INSPIRATIONAL, MOTIVATIONAL +
With so many inspirational and motivational social media accounts out there—mainly filled with short quotes–it sometimes feels like it’s less genuine. Getting ‘content’ out there. Engagement. Algorithm. (I mean, I follow my fair share, too) But, to me, a motivational or inspirational book/story has so much more impact. The author, whether they are telling their own stories or multiple, goes beyond the ‘keywords, hashtags, engagement’, and hands out honesty and vulnerability in its truest form. These five books below aren’t only filled quotes or stories – some have their work, process, interviews, and more that may help bring you out of your funk and show you a fresh perspective.
By Chris Do / Could I have put this in Business? Yes. Did I? No. This one gave a lot of inspiration and motivation to me, so it’s here now 😁
I’ve followed The Futur and Chris Do for years now, and finally bought Pocket Full of Do this past year. I had it on top of my books to read stack, and figured the perfect place to read it was on my road trip with my mother this past October. Lots of Driving, lots of time. I joked to her, as we were making the long drive towards Boston, that I would read it to her aloud, but she was all for it. And, what a great book to read! We didn’t make it all the way through, but each chapter is an easy read, with great tips, inspiration, and insight that we both loved. She’s even got her own copy now, too – so it’s not only Nina-Approved but Mama-Approved. You can buy a signed copy, a paperback copy, or a digital version!
About: The business book for creatives. Pocket Full of Do encapsulates over two decades of reflections and observations on entrepreneurship, creativity, philosophy, and more. You’ll get a retrospective glimpse into the life of a creative business owner, and the lessons learned along the way.
By Brian Buirge, Jason Bacher, Jason Richburg of Good F*cking Design Advice (GFDA) / Another great Instagram follows that turned into a book purchase, GFDA is true motivation and inspiration at its swear-y-est peak. My own computer has the “Strive for F*cking Excellence” on its screensaver, plus I now have the Advice.Mug, for an additional boost, so the book was a no-brainer to get. I just grabbed it out of my mailbox, so as far as the read itself, I don’t have a review on it yet, but from what I’ve seen on-site, Amazon, and their stories, it’s great. (Though, maybe not the Kindle version 😅 sounds like that’s f*cked up 😉)
About: A source of inspiration for anyone who needs a gentle kick in the ass to start the journey or finish the job, while celebrating the process of trying, learning, and failing.
By Austin Kleon / This one was big right when I graduated college. Saw it all over the place in my design groups, and jumped on getting it. While it’s been almost 10 years since I read it, it’s definitely still on my top shelf and I recommended it over the years.
About: An inspiring guide to creativity in the digital age, Steal Like an Artist presents ten transformative principles that will help readers discover their artistic side and build a more creative life.
Nothing is original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix, and reimagine to discover your own path. Follow interests wherever they take you—what feels like a hobby may turn into your life’s work. Forget the old cliché about writing what you know: Instead, write the book you want to read, make the movie you want to watch.
And finally, stay Smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring in the everyday world so that you have the space to be wild and daring in your imagination and your work.
By Lisa Congdon / Back in September 2019, I went to FULLTIME PGH’s Find Your Artistic Voice, an Evening with Lisa Congdon event at the Ace Hotel. I had seen Lisa’s work before this and was so excited to hear from her on her story, her book, and more. Any time you’re able to hear directly from the author/designer/illustrator themself, it adds a punch of authenticity, plus value to the information you’ll end up reading in the book, too! A great event, and a great book!
About: Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic. An artist’s unique voice is their calling card. It’s what makes each of their works vital and particular. But developing such singular artistry requires effort and persistence. Bestselling author, artist, and illustrator Lisa Congdon brings her expertise to this guide to the process of artistic self-discovery. Featuring advice from Congdon herself and interviews with a roster of established artists, illustrators, and creatives, this one-of-a-kind book will show readers how to identify and nurture their own visual identity, navigate the influence of artists they admire, push through fear and insecurity, and appreciate the value of their personal journey.
By House Industries / A book on my to-buy list this time. I’ve loved House Industries and their amazing work—specifically their gorgeous fonts—since college. Hugely recommend checking them out, and maybe you’ll get the book before I do!
About: Where do you find inspiration? It seems like a simple question, but like most things we do, we overthought it then overdesigned some 400 pages in an attempt to provide an answer. With topics ranging from fonts and fashion to ceramics and space technology, this beautifully-useful volume offers a personal perspective on the origin of ideas for creative people in any field. Presented in the honest, authentic, and often irreverent style that you’ve come to expect from House Industries, The Process is the Inspiration is a collection of helpful lessons, stories and case studies that demonstrate how you can transform obsessive curiosity into personally satisfying and successful work. If that’s not enough, there’s also plenty of over-intellectualized post-rationalization supported by hundreds of new images, our signature top-secret printing tricks, and thousands of Oxford commas. Most importantly, this book shows that there’s no sense in waiting for inspiration because inspiration is already waiting for you.