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Inspiring Art Books

There are times when being an artist is really exciting, and all your hard work is celebrated, but most of the time you are working hard without guaranteed reward. In those moments, I turn to books for inspiration. These are my six most inspiring art books I’ve read in the past year:

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders

Emmanuel Guibert/Didier Lefevre/Frederic Lemercier

Part graphic novel and part documentary photography, this book tells the story of photographer Didier Lefevre’s trip to Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders in 1986. This is the only book I’ve read that gives an accurate depiction of what it’s like to work as a photographer in unfamiliar territory.  It also provides  a fascinating view into rural Afghanistan during this time.

 

Work: The World in Photographs

National Geographic

A compilation of National Geographic’s best photographs focusing on the subject of “work”. The book spans over a century of photography and shows us myriad jobs across different cultures, in stunning display.

 

The Architect’s Brother

Robert & Shana Parke-Harrison

I loved this series in college, but I had viewed the work largely online. This year I got my hands of the actual book and it completely changed the feel of the images. The story of a man trying to piece together a decaying world, viewing the series chronologically told a much more harrowing tale. Along with the quality of the photography, this series inspired me to play with props and create surreal, visual illusions.

 

Just Kids

Patti Smith

Poetic, heart wrenching, inspiring and brutally honest, Patti Smith reflects on her life and provides unique insight into the life of an artist.

 

Eleven Years

Jen Davis

A gorgeous interplay of color and light, Jen Davis’ photography series “Eleven Years” is a collection of self portraits focusing on body image. Full of quiet drama, the series provides a much needed view into the life of an overweight twenty-something. This series inspired me to create work that breaks down personal boundaries.

 

The Icarus Deception

Seth Godin

100% inspirational lecture, Seth Godin dives into the importance of making art and embracing failure. This is my go-to book when I’m in doubt or need a little motivation.

 

NOW GO MAKE ART! OR READ THESE BOOKS!

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