36 Nonfiction Books Every Artist Should Read

Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

Reading is my weapon of choice when it comes to learning, and I would love to share my favorite books with you! This is my nonfiction list, and I will soon post a list of favorite fiction books as well. All these books are somehow related to making art and living as an artist. I’ve only included books here that have influenced or impacted me in some way. There are a bunch of other books I’ve read that were duds or repetitive, so I’ve weeded those out for you. I’ll also be updating this list as time goes on and more books stand out to me, adding and replacing books as life goes on!

Let me know if there are any books missing here that you’d recommend!









Picture Books










“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats


Are there any nonfiction books you love or that have impacted you that you’d recommend? Comment below to let me know—I’m always on the lookout for new books! :)



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4 Responses

  1. Christine,

    I have read a few of these and can’t wait to try some on this list that I hadn’t heard of. I have one you HAVE to read–“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It might be my all-time favorite book. It’s short and to the point and completely relatable for any creative.

    1. Hi Tarrah! A few other people recommended The War of Art after reading this book list too, and I did read it! It was great! I liked that it was short and to the point as well. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Hi Christine,

    Would it be possible to add what you learned or liked about each book? Or some of them. I think that would be very helpful. Thanks.

    1. That’s a good idea! Although it would be this article quite long. Maybe I could write another article with fewer books, but with little snippets of why I liked the books and what I learned from them. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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