10 books to increase your creativity and productivity in 2023

10 books to increase your creativity and productivity in 2023

Back to school, for many, means returning to the office, resuming projects and a wave of news invading our agendas. It’s also a time when we promise to embrace new habits, refresh our ideas, and amplify our creativity.

In the midst of this period of renewal, a good book can be the perfect source of inspiration. It can transport us into a universe of unexplored ideas, show us new perspectives, or simply remind us why we love what we do.

For a creative person, delving into a book can be the spark that ignites a new vision or an innovative approach to an old concept. Reading is not just an escape, it is also food for the mind. It is with this in mind that we have decided to present this selection to you.

Books that, each in their own way, address aspects of creativity, productivity and the obstacles that creative minds encounter. Whether you are a designer, an editor, a marketer or simply a fan of the creative world, these books promise to offer you valuable tools to face this new year with confidence and inspiration.

1. “Steal like an artist” by Austin Cleon

Austin Kleon brilliantly deconstructs the myth that creativity arises ex nihilo – from nothing. Instead, he exposes us to an often overlooked truth: every artist is influenced by the work of others. Originality, according to Kleon, is not the absence of influence, but the ability to appropriate, remix and redefine those influences to create something new.

The title “Steal Like an Artist” may seem provocative, but it is not plagiarism. Kleon promotes the idea that artists, writers and creators learn by borrowing ideas and drawing inspiration from the work of others, while adding their own personal touch. The book is packed with anecdotes, examples, and practical advice to help creatives embrace their influences, overcome obstacles like impostor syndrome, and find their way in the fast-paced creative world.

With a visually stimulating layout and hand-scrawled drawings, “Steal Like an Artist” is not only essential reading for all creatives, but also an art object in itself. Each page is designed to inspire, motivate, and remind readers that creativity is an ongoing journey of discovery and evolution.

👉 Buy the book

2. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport

In a world dominated by incessant notifications, social media and a culture of multitasking, it has become increasingly difficult to concentrate intensely on complex tasks. Cal Newport, a computer science professor and prolific author, introduced the concept of “Deep Work” as a method for cultivating the ability to fully immerse the mind in a task without distractions.

According to Newport, Deep Work is not only a productive skill, but has become a rare and therefore valuable skill in the modern economy. Through anecdotes, studies, and personal examples, Newport makes a strong case for deep work while offering practical strategies for cultivating this skill.

Whether you are a professional looking to excel in a competitive world, an artist looking to dive deep into creation, or simply someone who aspires to a richer, more meaningful life, “Deep Work” provides the tools to transform the way you work and live.

👉 Buy the book

3. “The war of art” by Steven Pressfield

In “The War of Art,” Steven Pressfield confronts head-on what he calls “Resistance,” that inner force that prevents artists, writers, and other creatives from realizing their full potential. Through a series of short but powerful essays, Pressfield describes resistance in all its forms, whether procrastination, self-doubt, or external distractions.

More than just a guide to overcoming obstacles, this book is like a compass for anyone who wants to turn their passion into action. The author shares not only his own difficulties, but also inspiring anecdotes of success stories, thus offering practical tools and strategies to overcome these blocks and access a more complete version of oneself.

This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the dark forces that can hinder creativity and learn to combat them effectively.

👉 Buy the book

4. “The curse of the creative” by Todd Brison

Todd Brison explores in depth the paradoxical essence of creativity. Often, what begins as an inner flame, an all-consuming passion for art, can also become a curse. How to manage the turmoil of emotions, the loneliness inherent in creative work or even the doubt that can sometimes paralyze you?

Brison details these challenges with narrative finesse, illustrating them with his own experiences and those of other creatives. But more than simply exposing these dilemmas, he offers insights, tools, and strategies to help artists and creators navigate these sometimes tumultuous waters, finding their voice and balancing passion, ambition, and well-being.

This book is intended to be a companion for all those who seek to understand and dominate the fire of their creativity without burning their wings.

👉 Buy the book

5. “Manage your daily life: build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind” of 99U

Productivity is not only measured in terms of tasks performed, but also in terms of the quality and relevance of the work performed. In this fascinating collection, 99U, an initiative of Behance, brings together thoughts and advice from renowned experts in the fields of creativity, business and psychology.

The book explores the transformation of daily rituals into habits for success, the importance of defining moments of deep concentration and the need to learn to listen to your intuition. Each essay addresses a specific aspect of the daily routine, offering in-depth perspectives and techniques to help creatives master their time and cultivate a mindset focused on progress and innovation.

“Manage Your Day-to-Day” is not just a guide to working harder, but to working better, paying particular attention to work-life balance, managing stress and maintaining health, necessary inspiration for any creative process.

👉 Buy the book

6. “Great magic: creative living beyond fear” the Elizabeth Gilbert

In “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert, recognized worldwide for her best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” delves into the mystical process of creativity. With a blend of humor, insight, and deep compassion for artists and creators of all kinds, he deconstructs the myth that creativity is reserved for a select elite.

Gilbert invites us to embrace our curiosity, accept challenges, and see creativity as an act of love and courage. He shares his own experiences and those of other artists to illustrate how ideas are born, grow and take shape.

More than just a guide to creativity, “Big Magic” is a hymn to self-discovery, personal expression, and the magic that lies in the passionate pursuit of our true calling.

👉 Buy the book

7. “Creativity, Inc.” by Ed Catmull

Written by the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, this book is a deep dive into the culture and creative processes of one of the most innovative companies in the world. Catmull shares lessons learned on the path to making iconic films like “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.”

It reveals the techniques and strategies used by Pixar to encourage a culture of collective creativity and overcome the many challenges that hinder the production of an animated film. Additionally, the book illustrates Catmull’s leadership philosophy and offers rare insight into how he fosters an environment where innovation and excellence are the norm.

For creatives, leaders and film enthusiasts, “Creativity, Inc.” is a fascinating exploration of the magic behind some of the world’s most beloved animated films.

👉 Buy the book

8. “Finding time: how to focus every day on what matters” Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

In an ever-changing world, where distraction is at our fingertips and our days seem to be swallowed up by an endless avalanche of emails, notifications and tasks, “Make Time” offers a breath of fresh air. Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, former design experts at Google Ventures, have developed a unique methodology for rethinking our relationship with time.

Instead of letting “time vampires” drain our days, they offer a system focused on highlighting a single priority each day: your “highlight moment.” Combining this approach with techniques for creating barriers against distractions and tips for effectively recharging your batteries, they offer a roadmap for a more balanced, productive and, above all, intentional life.

If you’ve ever wondered how some people manage to accomplish so much without sacrificing their well-being or creativity, “Make Time” may hold some of the answers.

👉 Buy the book

9. “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott delivers in this masterpiece not only a guide to the art of writing, but also a real life lesson. She reminds us that writing is above all an act of passion, an inner journey punctuated by doubts, frustrations, but also discoveries and epiphanies. It addresses the many challenges writers face, whether it’s fear of the blank page, internal criticism, or emotional obstacles.

But beyond this practical advice, it is his approach to life itself that resonates. She encourages her readers to take on every challenge, every project, every page, “bird by bird,” a phrase borrowed from her father. By focusing on the present moment, savoring the process rather than obsessing over the end result, Lamott offers us a compass to navigate the tumultuous world of creation.

It’s an enriching read, sprinkled with humor, authenticity and wisdom, reminding all creative people of the value and beauty of the creative process itself.

👉 Buy the book

10. “Flow: the psychology of optimal experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

In “Flow”, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, renowned psychology researcher, explores the fascinating concept of “flow”, this mental state in which the individual is totally involved in what he is doing, to the point of forgetting time, effort and everything that surrounds him. It. It’s about those moments when everything seems to come together naturally, without apparent effort. Csikszentmihalyi identified this phenomenon after studying artists, athletes, musicians and even researchers.

He has found that this state of “flow” can dramatically improve performance and well-being. This book not only defines and explains “flow,” but also provides practical advice for integrating this optimal experience into our daily lives, whether at work, in our recreational activities, or in our relationships.

For any creative, understanding “flow” can be the key to unlocking previously unexplored levels of productivity and creativity.

👉 Buy the book

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