no time to stand to stare by Runhild Roeder

Unexpected Things Artists Can Learn from Books

Allison Holcik March 09 2022

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Explore the broad range of literary resources available to artists looking to expand their understanding of the art world.

Have you ever wondered if there was more you could learn about art while at home? Ever thought that understanding the art world in all of its entirety just seems impossible? Or maybe you feel like your work is getting lost in the maelstrom of creations out there and you just don't know how to get to the right audience? Well, all these worries can be put to rest through books. Often, artists focus on a combination of inherent talent and intuition to market their art or find their place in the enormity of the art world. They lose sight of their own curiosities about topics that matter to them in a rush to create sellable pieces. In doing so, they forsake some of the passion for art that started them down the path of being an artist in the first place.

When this happens, sometimes it's good to take a step back and relax. Unfortunately, many of us still want to feel productive and keep moving forward, even when we should be taking a break. One of the best ways to compromise in this situation is to read a book that falls into the art genre. This still helps your career and is productive, but also can take your mind off an art block or a looming deadline. However, once you’ve decided to dedicate some of your time to reading, it can be hard to figure out what exactly you want to read about. And since you don't also want to fall into a reading slump right then, we have compiled a list of possible topics that might pique your interest and get you started learning more about art!

If you are looking for something that is purely down-to-earth facts, then perhaps an interest-driven read is right for you. An interest read can be all about the art world, how it was made, how it has modernized, anthologies of different mediums and their uses, and more. For times when your head has been on the creative plane for days, or you're lost in your newest masterpiece, or you need some grounding, these sorts of histories and non-fiction novels are the best. Whether you want to learn about the environmental ramifications of the chemicals and plastics in paint, or want to dive into a complete history of sculpture during the renaissance, the possibilities here are unlimited.

Or maybe you want to get inspired through others. If this is the case, an artist's autobiography or a guide to famous art exhibits and galleries might be right for you. Connect and support others by reading their life stories, or learn about the weirdest mediums and methods of artistic expression going on right now around the world. Many artists self publish their autobiographies and use the proceeds to fund further pieces, while museums often have an interesting exhibit all about a cool new method of creation.

A final category is purely applicable knowledge. This could be a book about selling art online, or connecting with and finding new clients, or it might be about sustainable and affordable practices and substitutes for supplies. It could also be a how-to book for a new technique that you’ve been wanting to explore, but just can’t figure out by yourself.

Literature isn’t just full of knowledge, it also promotes further exploration into the world of art, and can help support other artists. Whatever it is you are looking for, remember it is okay to take a break, and these breaks don't need to be productive. But if you want something that expands your mind while also relaxing it, maybe a book about art is just the right thing for you!

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wlande199925 replied 3 months, 3 weeks ago Great resource and explanation. Thank you for sharing this!