So it’s super weird to think about, but I can’t remember the last book I finished. It’s pretty disgusting. But that’s not what this post is about–it’s about my craft book collection. It’s no secret to anyone who’s visited me in real life that I surround myself with books, and that includes books that are specifically there to inspire me. These are the books I could spend hours flipping through and where I get a lot of ideas for art projects. A couple of the books have actual crafts and tutorials in them, which is just an added bonus.
Find & Keep
I won’t lie–I found this book and immediately found my spirit animal in the form of the author. She’s basically everything I aspire to be, and reading about how she just dabbles in a little bit of everything to produce her art made me feel so inspired. Oh and she doesn’t have a driver’s license! It’s not just me! Anyway it’s taken me a long time to call myself an artist (I still stutter, hemming and hawing, feeling like I haven’t earned the title just yet) because a lot of what I love to do is learn new techniques and try out new mediums. Not all of it sticks, but when it does, it gets absorbed into the messy, nebulous field that is my art. It makes me feel really unfinished, though, and unpolished, and this book reminded me that that’s entirely okay. While I’m still trying to shift my focus onto making solid, stand alone finished pieces, it’s a good reminder that I can still play and get my hands dirty, and to surround myself by art that makes my space feel inspiring. Also this is another book I read cover to cover, tutorials and all. Also, bonus? It has some mother-fucking stickers based on her art in the back!
My newest hobby has been embroidery and when I got this book I literally read it cover to cover, going through all the artists’ different stories and crafts. The projects and art in this book are just amazing and I’m already about a quarter of the way through the conjoined twins embroidery (I think it’ll look fantastic on my wall, don’t you? I’m thinking somewhere by the entrance way).
I’ve had this book for years, and I won’t lie, sometimes I completely forget about it. Yet whenever I stumble across it, I find myself flipping through it for hours. Everytime I see something new. A lot of it shows fashion in developing countries, often made out of the modern world’s litter and scraps, contrasted with high-end photo shoots in the fashion world & advertising. It has its own beauty and is a great way to stay in touch with the world outside of my own. It’s really just pictures but I always walk away from it with new ideas.
Okay so this isn’t even close to a craft book, but it’s still super inspiring and makes me feel like an emboldened, empowered woman ready to conquer my life. The layouts also remind me of all the parts I loved about being a features editor for a school paper.The design manages to be full and interesting without being cluttered.
Sticker Doodle Doo
I found this in the books section of a grocery store. More specifically, in the kids section of the book aisle, but that’s neither here nor there. This book is awesome. The pages are of the decorate-this-project-with-stickers variety, but the prompts are pretty good and can appeal to a larger audience than just kids. Like, it also appeals to adults who like kid-styled art projects. It’s also full of stickers and I don’t know if you’ve picked this up by now, but I just fucking love stickers. They’re the bomb.
Fashion Flip Book
This book is so goofy and fun I just love it to bits. Basically anytime you need to invent someone, or indulge in ridiculous fashion, this book is perfect. I don’t know quite what to say about it, since the concept is pretty basic. Remember this style of books from elementary school? The art is amazing quality and it’s always pretty impressive how seamless the different pieces work together. Oh and the genres vary–21 outfits that you can remix together and they range from cyborg to film star to space cadet. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is a great way to just invent a new character.