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10 Books on Illustration Every Artist Must Read

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10 Books on Illustration Every Artist Must Read

Books are sources of immense knowledge. If you are looking to gain knowledge on something particular subject matter, then what better source other than books will provide you with accurate data. Books that deal with a particular subject have been compiled with years of extensive research and hard work. Hence books provide the most accurate data on things. Being an artist or illustrator there are some books that one should read at some point in time. These are must-read books because they will educate you on the subject matter or because they describe the history of illustration and how it has evolved over the years or to simply draw inspiration. For all or any of these reasons here are 10 must-read books for illustrators.

  1. How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees: This book aims to offer guidance for aspiring illustrators. It is about everything one needs to know about illustration and building a career in it. Darrel Rees describes how to create a portfolio and why it is necessary, how to approach clients, how to prepare for and handle a meeting and how to deliver a job. These are all practical help to illustrators who really wish to make a career in illustration. This book also talks about what and what not to do, steps to set up a studio, how to manage the workflow, time and resources. Darrel Rees has also included real-life stories of illustrators and art directors on their work and methods followed and advice to aspiring illustrators.
    Buy this book: Amazon 

  2. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: The author attempts to show the reader how to promote their work and tips to follow while doing the same. Austin describes in his book how to make one's work noticeable. This book talks about putting the illustrator's work out there in the world and how to deal with the subsequent ups and downs. It is all about letting other people in on your process and tells the reader how to be productive, open and generous. It also provides insights on how to build up oneself as an artist.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  3. Inside the Business of Illustration by Steven Heller and Marshall Arisman: To become a successful professional one needs to have a good grasp of the marketing strategies. This book acts as a guide to the illustration industry. It consists of interviews of illustrators and art directors who share their perspective on the industry. The book also talks about establishing oneself as an illustrator, how to overcome issues, and how to groom and develop one's skills. This is a must-read book for illustrators who wish to make it big in the illustration industry.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  4. Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts: This book is about the rich history of illustration; contemporary history. It has critically analyzed historical, political, social and cultural factors that played a key role in the field of illustration. From the 1960s to 1990s, the book explores the evolution and growth of the industry over the years. Through essays and profile of some of the leading illustrators, the book explains the impact of contemporary illustration and influence on design and popular culture.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  5. Marketing Illustration: New Venues, New Styles, New Methods by Steven Heller: If you are someone who is passionate about making illustration your career, then this book is a must-read. The field of illustration is subjected to constant changes and this book will tell you how to become a successful illustration despite the competition. This book also contains valuable insights of 50 illustrators among which are some of the leaders in the industry. This is such an informative book that no illustrator should miss out on reading this.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  6. Thinking Visually for Illustrators by Mark Wigan: The author has attempted to incorporate a wide range of work which demonstrates different visual languages, context, ideas, techniques, and skills. The book also talks about how an illustrator can develop his/her own visual language. The book features diverse approaches, artwork, and commentaries on visual thinking and the working process by contemporary illustrators.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  7. Picture This by Molly Bang: A must-read book by illustrators to understand the different elements of illustration or artwork. Image and individual components have a specific role to play in telling a story that will engage the audience. The author attempts to explain this with the help of examples such as that of the Red Riding Hood.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  8. How to draw comics the 'marvel' Way  By Stan Lee: For anyone looking for ways to master the art of illustration, then this is a must-read book. The book contains all the information one could get on creating a superhero comic strip. From developing the basic to mastering advanced techniques, this book has everything to polish your illustration skills.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  9. Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis: This book is a compilation of the lessons Loomis had taught while at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. The book primarily consists of seven sections namely; Line, Tone, Color, Telling the Story, Creating Ideas, Fields of Illustration, and Experimenting and Studies, and the book targets professional level illustrators rather than beginners.
    Buy this book: Amazon

  10. How to Draw Cool Stuff: A Drawing Guide for Teachers and Students by Catherine V Holmes: A perfect book for beginners as it explains illustration and drawing step-by-step. The author has included basic principles of illustration by talking about easy-to-learn shapes that build into complex drawings. The book also features exercises which will help to train your brain in visualizing ordinary objects in a different manner.
    Buy this book: Amazon

If you are looking to hone your skills or grab a better understanding of the discipline, then these books will help you gather the much-needed information. These books by seasoned professionals will help you in various ways to build a career in illustration.

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