Know a teen that wants to learn a new art technique, start a new project, or just be inspired? We’ve created a booklist of titles for teens that want to create in coordination with our first teen art contest, “It Came From a Book”. These ten books are filled with ideas for teens looking to get creative with visual art.
We’ll be adding to this list with more books and online resources to this list on Pinterest, so please share your suggestions! -Christina
Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book by Lynda Barry
In her inspirational how-to What It Is, Lynda Barry asked “Do you wish you could write?” Picture This asks “Do you wish you could draw?” Barry explains through her unique visual style, with beautiful drawings, comics, how anyone can be an artist. A how-to that’s part inspiration, part graphic novel, part creativity manual.
200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills: For Aspiring Art Students by Valerie Colston
200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills covers a range of topics and mediums. Concepts such color, line and texture and techniques for drawing, painting and other media, are explored through project ideas and lessons that provide instruction and inspiration for building a portfolio, or just getting into art.
Click: The Ultimate Photography Guide for Generation Now by Charlie Styr with Maria Wakem
Written by a teen for teens, Click gives interested young people an introduction to basic photography concepts, techniques and equipment, using photographs by teens from around the world as examples. Author Charlie Styr, who was 18 when the book was published, is joined by several famous photographers.
Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun by Carla Sonheim
A year’s worth of creative exercises that inspire confidence and creativity. For teens who feel intimidated by drawing or don’t know where to start, this book will get the creative juices flowing with prompts and ideas for learning new techniques.
The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery: Mixed-Media Techniques for Collage, Altered Books, Artist Journals, and More by Karen Michel
For teens that want to take photography a step further, enjoy collage, or want to experiment with a new style, this book provides some techniques and inspiration for creating altered photographs and images, both physically and digitally. Some techniques are more complicated than others, and require materials from the craft store.
AlternaCrafts: 20+ Hi-Style Lo-Budget Projects to Make by Jessica Vitkus
Vitkus provides creative ideas for turning ordinary household items into craft projects. Photos and step-by-step instructions illustrate projects that teens can wear, decorate with, or give as gifts.
Extreme worlds: The Complete Guide to Drawing and Painting Sci-fi Art by Francis Tsai
Tsai’s guide for creating sci-fi worlds covers aliens, robots, weapons, and space ships and includes techniques for both traditional and digital tools. The last section takes a sample concept and teaches readers how to create a world around that idea. Includes beautiful artwork from Tsai, a renowned designer.
The Fashion Sketchpad:420 Figure Templates for Designing Looks and Building Your Portfolio by Tamar Daniel
The Fashion Sketchpad is a great tool for teens who want to try their hand at fashion design but haven’t learned how to draw proportional figures yet. Female figures in a variety of poses provide a canvas for aspiring fashion designers. The book also includes an illustrated garment glossary. As this book also serves as a sketchpad, it may not work in a library, but is still a good recommendation for fashion-minded teens.
SnApp Shots: How to Take Great Pictures with Smartphones and Apps by Adam Bronkhorst
Bronkhorst covers a variety of photography apps for iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, and Blackberries, and explains how to get impressive results from smartphone cameras. Most teens will already know how to take photos and share them with social media, but will learn something new from Bronkhorst’s instructions on macro photography, multiple exposure and other tips for taking photos with apps, as well as an entire section on editing after the shot.
Manga for the Beginner: Everything you Need to Start Drawing Right Away! by Christopher Hart
A step-by-step instructions for drawing manga character faces, bodies, and fashion that is perfect for beginners. More advanced drawers may also get something out of sections on special effects, perspective and shading.