One of the most challenging parts of starting a new art business is not having a built-in support system. There are no peers or instructors who will tell you when to get to the studio or how to approach your work. You also don’t have a lot of time to think about your next project and start doubting yourself. We believe that as artists, we should never stop learning and growing. Having the necessary resources and support to help us navigate through the various obstacles that come with running a business can help us feel like we are not alone. These are nine books that will help you grow as an artist and as a business owner. They have provided valuable insight and advice to help us succeed as artists.

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists Paperback

The book features personal stories from 40 working artists. They share their experiences and insights about the various challenges they have faced as artists. These stories help us understand the inner workings of our profession and inspire us to pursue the possibilities that are available to us.

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

When you see an artist’s work, you often wonder how they can even come up with the ideas that they use. In his charming book, David Lynch shares his insights into how he has been able to find and develop his creative energy. Through his extensive experience as a transcendental meditation practitioner, Lynch has been able to transform the notion of the suffering artist into a more positive one. The book also helps us understand how our ability to reach inner peace can help us create our most effective creative ideas.

Do It: The Compendium

Over the course of twenty years, Hans Ulrich Obrist, the curator of the Serpentine Gallery, has collected over 60 prominent artists to provide their own instructions on how to create and exhibit art. These essays have been designed to help us create our own unique ideas. It’s very exciting to read these essays and connect with some of the most prominent contemporary artists, such as Marina Abramovic, Ai Weiwei, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, and Christian Boltanski.

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Art and Fear is a collection of essays designed to help artists tackle the various challenges they face when it comes to finishing projects and putting their work out to be critiqued. This book is a must-have for anyone who is an artist. It is written in a straightforward manner and is full of valuable advice and insight.

Anyone who has experienced either external or internal pressures that have prevented them from creating their best work should read this book.

Creative Block

The book is full of inspirational and insightful advice and is perfect for sitting on the coffee table. In The Jealous Curator, artist and curator Danielle Krysa shares 50 strategies to help artists overcome their creative blocks and find inspiration. The colorful pictures in this book will help you easily browse through the various works that the artist has created.

Taking the Leap: Building a Career as a Visual Artist (the Insider’s Guide to Exhibiting and Selling Your Art)

In this book, artist and entrepreneur Cay Lang shares the necessary steps that you need to take to start a successful career in art.

The book also provides valuable advice on how to promote yourself online and how to approach the various platforms that are available to sell your work. Taking the Leap is a must-have for anyone who is an artist. 


It is full of practical advice and inspirational anecdotes from real people who have experienced the challenges that they have faced when it comes to becoming a professional artist. This book also provides valuable insight into the various aspects of running an art business. While no single magic bullet can help an artist gain representation, Art/Work has plenty of practical advice on how to present and manage your work.

The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

Jackie Battenfield’s The Artist’s Guide is the ultimate reference for artists. It covers a wide range of topics that will help you become a successful professional artist and includes tons of great pictures to accompany the text.

In The Artist’s Guide, Battenfield uses real-life examples to provide valuable advice on topics such as planning, marketing, portfolio development, and grant writing. Each chapter also features a “reality check,” where professional artists provide their own advice.

Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist

After becoming a passionate artist, Lisa Congdon transformed her hobby into a successful business that allowed her to make a full-time living. In her book, Lisa shares her personal experiences and advice to help other aspiring artists take their artistic careers to the next level.

In her book, Lisa shares her personal experiences and advice to help other aspiring artists take their artistic careers to the next level. She also provides valuable advice on topics such as planning, marketing, portfolio development, and grant writing.