By Be Creative

The term “creative arts” can be intimidating to some people, but anyone can be creative! You can create beautiful, useful things regardless of your experience, and develop new skills in the process. If you’d like to try drawing, knitting, photography, or any other creative activity, check out these books for beginners below. If you prefer video tutorials, check out CreativeBug, an online space that offers creative arts workshops completely free with your library card. 


The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners: 21 Step-by-Step Lessons by Yoshiko Ogura

After providing information on what you need to get started, experienced art instructor Yoshiko Ogura explains the basics of pencil drawing through a series of clear lessons that provide insights on artistic composition, simulating highlights and shadows, depicting realistic forms, rendering texture and creating a sense of depth in your artwork. 

Photo Basics: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Great Photography by Joel Sartore

This entertaining book from beloved National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore shows aspiring photographers how to take great pictures, from framing and F-stops to editing and archiving. Whether you’re using your phone or a DSLR camera, you’ll learn the fundamentals of photography–and how to put them to work every day. In a series of short lessons, Sartore takes you through understanding focus, exposure, composition, and lighting. Using examples from his own work, he applies the basic rules of photography to family, pet, travel, nature, and street photos, and how to get a great shot with the camera on your smartphone. 

30-Minute Cookbook for Beginners: 100+ Recipes for the Time-Pressed Cook by Colleen Kennedy

If you’ve been looking for cookbooks for beginners, this one offers advice on basic tools, strategies for getting organized, and easy recipes to start you off. This trusty entry will help you master all the essential cooking techniques, from panfrying to broiling. It also includes practical tips on how to grocery shop efficiently, practice food safety, and save time with hacks that get every recipe on the table in 30 minutes or less. 

Knit Step by Step: Techniques, Stitches, and Patterns Made Easy by Vikki Haffenden and Frederica Patmore

The essential beginner’s guide to knitting successfully, with more than 200 illustrated knitting stitches and techniques. Taking you through simple skills, including how to knit, purl, and cast on and off, this simple handbook helps you decode knitting patterns and build intricate designs. Easy-to-use and fully illustrated, this book is ideal for beginners picking up their first pair of knitting needles.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need by Jessica Brody 

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 “beats” that comprise a successful story–from the opening image to the finale–this book lays out the Ten Story Genres alongside quirky, original insights to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate–and a novel that will sell.

Wear, Repair, Repurpose: A Maker’s Guide to Mending and Upcycling Clothes by Lily Fulop

Lily Fulop welcomes beginner and experienced makers with projects to refresh their closets, make the most of thrift store finds, and give worn-out cloth new life. Illustrated instructions demystify mending techniques, and skill-based projects will inspire readers to embrace their own personal style. 

Hand-Lettering Step-by-Step: Techniques and Projects to Express Yourself Creatively by Kathy Glynn

Artist Kathy Glynn will help you master the three main techniques—hand lettering, brush lettering, and pointed pen calligraphy—and create work that’s expressive, exquisite, and romantic. After explaining the basics, Kathy explains how to combine styles, add embellishments, and even digitize lettering. 

Origami 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily Through Step-by-Step Instruction by Benjamin Coleman 

In this easy-to-follow handbook, with the introduction of every folding symbol, you’ll find a detailed sidebar explaining what it means and a symbol index bookmark that guides you to these sidebars whenever you need to be reminded. If you need more help, just go directly to companion online video for any model. 

Simple & Natural Soapmaking: Create 100% Pure and Beautiful Soaps with the Nerdy Farm Wife’s Easy Recipes and Techniques by Jan Berry

With this new comprehensive guide, herbalist Jan Berry offers everything the modern-day enthusiast needs to make incredible botanical soaps. Beginners can join in the sudsy fun with detailed tutorials and step-by-step photographs for making traditional cold-process soap and the more modern hot-process method with a slow cooker. 

*All synopses and book covers from GoodReads

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