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"Creativity is seeing, learning and understanding in your own unique, special way." Nita Leland

Nita Leland's Creativity & Motivation Book List

Adams, James. Care and Feeding of Ideas. Addison-Wesley, 1986. A guide to encouraging creativity.

Adams, James. Conceptual Blockbusting. Perseus, 1990. A guide to better ideas.

Adamson, Edward. Art as Healing. Coventure, 1991. Using art to prevent and relieve stress.

Allen, Pat B. Art Is a Way of Knowing. Shambhala, 1995. Guide to self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment through creativity.

Amabile, Teresa. Growing Up Creative: Nurturing a Lifetime of Creativity. Creative Education Foundation, 1992. Helping children stay creative--good book.

Arieti, Silvano. Creativity: The Magic Synthesis. Basic Books, 1975. A comprehensive guide to creativity.

Arnheim, Rudolph. Art & Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye. University of California, 1974. The process that takes place when people create.

Living the Scream and Run Naked Life. Head Games Press, 2006. Uncovering your authentic presence.

Scream and Run Naked. Head Games Press, 2006. Lessons from a neurotic's journey to Nepal.

Arrien, Angeles. Signs of Life: The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them. Penquin, 1992. Learn the power of archetypal symbols.

Audette, Anna Held. The Blank Canvas: Inviting the Muse. Shambhala, 1993. A gentle treatise on seeking inspiration.

Azara, Nancy. Spirit Taking Form. Red Wheel, 2002. Making a spiritual practice of making art.

Babb, Fred. Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff: The Fred Babb Poster Book. Workman, 1998. Behind Babb's humor are some important truths about art.

Bach, Richard. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Dell, 1984. A fable with thoughts on self-understanding--one of my all-time favorite books.

Baldwin, Christine. Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest. Bantam, 1998. On keeping a journal.

Bayles, David & Ted Orland. Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking. Capra, 1993. Every artist should read this book again and again.

Beam, Mary Todd. Celebrate Your Creative Self. North Light, 2001. More than 25 exercises to unleash the artist within.

Beam, Mary Todd. The Creative Edge . North Light, 2009. Exercises to celebrate your creative self.

Beck, James. Leonardo's Rules of Painting: An Unconventional Approach to Modern Art. Viking, 1979. The similarities between Leonardo's thoughts and principles of modern painting.

Booth, Eric. The Everyday Work of Art. Sourcebooks, 1997. Awakening the extraordinary in your daily life by living life as a work of art.

Briggs, John. Fire in the Crucible: The Alchemy of Creative Genius. St. Martin's, 1988. Fascinating approach to the roots of creativity.

Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Tarcher, 1992. Definitely works for a lot of creative people in all walks of life.

Cameron, Julia. The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart. Putnam, 1997. Innovative and practical tools for widening your creative horizons.

Capacchione, Lucia. Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself. Newcastle, 1989. Keeping a journal for personal and creative growth.

Capacchione, Lucia. The Power of Your Other Hand. Newcastle, 1988. A course in channeling the inner wisdom of the right brain.

Carey, Maureen, et al. The Artful Journal: A Spiritual Quest. Watson-Guptill, 2002. No pressure, just relax and have fun. Colorful book.

Carbonetti, Jeanne. The Zen of Creative Painting: An Elegant Design for Revealing Your Muse. Watson-Guptill, 1998. Spontaneous painting technique with a little pop philosophy.

Cassou, Mitchell & Stewart Cubley. Life, Paint and Passion: Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression. Putnam, 1995. The joy and wonder of the painting experience. I love this book!

Chopra, Deepak. Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Amber-Allen, 1995. A philosphy based on Eastern wisdom--this is one of the most helpful books I've ever read.

Chopra, Deepak. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success This DVD is a lovely visual presentation of the seven laws with music by Olivia Newton-John and commentary by Chopra and people who have been influenced by the book.

Cornell, Judith. Drawing the Light From Within: Keys to Awaken Your Creative Power. Theosophical, 1997. Freeing your creative energy through drawing.

Csikszentmihalya, Mihaly. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. Harper Collins, 1997. Steps toward enhancing the quality of life.

Csikszentmihalya, Mihaly. Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life . Basic, 1998. Living freely in the here-and-now.

Csikszentmihalya, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper Collins, 1991. Creativity as the central source of meaning in life.

De Bono. Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step-by-Step. HarperCollins, 1990. Accessing different ways of thinking.

De Bono. Six Thinking Hats. Little Brown, 1999. Strategies for working through stages of every problem by using appropriate thinking processes for each.

Diaz, Adriana. Freeing the Creative Spirit. Harper, 1992. Drawing on the power of art to tap the magic and wisdom within.

Dvorak, Robert. Drawing Without Fear. Inkwell, 1997. Builds up your courage to try--you can do it!

Edwards, David. How to be More Creative. Occasional Prod., 1980. Breaking blocks, creating ideas--a small book with big ideas.

Field, Joanna. On Not Being Able to Paint. Tarcher, 1983. Unshackling your creative process.

Field, Joanna. An Experiment in Leisure. Tarcher, 1987. Using free time to sharpen awareness and develop imagination.

Filsinger, Tom. The Dark Menace of the Universe. Brust, 2005. Memoir of the creative life of an inventor of games.

Flack, Audrey. Art & Soul: Notes on Creating. Dutton, 1991. Perceptive sayings on a variety of subjects--very quotable.

Flack, Audrey. The Daily Muse. Abrams, 1989. Inspirational quotes for artists.

Franck, Frederick. Art as a Way: A Return to the Spiritual Roots. Crossroad, 1981. Franck's sensitive drawings are good examples for any skill level.

Fritz, Robert. The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life. Fawcett, 1989. Giving yourself permission to be creative.

Furth, Gregg M. The Secret World of Drawings: Healing Through Art. Sigo, 1989. Using drawing to explore the unconscious.

Gardner, Howard. Art, Mind and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity. Basic, 1982. The part the brain plays in creative development.

Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. Basic, 1994. Fascinating study of great minds.

Gelb, Michael. How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. Dell, 1998. Interesting approach using Leonardo's seven principles as the basis for life and art with lessons and exercises.

Gelb, Michael. How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: The Workbook. Dell, 1999. Companion to the text. Hardbound with journal pages included.

Ghiselen, Brewster. The Creative Process: Reflections On the Invention Of Art. University of California, 1952. Essays from the writings of 38 brilliant men and women.

Gold, Aviva. Painting From the Source: Awakening the Artist's Soul in Everyone. Harper, 1998. Reaching deep within to find your creative center.

Greene, Sandi. Seeing Evangeline. Bayeux Arts, Inc., 2005. A magical trip into the fairy realm, seeing faces and figures in plants drying in the garden.

Grudin, Robert. The Grace of Great Things: Creativity and Innovation. Ticknor and Fields, 1997. The power of the creative process and the shock of the new.

Hanks, Kurt, et al. Design Yourself! William Kaufmann, 1987. Creative design and problem solving.

Hanks, Kurt, et al. Wake Up Your Creative Genius. Crisp, 1991. Lots of ideas for creative approaches to any situation.

Harman, Willis. Higher Creativity. Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1984. Liberating the unconscious for breakthrough insights.

Hartley, Ann, ed. Bridging Time & Space: Essays on the Art of Layering. Markowitz SLMM, 1998. A book on the spiritual aspect of painting with illustrations by contemporary artists.

Houston, Jean. The Possible Human: A Course in Enhancing Your Physical, Mental and Creative Abilities. An excellent program for self-realization.

John-Steiner, Vera. Notebooks of the Mind: Explorations of Thinking. Oxford University, 1997. Excerpts from the notes of more than 100 creative men and women.

Kanter, Dory. Art Escapes North Light, 2003. Daily exercises & inspirations for discovering greater creativity & artistic confidence.

Katchen, Carole. Painting With Passion: How to Paint What You Feel. North Light, 1997. Painting more creatively by expressing yourself.

Kaupelis, Robert. Learning to Draw: A Creative Approach to Expressive Drawing. Watson-Guptill, 1989. Stimulating ideas and techniques for creative drawing.

Kent, Corita. Learning by Heart. Bantam, 1992. Both inspirational and practical.

Keyes, Margaret. Inward Journey: Art as Therapy. Open Court, 1983. Healing your Self through art.

Koberg & Bagnall. The Universal Traveler. Crisp,1991. Guide to creativity, problem-solving, & the process of reaching goals.

Koestler, Arthur. The Act of Creation. Arkana, 1990. The many faces of creativity--one of my favorites.

Koestler, Arthur. The Ghost in the Machine. Arkana, 1990. Koestler is very readable and worth reading.

Langer, Ellen. Mindfulness. Addison-Wesey, 1989. Importance of focus and awareness.

Lehrman, Lou. Being an Artist. North Light, 1992. Artists describe their experiences and thoughts on their profession.

Leland, Nita & Virginia Lee Williams. Creative Collage Techniques: A Step-by-Step Guide. North Light, 1994. Well, of course, the best book on collage. Page after page of information on techniques, step-by-step demos and wonderful examples of art collage. More details here.

Leland, Nita. The Creative Artist: A Fine Artist's Guide to Expanding Your Creativity and Achieving Your Artistic Potential. North Light, 1990. Of course I'm partial to this one. Lots of activities to unlock your creativity. Read more about it here.

Leland, Nita. The New Creative Artist: A Guide to Developing Your Creative Spirit. North Light, 2006. To be released in July. An expanded and revised edition with 113 activities and more than 100 contributing artists, this book is filled with new material on the creative process, creative arts and crafts, motivation and inspiration. Click link above to preorder at

Light, Will. Opening Your Creative Flow: The Magic Keys. Golden Glow, 1984. Simple techniques for accessing creativity.

London, Peter. No More Secondhand Art: Awakening the Artist Within. Shambhala, 1989. Usiong creativity encounters to bring out your originality in your art.

Lowenfeld, Viktor. Creative and Mental Growth. Macmillan, 1987. A classic in the field of education and child psychology.

Magsamen, Sandra. Living Artfully. Free Press, 2005. Create the life you imagine. Inspiration and motivation, very easy to get into.

Maisel, Eric. Affirmations for Artists. Putnam, 1996. Guide for positive thinking for artists on every imaginable subject of stress.

Maisel, Eric. Coaching the Artist Witihin. New World Library, 2005. Advice for Writers, Actors, Visual Artists, and Musicians from America's Foremost Creativity Coach.

Maisel, Eric. Creativity for Life. New World Library, 2007. Practical advice on the artist's personality and career from America's foremost creativity coach.

Maisel, Eric. Fearless Creating. Tarcher, 1995. A Step-By-Step Guide to Starting and Completing Your Work of Art.

Maisel, Eric. A Life in the Arts. Tarcher, 1994. Practical Guidance and Inspiration for Creative and Performing Artists.

Maisel, Eric. A Writer's Paris Writer's Digest, 2005. A guided journey for the creative soul.

Maltz, Maxwell. Psycho-Cybernetics.Pocketbooks, 1987. Revised edition of a good book on mental practice and the peak experience.

Markova, Dawna. The Art of the Possisble. Conari, 1991. Understanding the way people think, learn and communicate.

Martin, Graham D. Shadows in the Cave: Mapping the Conscious Universe. Arkana, 1990. A fascinating book on perception.

Maslow, A. H. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. Arkana, 1993. Creativity and self-actualization.

May, Rollo. The Courage to Create. Bantam, 1976. One of the most illuminating of all the books on creativity.

Mayer, Ralph. The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques. Fifth ed. Viking, 1991. A technical reference all serious artists should be familiar with.

McGuire, Barbara. Embracing Child Art. Krause, 2001. Projects for grown-ups to keep and treasure. Wonderful suggestions for guiding Little Artists and helping them create projects with their own art to last a lifetime.

McKim, Robert H. Thinking Visually: A Strategy Manual for Problem Solving. Lifetime Learning, 1980. Creative thinking techniques.

McMeekin, Gail. 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Conari, 2000. Empowering women through examples of their successful counterparts.

McNiff, Sharon. Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go. Shambhala, 1998. Exercises in creative flow.

Messer, Mari. Pencil Dancing. Walking Stick Press, 2001. New Ways to free your creative spirit. I love the title, too!

Metzger, Phil. The Artist's Illustrated Encylopedia: Techniques, Materials & Terms. North Light, 2001. A comprehensive reference, lavishly illustrated with contemporary art works, photographs and charts.

Magsamen, Sandra. Living Artfully Simon & Schuster, 2006. Create the life you imagine. Finding the creativity within you and setting it free to enrich your life.

Nachmanovich, Stephen. Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. Tarcher, 1991. A wonderful guide to relaxing and having fun with art and life.

Nelson, Victoria. On Writer's Block: A New Approach to Creativity. Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Rethinking the writing process (for artists, too).

Neumann, Erich. Art and the Creative Unconscious. Princeton, 1971. Not an easy book, but worth looking at.

Oech, Roger von. Creative Whack Pack. U.S. Games, 1990. Pocket-size cards with dozens of ideas to stimulate your creativity.

Oech, Roger von. A Kick in the Seat of the Pants: Using Your Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior to Be More Creative. Harper Collins, 1986. Practical approach to being more creative.

Oech, Roger von. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How To Unlock Your Mind for Innovation. Warner, 1998. Stimulating creativity through play.

Olson, Robert. A The Art of Creative Thinking. Harper Row, 1986. A practical guide including exercises and illustrations.

Onslow-Ford, Gordon. Painting In the Instant. Search ABEbooks Thames & Hudson, 1964. Journal of one artist's creative journey.

Perkins, David N. The Mind's Best Work. Harvard University, 1981. A fascinating study of creative minds.

Phillips, Jan. Marry Your Muse. Theosophical Society, 1997. Making a lasting commitment to your creativity.

Purto, Jane. Understanding Those Who Create. Gifted Psychology, 1998. A study of creative people in music, art, science, and more.

Remer, Abby. Enduring Visions: Women's Artistic Heritage Around the World. This fine book takes a global view of women's art, beautifully blending traditional arts with other fine arts.

Rico, Gabriele Lusser. Writing the Natural Way. Tarcher, 2000. Enhancing creativity and writing confidence using right-brain techniques.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters to a Young Poet. New World, 2000. Rilke's advice on creating.

Rogers, Peter. A Painter's Quest: Art as a Way of Revelation. Bear, 1987. One artist's creative journey into the archetype dreamscape.

Rothenberg, Albert. Creativity and Madness: New Findings and Old Stereotypes. Johns Hopkins University, 1990. Creativity is a healthy normal state that sometimes co-exists with dysfunctional traints in individuals.

Roukes, Nicholas. Art Synectics: Stimulating Creativity in Art. Davis, 1984. Strategies for creative design thinking.

Roukes, Nicholas. Design Synectics: Stimulating Creativity in Design. Davis, 1988. A practical guide to visual thinking, richly illustrated.

Roukes, Nicholas. Humor in Art: A Celebration of Visual Wit. Davis, 1997. Wonderfully witty, creative works.

Samuels, Mike & Nancy. Seeing With the Mind's Eye: The History, Techniques and Uses of Visualization. Random House, 1975. Well-illustrated guide to imagination.

Sark. The Bodacious Book of Succulence: Daring to Live Your Succulent, Wild Life. Simon & Schuster, 1998. Inspiration and motivation for a more fulfilling life.

Sark. Creative Companion: How to Free Your Creative Spirit. Celestial Arts, 1991. A book of games, inspiration and creative surprises.

Sark. Inspirational Sandwich: Stories to Inspire Our Creative Freedom. Celestial Arts, 1992. More of Sark's wild ideas for coming alive creatively.

Sark. Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for Your Creative Soul. Celestial Arts, 1994. A creative jump-start for every day of the year.

Sark. Sark's Journal and Play! Book: A Place to Dream While Awake. Celestial Arts, 1993. Make your own creative journal

Sark. Succulent Wild Woman: Dancing with Your Wonder-Full Self. Simon & Schuster, 1997. Becoming self-sufficient and self-accepting.

Segal, Marci. Creativity and Personality Type Telos Publications, 2001. Tools for understanding the many voices of creativity.

Shekerjian, Denise. Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born. Penguin, 1991. A study of 40 winners of the MacArthur Award.

Shuman, Sandra G. Source Imagery: Releasing the Power of Your Creativity. Doubleday, 1989. Step-by-step process for unblocking your creativity.

Simmons, Seymour. Drawing: The Creative Process. Prentice-Hall, 1977. Excellent course utilizing art history.

Stanish, Bob. Hippogriff Feathers: Encounters With Creative Thinking. Good Apple, 1981. Great guide for teachers on creativity.

Stanish, Bob. Lessons from the Heartstone Traveler an Instructional Guide to the Creative Thinking Processes. Good Apple, 1988. More help for teachers on creativity.

Storr, Anthony. Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind. Acacia, 1990. Psychology of the creative process--fascinating.

Stroud, Betsy Dillard. Painting From the Inside Out North Light, 2002. Creative techniques for painters--exciting new concepts.

Sujata. Beginning to See. a collection of epigrams about the problem of living and the freedom to be gained through the Buddha's insight meditation.

Tomas, Vincent, ed. Creativity in the Arts. Prentice Hall, 1964. Essays by leading creative thinkers.

Topal, Cathy. Children & Painting. Davis, 1992. Creative projects for children.

Ueland, Brenda. If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit. Graywolf, 1997. A wonderful little book for creators of any kind.

Vitale, Barbara. Free Flight: Celebrating Your Right Brain. Jalmar, 1986. Accepting your different way of being.

Vitale, Barbara. Unicorns Are Real : A Right-Brained Approach to Learning. Jalmar, 1982. Techniques for teachers of right-brained learners.

Wadeson, Harriet. Art Psychotherapy. John Wiley & Sons, 1987. Using art for psychological insights and problem-solving.

Warner, Sally. Making Room for Making Art: A Thoughtful and Practical Guide to Bringing the Pleasure of Artistic Expression Back into Your Life. Chicago Review, 1994. Constructive advice for breaking blocks.

Weir, Roberta. Leonardo's Ink Bottle: The Artist's Way of Seeing. Celestial Arts, 1998. Activities to stimulate creative thinking.

Weisberg, Robert. Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius. Freeman, 1993. A greatly expanded version of his earlier book.

Weisberg, Robert. Creativity: Genius and Other Myths. Freeman, 1986. Creativity as a normal process, accessible to all.

Zinker, Joseph. Creative Process in Gestalt Therapy. Random House, 1978. An excellent book on all phases of creativity.

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