Books for March: Five inspiring reads for creatives this spring

Image courtesy of Counter-Print

Spring is on its way, and after the storm-battered, virus-addled winter we've experienced this year, not a moment too soon.

Finally, we can venture out of our rain-battered dwellings and spend some of our hard-earned downtime in the great outdoors. And what better way to while away an afternoon at the park or by the beach than catching up on the latest creativity-related reads?

March has some great titles on offer, too, from a companion piece to A—Z of The Designers Republic to a terrific kids' book by doodle artist Jon Burgerman. We've brought together our favourites here for you to check out. Enjoy!

OOHAAHTDR by Unit Editions

Back in November, we delivered the news that Sheffield-based design studio The Designers Republic had published its first retrospective, A—Z of The Designers Republic, which was handily (!) shortened to AZTDR. Now, hot on its heels comes the equally snappy OOHAAHTDR, a volume of Designer Republic "rarities and B-sides" produced initially for Kickstarter backers of the AZTR book.

This beautifully designed, limited edition release features new, reworked and previously unseen artwork, alongside several texts by Ian Anderson and essays by Rick Poynor and David Thompson. It also includes over 50 pages of posts culled from the archives of the long-defunct neo.DR newsgroup (Jan 1997-Feb 2001). Order yours quick before they all sell out.

Priced at £35 – Buy the book

Image courtesy of Unit Editions

Image courtesy of Unit Editions

Everybody Has a Body by Jon Burgerman

One of the leading figures in the doodle art movement, UK-born, New York-dwelling artist Jon Burgerman has a new book out, and it's a real winner.

This 32-page paperback is based around the concept that "Everyone's body is different in some way... and that's OK!" And well, who could disagree with that? Illustrated in Burgerman's typically fun, colourful and inclusive style, this picture book would be a great, life-affirming buy for the children in your life. Look out for his podcast episode with Creative Boom coming soon.

Priced at £6.99 – Buy the book

Image courtesy of Oxford University Press (UK) and Jon Burgerman

Image courtesy of Oxford University Press (UK) and Jon Burgerman

Things Are What You Make of Them by AJ Kurtz

Artist and author AJ Kurtz has produced several cheeky and colourful little guides for Design*Sponge, including his 365-page interactive journal 1 Page at a Time, annual weekly planner Unsolicited Advice, and an interactive journal entitled Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk For Now & Later.​ And this new book of life advice for creatives is a worthy addition to an excellent series.

This handwritten and heartfelt little softback book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. It covers off must-read topics including how to avoid comparing yourself to other creatives, how to seek and accept help from others, how to overcome common creative fears, and how to be happy (or just happier).

This bright and vibrant book would be a great gift for writers, illustrators, designers, or anyone else who wants to be more creative... or you could buy it for yourself as a nice treat.

Priced at £11 – Buy the book

Image courtesy of Counter-Print

Image courtesy of Counter-Print

How to be An Artist by Jerry Saltz

It's a cliche that behind every art critic is a failed artist. Well, the man fulfilling that role at New York Magazine admitted as such, in a 2018 article that subsequently went viral. Building on this momentum, Jerry Saltz's new book offers "33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively)".

His book may strike an irreverent and humorous tone, but it also provides a surprisingly useful series of pointers and advice on getting on in art. Saltz knows his stuff, and by offering tips like "Make art, for now, not the future", "No, you don't need graduate school", and "Listen to the wildest voices in your head", there's a lot to like here. An excellent read for any would-be artist who's looking for a blast of uplifting and inspirational advice, but which is nonetheless grounded in the real world.

Priced at £10 – Buy the book

Do Scale by Les McKeown

Launching your own startup is tough enough, but once you've got some measure of success, the next phase can be even more challenging. How do you go about developing your business, increasing your reach, and future-proofing your operation? That's the topic of this insightful book by consultant Les McKeown, and it offers a wealth of practical advice and clear guidance to aid any entrepreneur.

Based on decades of the author's own experience, this book covers topics including what it means to scale and if now is the right time, why founders need to get out of their own way, and how to develop winning teams. It's a must-read for anyone looking to take their creative organisation to the next level.

Priced at £9 – Buy the book

Image courtesy of Counter-Print

Image courtesy of Counter-Print