Updated: Mar 18
One of the most essential aspects of creative work is honing your craft. There are a variety of reasons for increasing your value as a creative. Some creatives say they do this to nurture their confidence and expertise in their field, while others do this to be able to increase the worth of their work. Some posit that honing their craft is directly linked to boosting their personal growth; and some believe that by boosting their value, they get closer to unlocking their greatest creative potential.
These reasons that have led you to attempt unleashing your greatest creative potential are valid and we at Musta, are huge believers in picking the brain of creatives who have walked similar paths as you’re currently walking. With their golden words, you can design a personal creative blueprint based on all you have learned and what relates to your artistic journey.
Here are five books that will not only inspire and educate you on how to flourish as a creative but will also aid you in conjuring the best version of your creativity:
1) Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
Choice Quote: “Once a day, after you’ve done your day’s work, go back to your documentation and find one little piece of your process that you can share. Where you are in your process will determine what that piece is. If you’re in the very early stages, share your influences and what’s inspiring you. If you’re in the middle of executing a project, write about your methods or share works in progress. If you’ve just completed a project, show the final product, share scraps from the cutting-room floor, or write about what you learned. If you have lots of projects out into the world, you can report on how they’re doing—you can tell stories about how people are interacting with your work.”
You Should Read This If: You either struggle with displaying your work to the public or creating visibility for your craft. Through practical steps inspired from successful real life creatives and relevant motivating quotes and catchy doodles, ‘Show Your Work’ wields Creatives with information on how to share their creativity to grow an audience and get discovered—all in a fun and engaging manner.
2) Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Choice Quote: “As you think of developing a writing habit, realize that you probably already do write every day. You write emails; you post to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; you comment on blogs. Recognize all that posting for what it is: writing. And reframe it as a legit aspect of your daily workout—in the same way always taking the stairs becomes, over time, part of a fitness regimen”.
You Should Read This If: You want to improve your writing skills. This book offers a vast range of lessons, resources and advice that will surely make you be a better writer in the digital age. The best part about ‘Everybody Writes’? It recognizes that you don’t necessarily need to have a writing career to want to be a good writer. So, whether you’re trying to send out a banging tweet, put something up on your personal blog or write an actual novel, as long as you try to put out content, this book caters to you.
3) The Freelancer’s Bible by Sara Horowitz:
Choice Quote: “Common Fee Structures At A Glance. Type: Hourly. Pros: Accommodates variable job scope. Less stressful to negotiate, since the rate is fixed. A rush rate can be established for time sensitive jobs. Cons: Penalizes skill and speed: The faster you finish the job, the less you’re paid. No rate flexibility for a challenging project or client. It can be hard to predict your income. Clients may dislike open-endedness. And you may reach a market ceiling that doesn’t reflect your abilities.”
You Should Read This If: You’re a beginner in the world of freelancing or if you’ve been freelancing for some time now and looking to make your journey more seamless. This 920 page read is literally the Holy Grail manual for freelancers—Lessons on setting up taxes and insurance? Check. Advice on networking and finding clients? Check. Pointers on how to manage your business? Check. Tips on how to make working from home more enjoyable? Check. Plus it adopts real life situations to provide solutions to your freelancing issues!
4. Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins
Choice Quote: “We become lawyers instead of actresses, bankers instead of poets, and doctors instead of painters. We hedge our bets and hide from our true calling, choosing less risky careers, because it seems easier. Nobody wants to struggle, after all, so we keep our passion a hobby and follow a predictable path toward mediocrity.”
You Should Read This If: You’re trying to make a healthy living from your creative work. This book, by providing incredible and interesting examples of real creatives who thrived and, drawing salient lessons from their stories, is an excellent blueprint on how to win creatively and financially as an artist.
5. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon:
Choice Quote: “Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying. We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism—plagiarism is trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works”
You Should Read This If: You're a creative wondering how to source for inspiration while being authentic and true to your own self. This quick, fun and enlightening read underscores that only few things in this world are truly original—and there’s really nothing wrong with that.