I only let you know of things I use myself, and think helpful and worth the expense. I’m not in this to make money, y’all. I’m in this for community. That said, I do legally need to let you know that some of these are affiliate links, which means I get a small thank you from the company if you choose to purchase on my recommendation.
Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve your Painting by Ian Roberts – Hands down favorite.
The Creative Edge by Mary Todd Beam – Exercises to celebrate your creative self subtitle says it all. I have used this book over and over to open up my mind to new ways of artistic expression.
Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley – offers instruction to help find a personal painting style. Very different approach than other art books.
Watercolor Without Boundaries by Karlyn Holman – lots of ideas for approaching watermedia in a new light.
Anything by Betsy Dillard Stroud. I have Painting from the Inside Out and The Artists Muse, both which are out of print. As of this writing, Amazon has lots of used copies for pennies.
Quilting & Art Quilting
Color Shuffle by Karla Alexander – quick ways to cut and assemble quilts. This transformed the way I thought about quilting.
Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen –
The Embroidery Stitch Bible – I would get this over the Quilters Stitch Bible, unless you do a ton of hand-quilting.
Stitch and Structure by Jean Draper – amazing design in two and three dimensional art textiles
Color Your Cloth by Malka Dubrawsky – truly easy batik methods.
Tie-Dye by Shabd Simon-Alexander – not 70’s tie dye at all. Very wearable and colorful dyeing.
101 Designer One-Skein Wonders – I have a knitting pattern on page 147!
Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong – Hand down this is the best resource that exists for pattern alteration.
Shirtmaking – Developing Skills for Fine Sewing by David Coffin. Very good details, very do-able if you want to make button down shirts that fit and look nice.
The Shirtmaking Workbook by David Coffin. If you only purchase one book, this one is the one I’d get. They have a link to hundreds of template downloads for cuffs, collars and such. Very resourceful book.
Create the Perfect Fit by Joi Mahon – How to transform measurements to flat patterns for real fit.
The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu – I have several bag making books and this is by far my favorite.
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg – a children’s hard paged book that encourages children (and the child in us) to view “mistakes” as opportunities.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown – get real and go forward. It’s why I changed this blog.
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds – Another children’s book. It’s the story of a child shamed about his drawing, his quitting art, and how he was able to start drawing again.