#2 - Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking - Ted Orland and David Bayles
Great things can certainly come in small packages, and weighing in at a minuscule 122 pages, 8" x 5.5", and less than half an inch think, this book is worth it's weight in gold.
Written by two longtime friends and working artists, this book is written to make you realize that you, as someone compelled to create art, are not alone in the void. It will help you understand that we all have doubts, fear, and insecurities with regards to our art making, and this can sometimes be enough to keep you on the path, and occasionally break you from a creative slump just by the sheer glacial force of continuing to move forward. It doesn't tell you how to create whatever art form you are working in, but it does try to help inform you on how to keep moving forward, and sometimes, that can be half of the battle.
While both of the authors are photographers, the philosophy enclosed in this book will apply to any medium or artistic endeavor equally as well. This is a book worth having on your shelf, and worth reading, and re-reading as required. You might want more than one copy so that you can give one to a good friend.
"To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have." from Art and Fear, by Ted Orland and David Bayles.