Hi, my name is Dawn and I’ve a recovering creative. 

Just like you, me, and everyone else- all people are creative. Period. I don’t care if you’re clever at spreadsheets or crafty the way you make grilled cheese. All humans make things for survival.

I can’t tell you how many people say to me, “I wish I were a creative person,” when I tell them what I do for a living. I want to shake them and say, “Simply by saying that is proof that you are!”

Don’t believe me?

Think about your childhood, what did you enjoy playing most? (Remember PLAY?) Finger painting? Superheros? Playdough? Building forts? All of these activities take imagination (and creativity). Perhaps the adult world bleeds it out of us. We feel like we have no time, too much responsibility, take ourselves too seriously.


I was OBSESSED with arts and crafts from day one. In fact, the only way I directed my copious youthful energy (my nickname was zippy) was through coloring, painting or crafting. 

So that means I get it. I get you. Even I, childhood art addict, I rejected creating as frivolous when I became an adult. But I found my way back, and you can too.


Be forewarned It’s not easy. Maybe you received negative messages or even shame about your creativity growing up. Maybe you have too much self-doubt. You must ‘go there’ to recover the magic. It’s worth it. And so are you.


This is a list of books I’ve read over the past two years (I’m not affiliated in any way shape or form with the authors or with the links provided and I’ve tried to include links to the actual author’s site where possible) this is just my genuine, life-changing cannon for the creative soul.


If you only do one thing, please read number one on this list (not just for artists!)

7 books to inspire creativity

1. The Artist’s Way

Julia Cameron
My bible. I still haven’t properly worked through the lessons but I’ve read it twice. This book is not just for artists! It’s life changing. This is number one in my list for a reason.


2. Show Your Work & Steal like an Artist (2 books)

Austin Kleon
Two clever, short, easy reads that will help you learn a little more about how to create, be inspired and market yourself.

link & link

3. Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert
I don’t want to love her but I can’t help it. The Author of Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert dives deep into the spiritual waters of creativity and her perspective on how it all works. The first story she tells absolutely blew me away. I was upset when it was over because I wanted to read more.

4. Daily Painting

Carol Marine
This one is great for painters or people who want to try painting. Her system is a fantastic way to dabble in different styles and try new things without spending a fortune on supplies. Also, she breaks down HOW TO PAINT in easy, digestible steps. Everything from composition, to color-mixing.

5. The Gifts of Imperfection

Brene Brown
Know how everyone who eats at a restaurant should have to wait tables for at least a day in their life? Well, every person should have to read this book. It explores shame, vulnerability and how those things are misunderstood in our culture. Her research shows that people who are vulnerable live the most full-filing lives. Let your heart out…in the form of a creative life. This will lead you to beautiful connections and experiences. To get a taste, watch her TED Talk here.

6. Art Inc

Lisa Congdon 
So you want to get serious about your art and start a business? Congdon breaks down what the art world is like today- a vastly different, and more expansive world than it was a few decades ago. The gallery system is outdated. This book teaches you about modern platforms, gives tips on things artists ten to avoid (like book keeping) and draws a comprehensive map of creating a business for your art.

7. Creative Block

Danielle Krysa
I’ve just started this one and so far it’s a fantastic read so I want to include it. She writes really well and is super relatable, honest and gives great advice at how you can ‘unblock’ yourself when you feel stuck. It features interviews with artists who work in all different mediums.
Happy reading you crafty little devils!

BTW let’s keep in touch sign up to my (occasional) newsletter here. Muah!


Author: dawnrieniets

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