It can be a challenge to fill all the additional time you’re spending at home, without becoming a Netflix-streaming zombie. These new or recently available books will help you tap into your creativity. Or if you’re creative for a living, they may inspire some new side gigs and artistic avenues—which can’t hurt when the economy is dipping toward recession.
You Are an Artist by Sarah Urist Green ($25; available for pre-order)
The curator and host of The Art Assignment, which focuses on the artistic process, asked artists to share their methods of working, and bound her findings between the covers of this book. But it’s not just long-form storytime—there are more than 50 creative prompts for the artist (or artist at heart) to explore. Take the title of this book as affirmation, and get started.
How to Be an Artist by Jerry Saltz ($22)
So you can’t walk into a museum right now. Don’t let confinement within the four walls of your home sap your creative inspiration dry. Art critic Jerry Saltz calls his new book “a hymnal brimming with ideas, rules, prompts & tips,” and is the creative salve you need to assuage self-doubt and find inspiration, even if your surroundings have a monotony that is anything but uplifting.
Observe, Collect, Draw by Giorgia Lupi ($18.95)
This visual journal by Pentagram partner and data extraordinaire Giorgia Lupi will give you lots of projects to both get your creative juices flowing and help you be more self-aware. It’s essentially a visual diary with prompts so you can “collect and draw [your] own personal data,” explains Lupi on her site, with activities that will help you practice mindfulness, and more.
House Industries Lettering Manual by Ken Barber ($24.99; available for pre-order)
Perfect your hand lettering with this calligraphic bible from type foundry and design studio House Industries, which has a client list ranging from Jimmy Kimmel Live to Target to The New Yorker. Its wealth of information about letterform styles and drawing techniques, along with a plethora of visual diagrams and explanations of everything from terminals to flourishes, and a robust glossary will leave you informed but not intimidated. As the book says, reading this will “make your lettering really swing”—whether for a project you’re working on as a practicing designer or if you simply want to mail a handwritten note to a quarantined friend and make it extra special.
Typographic Knitting: From Pixel to Pattern by Rudiger Schlomer ($27.50)
So you can’t contain your love for typography to a 2D page. I don’t blame you. This book shows you how to incorporate your favorite letterforms into knitting projects, so you can add initials, monograms, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, full-on sentences into patterns that would make Grilli Type proud.