Another phenomenon I noticed is that when you have a centre of interest, your mind somehow builds some bridges from unrelated topics back to your main interest and brings unexpected insights into your art practice.
With art as my main interest, I read the following types of books to further my education:
- Painting instruction books
- Art history books
- Journals and correspondence by artists
- Artists’ biographies
- Artists’ monographies
This is just the inner circle, the core. Other disciplines can bring interesting information and inspiration:
- Textile art
- Design (form, composition)
- Photography (Choice of subjects, composition, lighting…)
But you can learn from other topics that are further away. For instance, garden design books contain valuable information on composition and colour combinations.
This only addresses the artistic side of the practice, and I am also interested in the business side of it, so I read books and articles on business, marketing and technologies…
Finally, I like to read fiction and poetry not only because they are generally a pleasure to read, but also to feed my imagination.
One last experience I would recommend: go to a lending library, in a section you never visited before, and pick a book that catches your attention (the title, the cover…), then bring it home and read it. Who knows what you can learn?
By all means, read art books, but also read laterally… Have you read great books you want to recommend? Please leave a comment below.