Books For Illustrators: A Must-Read List To Boost Your Creativity

Books For Illustrators: A Must-Read List To Boost Your Creativity
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Books For Illustrators: A Must-Read List To Boost Your Creativity

I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw and become a better artist. But, I lacked the discipline and persistence to achieve that goal. Sure, I could blame my circumstances, but in reality, it’s up to me.

In the last decade, we’ve had so much knowledge at our fingertips thanks to technology. If you want to learn something new, it’s never been easier, and it keeps getting easier every day. But, surprisingly, there aren’t more people with new skills than before. Learning new things is entirely up to us, no matter how, when, or where. Your passion and will to learn something new can’t be expanded by technology alone. In fact, it might make us lazier and more passive.

I previously shared a list of must-read books for graphic designers to spark creativity, and now it’s time to highlight some essential reads for illustrators. After all, this is!

So, if you’re passionate about illustration like I am, here are ten must-read books for illustrators that will boost your creativity and improve your skills. Let’s jump into this inspiring list!

1. “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards

This classic book is a game-changer. Betty Edwards teaches you how to see differently, which is crucial for drawing. The exercises in this book will train your brain to approach art in a whole new way.

2. “Illustration That Works: Professional Techniques for Artistic and Commercial Success” by Greg Houston

Greg Houston provides a detailed guide on how to succeed both artistically and commercially as an illustrator. He covers everything from conceptualizing ideas to marketing your work.

3. “Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter” by James Gurney

James Gurney’s book is essential for understanding the principles of color and light. Even though it’s aimed at painters, the knowledge is invaluable for illustrators too. The illustrations alone are worth the read!

4. “Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers” by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

If you want to improve your storytelling through illustration, this is your go-to book. Marcos Mateu-Mestre’s techniques will help you create dynamic compositions and convey stories visually.

5. “Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth” by Andrew Loomis

Andrew Loomis’s timeless guide on figure drawing is perfect for mastering human anatomy. His methods make it easier to understand proportions and create realistic human figures.

6. “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon’s book is an inspirational read that encourages you to embrace your creative side by borrowing ideas and making them your own. It’s a refreshing take on creativity and originality.

7. “An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers” by Danny Gregory

This book offers a peek into the sketchbooks of various artists, providing insight into their creative processes. It’s a great way to see how professionals develop their ideas.

8. “The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniv.: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation” by Amid Amidi

A visual feast, this book showcases the stunning art from Pixar’s beloved movies. It’s a fantastic source of inspiration and a testament to the power of storytelling through illustration.

9. “Keys to Drawing” by Bert Dodson

Bert Dodson’s book is a comprehensive guide to drawing. It’s packed with exercises that build your skills from the ground up, making it perfect for beginners and a great refresher for seasoned artists.

10. “The Animator’s Survival Kit” by Richard Williams

Though it’s geared towards animators, Richard Williams’s book is a treasure trove of knowledge for any illustrator. It covers the principles of movement and expression, which are crucial for bringing illustrations to life.

That’s it for today! Remember, learning something new and staying creative is all about finding the right resources and putting in the effort. Don’t miss my FiveCatsGraphic Shop on Etsy and check out the Premium content here on

Stay creative and have fun creating!

P.S.: The header image is from our Zoom backgrounds collection, “Chill Vibes & Warm Smiles: Crafting Cozy Zoom Backgrounds Amidst Winter’s Arrival.” You can download it for free!

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