7 Influential Books I Read in 2017

Welcome! With only a few more days left of 2017, I thought I would share some of the books I read over the last year. While 2017 was not my best year, I experienced a lot of creative growth and rediscovered my love of reading after a long post-graduation lull.

So, without further ado, here’s a glimpse into what I read in 2017!

1. Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in starting a creative business. I officially formed my LLC in early 2017, and Creative, Inc. was integral in helping me shape my business practices. It has become a handy reference which I now keep nearby at all times.

2. Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon

Similarly to Creative, Inc., Art, Inc. has become a fast favorite. I wish I had read this book years ago! This quick read is full of concise, insightful advice on developing and showing your artwork.

3. Taproot by Keezy Young

I had been following Keezy Young on Twitter for a few months before I bought Taproot as a gift to myself in November. I teared up within minutes of reading it. This sweet love story is beautifully illustrated, and I highly recommend it!

4. New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren

While I majored in the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, I also minored in History. I have a deep love of studying the early modern Atlantic World, a passion supported by one of my professors and mentors at BMC, Professor Ignacio Gallup-Díaz. This book came at his recommendation, and I quite enjoyed it.

5. Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime by Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

While I have been a consumer of comics since childhood, and I studied the History of Art in college, I am not well versed in the history of sequential art. Black Women in Sequence provided a great opportunity to delve into this area of scholarship.

6. Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Design School, but Should by Michael Janda

Burn Your Portfolio is filled with useful tips and tricks, and valuable advice about productivity and the design industry is woven throughout the text. I have a feeling I will return to this book year after year to look for new gems and to ground myself in thinking about my creative process.

7. How to Be An Illustrator by Darrel Rees

I picked up a used copy of How to Be An Illustrator from a bookstore in Boulder, Colorado last spring. Since I am still exploring where I fit in the creative world, it was insightful to read a book geared towards illustrators specifically, rather than graphic designers or something more generic. In addition to providing practical information about marketing and selling your work, this book is full of short interviews of practicing illustrators which give a nice sense of the range of experiences creators face in the industry.

While this is not an exhaustive list of my 2017 reading material, these texts had the greatest impact on my professional and personal growth over the past year. What books did you find influential in 2017? Tell me in the comments below!

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