I hope you’re staying well and sane and healthy. In our Studiomates book club this month, we’ve been reading Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon. It’s pretty aptly suited to the current times for us artists. And it got me thinking about other books that have have helped me through uncertain times with my art and life.
So if you have some spare time for reading right now, here are my 5 book recommendations to read while we’re in self-isolation. I’ve been using Scribd to read ebooks during this time. They’re offering 30 days free during the quarantine, and this link will give you 60 days free (and me 30 days free). Right now, I’m reading The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
If you don’t have the time to read a book right now (trust me, I understand—I’m reading so much slower now with Butterbean becoming more active), I’ve also included a couple of my favorite quotes from each book. So either way, I hope this gives you a little burst of inspiration, motivation, and hope during this weird time.
Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad
By Austin Kleon
“Drawing is simply another way of seeing, which we don’t really do as adults,” says cartoonist Chris Ware. We’re all going around in a “cloud of remembrance and anxiety,” he says, and the act of drawing helps us live in the moment and concentrate on what’s really in front of us.”
“If you draw, the world becomes more beautiful, far more beautiful.” –E. O. Plauen, cartoonist
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
By Anne Lamott
“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
“Writing and reading… [is] like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
The Gifts of Imperfection
By Brené Brown
“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”
“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
Zen in the Art of Writing
By Ray Bradbury
“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”
“We never sit anything out. We are cups, quietly and constantly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
By Pema Chödrön
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.”
“Ultimately, it comes down to the question of just how willing we are to lighten up and loosen our grip.”
What artist books do you love?
Do you have a book you re-read in difficult times? Or a favorite book to spark inspiration? What are you reading right now?
Join the group discussion in Might Could Studiomates or comment below to share your thoughts with us!