, because 301 ahaha I’m funny. This means the giveaway ends on March 19th, 11:59pm EST.
I will be picking five winners randomly and announcing them on my blog. The first person to contact me gets first choice of book, and so on down the list. (If you win but someone nabbed the only book you wanted, we shall discuss options. I will probably do you an art.)
So go forth, my lovely followers! I want to thank each and every one of you, but since I can’t I might as well throw heavy art books at you.