Books that Inspire Creativity for Children and Adults | Artistic San Francisco Family Photographer

August 9, 2018

Are you looking for books that inspire creativity for children and adults? To celebrate National Book Lovers Day today I’m sharing my top three books that inspire creativity for adults and my three favorite books that encourage creativity for children.

I love reading. And I also love reading to my son. We both read every day – for leisure. Well, he hasn’t started reading on his own yet, but he’ll memorize the words to a book and pretend to read it to himself. Usually when he’s going potty. Yup, he’s like a 80 year old man in the bathroom with a pile of books next to the toilet. I don’t read in the bathroom in case you’re wondering. But I do read every night as a way to decompress and unwind.

dad reading a book to his son


Whenever I need a creativity boost or feel like I’m in a rut I have a few go-to books that I re-read throughout the year to get my juices flowing. These books aren’t specific to one genre of creativity. In fact you don’t need to be an artist, creator, crafter at all. Those are just lame labels anyways. The secret truth is we’re all creators and we’re all creative. Even the most “un-creative” (by society standards) among us is creative. Unknowingly, creativity seeps through in every type of job, interaction and at home. Creativity doesn’t need to be about painting or clay making. It can be brainstorming ideas at work, or problem solving a vacation itinerary, or dang – it can be using creativity to negotiate with your child to leave the park or get dressed etc. You get my point.

Here’s my three favorite books that inspire creativity for adults:

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert: Gilbert demystifies the creative process in this part-inspiration, part-how-to book. Her chapters on how ideas inspire – come into people’s minds – is fascinating. Her research on the subject of the creative process along side examples of other great artists’ practices will change your approach to creativity.



The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron: Cameron is my type of creative woo-woo. This book is basically a 12-step program for a creativity seeker or a person who is in a rut. It’s meant to be read and executed like an independent class course. There are weekly chapters and assignments that you need to commit to such as artist dates and long-hand morning pages. This is my go-to book when I’m in a creativity rut.



The Art of War, Steven Pressfield: Pressfield is on a mission to help every human breakthrough the resistant barriers that prevent them from creating, completing, starting, living their best lives. This short but powerful read is a must for everyone.


The importance of reading my son books about creativity, ideas, or books that will inspire or teach him about creativity is paramount in this generation of tech-focused learning and life. My favorite books are the ones that teach the capacity – the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something – to create, imagine or ruminate on ideas.

3 year old toddler boy reading books on creativity

Here’s my three favorite books that inspire creativity for children: 

Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg: This interactive book instills that art can be found in anything – even mistakes. The underlining theme is to let go of perfection and see the art in everything. There’s a second book in this series titled, My Book Of Beautiful Oops that is like a journal for kids to scribble, rip and make art from mistakes (best for older kids 5+ years old).



What Do You Do With An Idea?, by Kobi Yamada: No really, what do you do with an idea? This story is about welcoming an idea and giving it the space and TLC it needs to grow. It also touches on nay-sayers. It’s a great introduction to kids about the concept of ideas and on they feel.




cloud country children's book for creativity Cloud Country, by Bonny Becker and Noah Klocek: This book is about learning to be you and accepting your talents aren’t like everyone else’s. We’re not all meant to be doing and creating the same things. This book explores how having different talents and expressing those talents is rewarding – even if it feels scary or not the norm.



What are your favorite books to read that inspire creativity for either adults or children? Drop me a note and let me know below!

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