- Books – Inspiration and how-tos.
- Podcasts – Audio inspiration.
- Tools/Equipment – For getting work done.
- Art Prompts – When you’re stuck.
Here are some of my favorite books about art. Most of them are more inspiration than how-to.
- Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp – Paper Kindle – The importance of making creativity a part of your daily life cannot be over-stated.
- Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone – Paper Kindle – Probably more of inspiration than technique, but great motivation to draw your daily life!
- Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory – Paper Kindle – If you think you can’t be an artist but want to, this book’s for you
- Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon – Paper Kindle – Being original is over-rated!
- Show Your Work by Austin Kleon – Paper Kindle – Everyone loves seeing behind the scenes!
- Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by – Paper Kindle – This book will teach you how to draw what you see. I already knew what I was doing and still learned some new things.
- Acrylics for Dummies by Colette Pitcher – Paper Kindle – This book is what I wanted my painting class to be.
I’ve got a couple of art/creative living podcasts that I listen to.
- Elise Gets Crafty with Elise Blaha Cripe
- The Accidental Creative with Todd Henry
- One Thing Today with Michael Nobbs
As might be expected, there are a lot of different art supplies out there. Here are a few of my favorites, keeping in mind that I’m sketcher/drawer:
- Sketchbook – If you’re any kind of a visual artist, then I think that a sketchbook is vital. Keeping your skills sharp is vital to making good work. Think of sketching as the artist’s version of working out. Athletes have to practice to stay in shape – artists have to draw to stay sharp. Your sketchbook should be comfortable and go with you everywhere. Personally, I love a classic black hardbound, though a lot of people love spiralbound so they lay flat or fold backward on themselves. I prefer to have a small one that I can always have with me and a larger one for more freedom when working. As soon as you get it, I recommend making a mark on the first page.
- Drawing Pencils – These things live with my sketchbook.
- Palomino Blackwing Pencil – This might not be a drawing pencil, but I’ve never found a smoother, nicer writing pencil. And the eraser adjusts!
- Micron Artist Pen – I work faster, my work lasts longer, and there’s freedom available when you don’t have to worry about messing up. You can’t mess up when you can’t erase. As you may have heard before, it’s just a happy little accident!
- Lamy Fountain Pen – I love my fountain pens. While I don’t really use them for drawing, it makes writing such a pleasure that I’m far more likely to write by hand rather than typing it. It just makes writing a pleasure! If you’re a writer rather than a visual artist (or both!) then I strongly recommend a fountain pen of some sort.
- Watercolors – I love my pencils and pens, but sometimes you just want to play with some color too! This watercolor set fits in my pocket and provides me lots of fun whenever I want it.
- Waterbrush – Coupled with my watercolors, this brush is fabulous! Just fill the handle with water and I’m good to go. The only additional item that comes in handy is a napkin or paper towel, and I can find those anywhere.
If you’re just getting started, don’t rush out and buy lots of supplies (this is as much to myself, even now, as it is to you!) If you want to start sketching or drawing, you don’t need any more than paper and a writing instrument. Grab a sketchbook and a pen, pencil, or sharpie, and get to drawing! Add to and upgrade your supplies later.
Not sure what to draw/paint/create? I have some ideas for you, here.