7 Art and Craft Books To Read This Month

Kim Dellow's 7 Art and Craft Books To Read This Month

I love books, obviously I love the internet too, but I still love the physicality of books and I love being able to flick through art and craft books for reference, knowledge and inspiration. So back in January I shared the art books I was reading that month and now it is time for an update!

It’s another mix of art business and inspiration books but I’ve also got some craft books in the list this month, oh, and a notebook too!

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

Living The Creative Lifestyle And Art Business

This month I have the two Austin Kleon books on my list, Show Your Work and Steal Like An Artist, have you read them? These two books are inspirational self-help books on nurturing the creative lifestyle and making a living, or not (!), from your art. They work as motivational books with tips on how to be true to yourself, work on your art to improve it and get your artwork out there to sell it.

Every time I open one of these two books it is like ‘oh yeah! That is so true!’ and it reminds me of the things I frequently need reminding about as day to day life kicks in and I scrabble about trying to build my business and improve my art and all the thousands of things that go into those tasks. So if you are in the same boat I can recommend these books as grounding points and interesting reads!

Need Art Business Advice To Get Your Teeth Into?

But for something with a bit more umph and some nitty gritty about licensing, contracts, tax etc then try The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers (Essential Guides) by Alison Branagan. What I find particularly useful for me about this book is that is is UK-centric. So many art/design business books are USA-based and having a book that is about working within the UK business rules and regulation, as that is where I am based, is very useful.

Just as an aside, when you do freelance work with clients based outside of your the country that you live in it is a good idea to do your research as best you can. Your clients can help and they may know what forms you need to fill in to comply with their countries rules or regulations. But you can also contact the various regulatory authorities within your own country for help. And of course finding other people on the internet who are in the same situation as you and have worked with clients in those countries helps too!

And of course if you run a blog and earn money from that blog there are lots of rules you need to be aware of across all territories, so research and joining blogging groups is great for that!

I’ve got the 2011 edition of The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers (Essential Guides) but there is a new edition that came out in February 2017, so perfect timing if you are looking for a really useful resource for your art, craft or design business.

Kim Dellow's April 2017 Art and Craft Reading List - Art Business and inspiration

Get Designing!

For this month’s designing inspiration I’m kicking off with Color + Pattern: 50 Playful Exercises for Exploring Pattern Design by Khristian Howell. This book has, as it says, lots of fun exercises and prompts to help focus your mind and build up your design skills. I like it because you can dip in and out of it as you want and there are even an occasional how-to for using software to build designs, although perhaps not as in depth as some of the fabric design books on my last reading list. There are also some mini meet the designer features in this book and lots and lots of image inspiration in the form of both photos and patterns, so a lot to get your designing mind whirling.

The next book on my list this month in the inspiration category is actually not a reading book, it is a notebook. It’s the Everything You Can Imagine Is Real notebook designed by Helen Dardik. This notebook is super cute and has illustrated quotes in between the writing pages and I am using it to capture my illustration ideas and work at the moment.

Kim Dellow's April 2017 Art and Craft Reading List - Helen Dardik Notebook

How beautiful is that Unicorn? You can find Helen Dardik on Instagram and she is an artist and illustrator represented by the agent Lillia Rogers, whose art business book I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secrets to Making Money while Staying Passionate about your Art and Craft was on my January Reading List, if you missed it!

Get Your DIY And Craft On!

The final category on my reading list this month are some DIY craft books. So my studio is going through a bit of a re-organisation and I’ve been working through my art and craft books. It is fun to revisit them but also as part of this I am thinning them out and passing them on to new good homes.

Kim Dellow's April 2017 Art and Craft Reading List - Home Decor and Craft books

So the books I have been re-reading this month, before I sell them on, are House Proud: Hip Craft for the Modern Homemaker by Danielle Proud, ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything by Shoshana Berger and Grace Hawthorne and Sew Quick, Sew Cute: 30 Simple, Speedy Projects by Fiona Goble.

House Proud and ReadyMade are great for any home decor or recycling and up-cycling inspiration you might be thinking of doing. They are full of some fabulous ideas and even some full-on furniture making projects, particularly in ReadyMade! The Sew Quick, Sew Cute book is full of cute sewing projects from soft furnishing, wearable items and home decor, I love the face cushions project, totally fun!

So that is my reading list this month, what is on yours?



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Kim Dellow

Kim Dellow is an artist–designer–film-maker living the creative life in London, UK. She's a freelance creative for the craft industry and others, and she loves to share her art-ventures on her blog.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Julie Short

    Having a very hard time obtaining any book this month Kim. My fabulous local bookshop was destroyed in the flood at the start of the month as were ALL the second hand shops that I get my late night can't sleep novels from.
    I'm being patient!
    I too enjoyed the steal like and show off books….flipping in and going …yes I get it happens on this side of the world too!
    On my agenda is removing some long held books too – it will help the local op shop stocks I'm sure BUT books are the only things I hesitate about getting rid of 🙂
    My wonderful ?/ husband volunteers to remove them to town immediately 🙂

    1. Kim Dellow

      Oh my goodness Julie, that is just awful! How awful for all the shop owners. Was everyone ok? Was that Cyclone Debbie? Just awful!
      Good luck in your book thinning. I have the same issue, don't want to let any of them go but I really need to now! If they go to good homes all the better!

  2. craftytrog

    Very interested in Alison Branagan's business guide Kim. Thanks for sharing. The owner of a gift shop in Scotland asked if I would crochet some scarves for her to sell, so I'm now looking into all the legal requirements. I was also thinking of setting up a Folksy shop. Any advice would be welcome 🙂
    Have a good weekend,
    Alison xx

    1. Kim Dellow

      Hey Up Alison, sounds good! I think there are a lot of bits and bobs in the book that would help you, but you also might want to go look through the Design Trust website too http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/ if you haven't already.

      And another place that you might find useful is the UK Freelance Creatives group on Facebook. There are a load of people with a whole range of different experiences on there and I am sure that there will be folks who are doing, or have done, exactly what you are planning and can give advice if you get stuck. I think I can add you or at least ask the admin if you can't ask to join, just give me a shout on FB!
      Good luck 🙂

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