Artistry in Action 2016-Reading Assignments for the Term

Below is the text reading list for Artistry in Action 2016.  This section is divided into Required Reading and Recommended Reading.

Required Reading are books, essays and chapters that are required part of the coursework.  I have provided PDF’s where available and links to purchase where purchase is necessary.

Recommending Reading: These are other books that I have found incredibly enlightening, inspiring or informative in my pursuit of the artist path.  I’ll be drawing on them in teaching class and you may find excerpts from them in blog posts.  But I think they are worth reading in their entirety.  Check with the PSU & local libraries if you don’t want to purchase.


These are books are required reading for the class. They are available at Powells or Amazon. You are responsible for purchasing

  1. Making Your Life as an Artist
    by Andrew Simonet
    99 Total pgs
    30 minute read
    Cost : Free

Download PDF –  Making Your Life As An Artist

Summary: A quick and easy little essay/book that will really give you things to think about and mucho inspiration!

To Read: Pg 1-99

Assigned Week 1  Due Monday, April  18

2. The War of Art

by Steven Pressfield
165 total pgs
2.5 hour read
Cost: $9.95

Summary:  Probably the most profoundly influential on my life as an artist.  I dare you to resist reading it all at once,  but I’ve split it up as well Link  “The War of Art”

Purchase online or at Powells-

To Read:

The War of Art Book 1 Pg 1-57 – 1 hour read                Assigned  Week 1      Due Monday April 11
The War of Art Book 2 Pg 58-101 30 minute read       Assigned Week 2      Due Monday April 18
The War of Art Book 3  102 -165  1 hour read            Assigned Week 3      Due Monday April 25

3. Living & Sustaining A Creative Life : Essays by 40 working artists
by Sharon Loudon
216 pages
Each essay takes about 20-30 minutes to read
Cost $31.95

Selected Chapters Assigned Week 2   Due Dates: TBA

Amazon Link- “Living & Sustaining a Creative Life”- Sharon Loudon

This book gives an incredible glimpse into the myriad of ways that visual artists make their lives.  A must for anyone in that field, and as a musician it was a great source of ideas for out of the box thinking that I or any non-visual artist could apply I will assign my 5 favorite essays. But I very much encourage you to get this book and read it.  Bonus: Here is the Kickstarter with which she funded her book tour

4. Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING
by David Bayles & Ted Orland
118 pages
3 hour read
Cost:- Free PDF Download Here David_Bayles_Ted_Orland_Art_And_fear

You can purchase a hard copy if you want to support the artists for only $8.31 at Amazon

Summary: The title says it all.  Every artist needs to read this book.

Chapters to be assigned later
1. Introduction The Nature of the Problem
2. Art & Fear
3. Fears About Yourself
4. Fears About Others
5. Finding Your Work
6. The Outside World
7. The Academic World
8. Conceptual Worlds
9. The Human Voice

5. Economies of Life: Patterns of health & wealth (essay)
by Bill Sharpe
45 total pages
about a 2 hour read
Cost: Free : PDF download  iff_economies_of_life_text_only_download

To Read:

Chapter 3   21 pgs  1 hour read      Assigned Week 1  Due Wednesday, April 15

Chapter 4  10 pgs   30 min read      Assigned Week 2 Due Wednesday, April 22

Chapter 5    14 pgs   45 min read    Assigned Week 4 Due Wednesday, May 6


Mindset -Carol Dweeck
Steal Like an Artist- Austin Kleon
Linchpin- Seth Godin
Ignore Everybody- Hugh MacLeod
Turning Pro- Steven Pressfield