Out of ideas? We find that cracking open an art book or two helps get our minds back on track. To help you get back to work on your latest project, we’ve rounded up some of our tried-and-true favorites below:
Where They Create | Paul Barbera
For: Studio inspiration/envy.
Why it’s great: This photographer’s ongoing series document the creative spaces he stumbles upon during his assignments, which take him all over the world. If your own creative space isn’t giving you the creative motivation you need, take a peek at Paul’s photographs for a little dose of inspiration.
Self-Portrait As Your Traitor
For: When you feel like you’re out of ideas.
Why it’s great: This part-art, part-philosophy, part-memoir features a series of illustrated essays and visual poems by Debbie Millman, who seems like she has an infinite number of creative ideas to pull from. Every page is different in its color scheme, typography, and expression – yet all ties together with Debbie’s core creative identity.
In the Company of Women | Grace Bonney
For: Creative burnout.
Why it’s great: This new book from Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney explores the lives of over 100 creative women artists, makers, and entrepreneurs – many of which have faced some of the greatest odds to get to where they are now. If you’re feeling dejected, frustrated, or exhausted by the work you’re doing, take a breather and flip through this book – we’re certain that you’ll find a story that you can relate to in these pages.
Jon Burgerman’s Burgerworld
For: Creative block.
Why it’s great: One of the greatest pieces of advice we’ve received about creative block at Framework is from video producer Sara Rubin: “When I have creative block, the most helpful thing for me to do is something creatively different. So If I’m writing, I’ll take a break and draw. So, I’m still keeping my mind working but I’m not focused on the source of my stress or block.” So if you’re struggling with creative block, we recommend having a few coloring books on hand to help your brain take a break while still engaging in a creative activity. Coloring books – they’re not just for kids. But you’re a kid on the inside anyways.
The Pentagram Papers | Edited by Delphine Hirasuna
For: Those moments when you just can’t seem to focus on the project at hand.
Why it’s great: Contrary to the idea of staying laser-focused on your creative projects, this book reminds us that it’s okay to let our minds wander while we’re working. Featuring the side projects, wandering thoughts, and scattered ideas of the great minds behind Pentagram since 1975, we think you’ll find some comfort and inspiration in the multitude of ideas coming from these creatives – even if it wasn’t always about the task at hand.