5 Great Books for Artists and Creative Entrepreneurs

Artists and entrepreneurs have a lot in common.

Both seek to change the world in some small way by using their talents and creative vision. For a long time businesses shunned too much creativity and focused on numbers and dry logic. Luckily however, there is a movement emerging that creativity into building a businesses.

It has become obvious with pioneers like Steve Jobs that being rebel minded, risk taking and wildly creative can lead to incredibly successful and world changing products. Some artists have shunned doing too much business out of the old fear that it would compromise the artistic vision and make the artist a 'sellout'. However more artists are beginning to realize that if they integrate entrepreneurial practice into their artistic vision their artwork can reach farther, be more impactful and sustain the cost of living for the artist.

In todays digital age anyone can start a business. Services like Society 6 and Zazzle has made it easy for artists to make their artwork available for purchase to people around the world. Social networks like Pintrest, Tumblr, Instagram and facebook has made it possible for artists to reach a global audience of like-minded people. Making a business out of your artwork does take time, dedication and a structured approach and if you're not into business it can be difficult to know where to start.

The following selection of books are ment to help artists expand their horizons to see new ways of making their artwork a sustainable way of life.


The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. 
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively.  Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. 

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Business Model Generation

A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

Based on the wildly popular creative tool Business Model Canvas. It offers a creative way to sketch out a business idea and see how the pieces fit together. It makes you consider all aspects of your venture and see it clearly from the top. The Book is very nicely designed and uses a lot of creative techniques to simply some complex ideas and presents them in a practical way for you to use in developing your business venture. Read the first 72 pages for free at http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf:

The Startup Owner's Manual

The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

This book really is handy to have when you need direction on how to maintain and run your business. Each chapters pertains to a certain challenge or process in a startups life. Being an artist professionally really is like managing a business and Startup the Owners Manual provides concrete steps and checklists of how you progress through common stages.

Steve Blank the Author of the The Startup Owner's Manual is connected to both Alex Osterwalder and Eric Reiss, the authors of the two previous books. Their theories meld together and Steve Blank in particular does a great job of connecting the ideas of all three books through presentations available free on Youtube!

The War of Art

Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. hat keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identif ies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.

Turning Pro

Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work

The follow-up to his bestseller The War of Art, Turning Pro navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice. "You don't need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind." --Steven Pressfield  When we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own. . The passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It's messy and it's scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.. What we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.

How to Cook like a Great Artist

.....The Artist's Palate contains an unprecedented collection of favorite recipes from some of the most famous international artists throughout history -- from Michelangelo, Henri Matisse, and Mary Cassatt to Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons. Featuring over 125 recipes from 89 great artists, and accompanied by more than 150 photographs of the artists and their work, family snapshots, artworks, documents, and memorabilia, this book offers a unique look at the private lives and appetites of some of the world's most creative personalities. (from the Publisher)

.......One of the most influential painters of modern times, Claude Monet lived for half his life in the famous house at Giverny. It was after moving here in 1883 with his future second wife, Alice Hoschedé, and their eight children that Monet's work finally achieved recognition. His growing success meant that he was able to indulge his passion for comfort and good living.

Family meals, special celebrations, luncheons with friends, picnics: all reflected the Monets' love of good food. Just as the inspiration for many of Monet's paintings was drawn from his beloved gardens and the surrounding Normandy landscape, so the meals served at Giverny were based upon superb ingredients from the kitchen-garden (a work of art in itself), the farmyard, and the French countryside.  (from the Publisher)

At the Auberge Ravoux, in a tiny artists’ village twenty miles from Paris, Vincent Van Gogh found a measure of peace in his ill-starred life—and experienced an unparalleled burst of creativity, producing seventy masterpieces and studies. The Auberge still operates today as the Maison de Van Gogh. Little has changed since Van Gogh first set down his bags more than a century ago, and visitors are still treated to the comforting, delicious regional cuisine that he would have dined upon.
(from the Publisher)

...In the tradition of the best-selling Monet's Table, Frida's Fiestas is a personal account in words and pictures of many important and happy events in the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and a scrapbook, assembled by her stepdaughter, of recipes for more than 100 dishes that Frida served to family and friends with her characteristic enthusiasm for all the pleasures of life. (from the Publisher)

...Matisse, Picasso, Hockney—they may not have been from the same period, but they all painted still lifes of food. And they are not alone. Andy Warhol painted soup cans, Claes Oldenburg sculpted an ice cream cone on the top of a building in Cologne, Jack Kerouac’s Sal ate apple pie across the country, and Truman Capote served chicken hash at the Black and White Ball. Food has always played a role in art, but how well and what did the artists themselves eat? Exploring a panoply of artworks of food, cooking, and eating from Europe and the Americas, The Modern Art Cookbook opens a window into the lives of artists, writers, and poets in the kitchen and the studio throughout the twentieth century and beyond.(from the Publisher)

Artopia Magazine recommends these as gift ideas because they engage and stimulate your senses in the same way your favorite great artists experienced.

Its not just something to read, these books are full of easy, delicious recipes that will appeal to creative cooks.

The art inspired recipes are memorable, making them perfect for parties or special occasions.





Welcome to the party!

We put together 10 highly rated books about

 Artists and Cooking

Artist are well-known for their creative presentation of food and eclectic dinner parties.

These cookbooks will give you insight into the lives of your favorite great artists, ideas for your picnics and themes for memorable parties.

ARTOPIA recommends these books as gift ideas because they engage and stimulate your senses in the same way your favorite great artists experienced

Its not just something to read, these books are full of easy, delicious recipes that will appeal to creative cooks.

The art inspired recipes are memorable, making them perfect for parties or special occasions.

“.....How would you like to dine in Van Gogh's olive orchard or in Bonnard's garden? What would be served at Mary Cassatt's afternoon tea? And a slice of which Thiebaud cake would you choose ... given the chance?
In The Artist's Table, fourteen world-renowned chefs create delectable menus inspired by masterpieces in the National Gallery of Art collections. These contemporary masters of the culinary arts are brought together with the works of great artists, and the result is a joyful celebration of art and food.”  (from the Publisher)

....This companion volume to the bestselling Monet's Table is a sumptuous evocation of the life, art, and dining style of one of the world's most celebrated Impressionist painters. It presents more than 60 recipes, accompanied by reproductions of Renoir's paintings and original full-color photos of turn-of-the-century French life. (from the Publisher)

......As beloved as Provence was to Cezanne, so too were his favorite Provencal dishes. Although he once claimed that his favorite meal was "potatoes in oil," he enjoyed a variety of foods prepared by his mother and later by his cook, Madame Bremond. Fifty of these special recipes are included in this book, attesting to the simple and bounteous Provencal cuisine that Cezanne held so dear. (from the Publisher)

......Great artists and great cooks have long been inspired by gardens and the many sensory gifts they provide. Artist Claude Monet took inspiration from his gardens and the lily ponds at Giverny. Van Gogh, Manet, Matisse, and Cezanne created still life masterpieces of fruit and flowers. Similarly, cooks from Julia Child and Alice Waters, to Patricia Wells and Jamie Oliver have taken culinary inspiration from homegrown or fresh local produce. Artist Maryjo Koch explores this centuries-old connection in a new cookbook inspired by her studio garden. The garden not only provides the artistic subjects she and her many students paint, but it also serves as the culinary toolbox for the delectable and visual feasts she prepares for her family, guests, and painting classes throughout the year.
(from the Publisher)

...Taking cues from modern art’s most revered artists, these twenty-seven showstopping desserts exhibit the charm and sophistication of works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Henri Matisse, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Avedon, Wayne  Thiebaud, and more. Featuring an image of the original artwork alongside a museum curator’s perspective on the original piece and detailed, easy-to-follow directions (with step-by-step assembly guides adapted for home bakers), Modern Art Desserts will inspire a kitchen gallery of stunning treats.  (from the Publisher)

Are you thinking about having a Art and Artist themed party now?

Check out our Pinterest board ‘Costumes of Art and Artists’ below for great dress up ideas!

Follow Artopia Magazine's board Costumes of Art and Artists on Pinterest.


Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Artist Kids


Real art supplies for kids selected by artists to encourage their artistic growth


1.  Crayola Ultimate Art Case with Easel

Art to go case with 85 items,

paints, markers, pencils, scissors, glue and paper

Ages: 4 -10


2. Young Artist Travel Paint Set by Faber Castell


Small scale art set for the beginner includes paint, palette, brush set, paper and instructions

Ages: 6-15


3.  Crayola 24 washable Watercolors 


Colorful set of safe and washable watercolors with brush.

 High quality at very low price.

Ages: 3-15


4.  Crayola Art Studio with Digital Tools

Learn art and computer skills

while having fun with crayon, paint , pencil and much more!

Ages: 4 -10


5. IlluStory - Write and Illustrate your own real Book

Your child illustrates and writes a story that’s professionally printed and bound into a book

Ages: 6-12


Want Amazon to wrap your gifts?  Details here.

Realize Your Dream to Be a Professional Artist


Do your dream

London street art by .akajimmyc
London street art by .akajimmyc

If we have great dreams we must to be willing to do something for them. Define your dream and put your effort towards realizing it. It takes work and dedication but if you are passionate you will attract things that someone with lots of money and no passion never could. If we are brave enough to follow our passion and shift our life towards realizing our dreams they will happen.

It takes believing in yourself and being responsible to yourself. We are responsible to our dreams.

Someone will think of their company as like their baby and take care of it as such. Can you nurture your art and make it grow, anticipate its needs, plan for its future, protect it and show it the right attention and care? Like investing your heart and soul into making your child grow up you put the same passion into realizing whatever vision you have. Following your passion will take work and in many ways a regular mindless job is much more comforting. If you want to be in charge you have to be the boss and the employee. That is a lot more responsibility and it takes managing yourself in a practical way.If you are do it and stick to it you will be able to live comfortably doing what you love.

Say 'I am an artist' proudly!

Things you can do to bring your dream into reality.


  • Write 5 things you want to make happen.
  • Do a dreamboard, put up pictures that remind you of what you to create.
  • Write inspiring affirmations on post-its down and put them up places you will see them.
  • Set up your workspace to you have things ready when inspiration strikes.
  • Dedicate structured time to working to working on your artwork.
  • Connect with like-minded creative people around you.

Artopia Book Recommendation

The War of Art

by Stephen Presfield

Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Expect this book to make a change in your creative life. This book is a classic among working artists

Yeah, that's a bold statement. But deep down inside you know that it is only you standing in the way of your potential.  This book will take you from the mentality of the weekend warrior - amateur artist, to what it is to be a professional artist.


Becoming a Professional Artist

We have the distant goal of wanting to be a professional artist but we might not think about what that really means to us. What life changes do we need to make to live a sustainable life as an artist? What do we actually want and how much work will it take to achieve that? What most of us want is really just a comfortable place to live and having food in the fridge. What will that cost and many paintings do you have to sell, at what price to maintain that?

These are practical questions that many artists don't ask themselves. Artists want to make art but besides making artwork there is figuring how you making artwork is going to sustain your lifestyle in the real world. That is an art in itself and we call it artrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are sometimes people who dedicate their heart and soul to realizing a vision for products and services that changes people's lives. In many ways it is similar to being an artist, having a vision and putting effort towards creating it and getting it in front of people.

  • Managing their time.
  • Setting goals and deadlines.
  • Leading themselves and others by example.
  • Networking and making connections to people.
  • Promote and stand by proudly of their product or service.[/list][/box]

Incorporating these disciplines into the work of being an artist is blending what it means to be an artist with what it means to be an entrepreneur.

That's why we call it artrepreneurship to describe the practice of being entrepreneurial with your artwork.

do your dream big
do your dream big

Artrepreneurial practice can help artists:

  • Earn more money.
  • Get more artwork done.
  • Be more established in communities.
  • Have consistent outlets to express yourself.
  • Feel better about yourself as an artist.

photos by

Johannes Madsen of artwork by .akajimmyc of London

Creative inspiration - Moving the world


by Johannes Madsen

We have separated our selves from the rest of the world. We look at ourselves as moving on the earth, we are in the world and not of it.


In that way we also cut ourselves away from what is most nourishing to us and from who we truly are.

When you look out there at trees, houses, grass and birds what you are seeing is you.

Without air, shelter, ground or life around you, "you" as a human body literally couldn't exist. You are dependent on the world in the same way you depend on your lungs, your legs or your skeleton.

Look at everything in the world as just another part of you.

When you walk across the world instead try to see yourself as moving the world.

Every step you take brings something in the world closer to you.


You create the reality you want to see around you and your responsibility is to make a nurturing one. Come back to your heart and find the most precious vision and direction for where you want to go.

Your heart is where your creative potential comes from and when you express it through art you are unfolding your heart into the world.

You are a tree growing into itself. You are fulfilling your true purpose when you free your heart and live in joy with everything you do.

Being brave enough to be Authentic


by Johannes Madsen


We would all like to be true to ourselves but somehow it can be very challenging It is easy to hide behind conventional ways of doing things and stick to old patterns because they are comforting. Trying to play it safe can limit your expression of who you truly are. It's like when you are a teenager and you feel that others look at you in a judgmental way. In your mind you repeat that people are focusing and it might make you uncomfortable. As an artist it is a brave thing to put your artwork out there and it's only fair that makes you feel outside your comfort zone. What matters is that you don't let your discomfort hold you back.

We need to grow past it and be comfortable with who we truly are.

You might feel pressured to live up to others expectations or that it is a shame to be noticed or recognised for your work. We encourage you to be yourself as you are!


The artistic establishment might bring you to play it safe and follow along. Don't let any criticism lead you to hide who you are. Your art has a purpose even if you can't express it with words. You are supposed to express it through your art. You are meant to show others what they can't see. Your perspective is totally unique and you should honor yourself for who you are.

Good artists aren't just technically good, they bring something of themselves to the artwork. They reveal part of who they are through their work.


Being authentic brings a unique narrative to your work. Tell the stories you are meant to tell the world. It's natural to seek acceptance and recognition from your peers but don't let how others see you stop you doing what you are driven to do. In a culture where hiding ourselves to fit in is the norm being authentic is truly brave and honourable.

Keep shining with who you are.

Being an Artrepreneur


by Johannes Madsen

I have always had a dream of 'starting my own thing'. I wanted to create something I would love and that others would love too. I think many people share similar dreams, but, like me, lack a context to put that in. It is easy to have a dream, but it is something else to put it into reality and actually realise that dream. I have all sorts of ideas. I wanted to make and sell t-shirts, make community websites, do online games and many more ideas that I never realised. It took me a while to figure out that what I was doing was entrepreneuring.


An entrepreneur is someone who has a vision and puts actions behind it to realise that vision.

Little did I know that what I was attempting to do was actually called entrepreneurship and has its world of tools, literature and best practices when it comes to making a sustainable business.

Most entrepreneurs have a goal to grow a business and make money, but that wasn't really exactly what I always wanted. I just wanted to make enough to get by, doing what I love doing. The goal of my vision has always been to make myself and others happier through what I do, not to make a big company that makes lots and lots of money.

I think many artists share this with me. Somehow we would like to do what we love and share it with others, but we get strangely uncomfortable a soon as money is involved. Most artists would rather avoid it and certainly not have it effect their product or vision.

Traditionally in entrepreneurship the product and vision are primarily focused on money - although with a growing sense of social responsibility, the drivers of entrepreneurial vision have become about:

  • Sustainability
  • Enriching people's lives
  • Making an impact on the world
  • Empowering others to express themselves

Through rock star entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg entrepreneurship has become cool, and what's cool about it isn't all about making. Making an impact is what matters.

Many artists share this vision of making an impact and there is a lot artists can learn from the practice of entrepreneurship that would empower them to make a deeper impact with their artwork.

That is why I am writing this series of articles and why we are using the term 'Artrepreneur' to describe an artist who applies practices to grow their artwork.

The Artrepreneur

Artists live thinking that all they will have to do to realise their artistic vision is make the artwork. Good artists wonder why their work isn't being seen, featured or sold. The answer is that there is a lot more that has to be done besides making the artwork. Networking with galleries, setting up an online portfolio with your art, submitting your stuff to competitions and so on. All of this is Artrepreneuring!

An artrepreneur is someone who does things around their artwork to amplify the value of it. A painting only exists one place but upload it to your online portfolio and it will be viewed many places around the world. You are taking a static value and stretching it out farther and wider.

We are using the term 'artrepreneur' in order to state clearly that there are many more activities besides making good artwork that makes a good artist. We are going to apply terms entrepreneurship to the world of artists in order to set some guidelines for what you can do as an artist to farther your artwork and yourself as an artist.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset as an artist can be extremely powerful to realising your art in more innovative and creative ways.

The artwork is only the beginning!

Being good at your craft and producing great artwork isn't always enough to make a great artist. 'Making it' as an artist is much more than doing good artwork.

It is:

  • Promoting your art and distributing it in creative ways
  • Engaging with a community through your art
  • The process of how you make your artwork
  • The value exchange between your artwork and your audience
  • These are all artrepreneurial subjects

As an artist you might realise that these are  things you are already doing, but it might not be considered part of your art. You are already an Artrepreneur, and becoming aware of that will empower you to master the art of Artrepreneuring. When you take responsibility for making your art grow and nurture the soil around it, your art will flourish in incredible ways you couldn't imagine.

Getting your art out there and experienced by people in new ways will free your artwork from the darkness of your storage room. You can make much more with what you have by being innovative in what you do with your art.


Another thing we will attempt to do with the term artrepreneur is to remove the phobia artists have for money.

Money is simply another tool you can make things with and it is essential if you want to build a sustainable life as an artist.

I do understand the discomfort artists tend to feel about money but ignoring it won't make the reality that the world runs on money go away. Don't be naive and learn how you can use the money system to your advantage.

The idea of money messing with your vision might not be a productive one. Bring money into your vision and embrace it as an empowering tool you can use to realise your artistic vision in greater ways.

The point of this whole article is to say 'get out there and do it!' Art is not something that stands alone by itself, it is an interaction with an audience. You as the artist make that interaction happen and that takes work besides doing the art.

You have to get out there and talk with others, make connections and show your artwork to the world.

Practical examples

  1. Submitting your artwork to social networks
  2. Creating an online portfolio or blog about your artwork
  3. Making businesscards and networking with potential stakeholders

Flower Power - Photoshop Tutorial


By Johannes Madsen


In this basic Photoshop video tutorial I go through how to create a beautiful flower pattern from scratch. This is a basic technique but you can play around with it and get great results.

This tutorial is good for beginners and anyone seeking creative Photoshop techniques.



What is Creative Commons?


How do you protect and direct uses of your work?

Creative commons is a non-profit organization that offers free legal tools for the creatives to share work under their own terms.


This is a fantastic resource for artists and musicians.  Here at Artopia Magazine we will start to incorporate the use of  Creative Commons and report to you about our experiences.


Are you already a user of Creative Commons?



Creative Inspiration


by Johannes Madsen


When we look at the sun it is impossible for us to imagine the journey it has taken. We know the sun as life-giving and we desire to be in the sunshine.

Sometimes we forget that we are extensions of the light of the sun. That the sun is a base that shines through us and everything we do is perpetuating the light.

Our creations are crystallised sunlight that shone on for ages.

We owe it to ourselves and the universe to honor our creative abilities, to cherish our creations and to be proud of ourselves as we create.

Having a healthy attitude towards ourselves and supporting yourself as a creator will accelerate our process and free up creativity.

We are a mighty creators on this planet but we get in the way of ourselves. We lose faith and doubt our creativity and lose out on important creations because of it.

Creation wants to come out of you like the shine of the sun bursting out. Having a good creative process is about clearing the clouds and making way for that shine to emanate freely from inside you.


It starts with accepting where you are and not needing to be 'perfect'. That perfection is just in your mind and it is untraceable by anyone so you shouldn't strive for it. Instead strive to keep doing what you are doing even when you feel resistance telling you 'it's not good enough'.

You wouldn't tell anyone else to stop in the middle of their creation so why should you tell yourself?

Start today. Decide to not hold back your light and begin expressing your creative power!

You have incredible things to bring to this world and we can't wait to see it.