“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
― Hugh MacLeod
I initially titled this post “Must Read Books for Creative Mums.”
And it didn’t feel quite right.
I was worried that some mums might think “Well, that’s not me.”
WE ARE ALL CREATIVE.
Yet for many of us, somewhere along the line, we start saying “Oh! But I’m not creative.”
I started embracing that Apparent Truth after an unfortunate run-in with Van Gogh and a Year 8 Art teacher.
And I believed that I wasn’t creative for most of my young adulthood.
It took (several) stern talking tos from my husband before I started shifting my perceptions around creativity.
We are all creative at something or with something.
Here are some of my favourite books for mums who value creativity or who are looking to embrace getting creative with their little ones.
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This is my textbook. Elizabeth Gilbert is my guru.
My main takeaway from this book?
The world needs you to embrace and follow your creativity.
If you’re going to buy any book on this list, make it Big Magic.
You can also listen to the Big Magic podcast. (I’ve listened to both seasons twice. It’s that good.)
This book is like the ultimate pep talk from one of my Instagram Faves, Amy Tangerine.
It’s Amy’s autobiography meets journal meets inspirational self-help guide.
It’s an awesome manifesto on pursuing your creative passions.
Do you have a journaling habit?
We have art journals here and this book started that family habit.
Every few weeks, we sit down at the dining table, pull out this book, find a prompt and spend quality family time journaling.
You can read more about Emily Neuburger in her Oh Creative Lady interview.
This book gives me tingles.
Herve Tullet is a legend in my books and this glorious, over-sized guide book shares some of the art experiences he has delivered to children around the world.
The joy of each arty experience leaps off the page and each project is filled with insightful tips and tricks.
My adoration for Sir Ken rivals that of my love for Elizabeth Gilbert.
Have you seen his TED talk on how schools are killing creativity?
It’s easy to get down on the modern education system and the onslaught of standardised testing.
Sir Ken provides a voice of reason on how we can work our way forward for the benefit of all students.
This book synthesises research, anecdotes and professional recommendations in an easily digestible way.
This book is pulled together from various Neil Gaiman speeches and poems. His powerful words are perfectly paired with the illustrations of Chris Riddell.
This is the book to pull off the shelf when you’re questioning the value of your creations.
This book contains over 60 artsy, creative activities for you to explore with your mini makers.
The first section of the book contains suggestions on how to prepare for art experiences, what materials to consider and ways to speak about your child’s art with them.
Art Workshop for Children : How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences by Barbara Rucci and Betsy McKenna
You may know the author of this book from her site of awesomeness, Art Bar.
Oh Art Bar… how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
(If we do that, we could be here forever. #ArtBarFanGirl)
The book is packed with easy to execute, open-ended art and craft experiences that emphasise process over product and original thinking.
You can read more about me Fangirling over Art Workshop for Children here.
This book contains “55 playful experiments that encourage tinkering, curiosity and creative thinking.”
I especially love all the suggestions around preparing your creative space.
The projects are easy to follow with easy to source materials.
This book gets pulled off the shelf regularly!
How do you carry around all your must-read books?
I’m running a competition over on Instagram to win an awesome Teacher Carry All bag.
These bags have a variety of compartments and pockets so you can carry all. the. things.
Bonus points for the fact that the bag is sturdy and stylish.
Pop by my Insta to enter!
The images and titles of each book will take you to Book Depository. As a Book Depository Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.
If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.
Thanks for your support. Happy reading!
Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.