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I'm Kristi. I'm the artist behind At the Dot Design.
Read more about me
You might not know this about me, but my full-time job is as a book conservator. I’m surrounded by books all day at work and when I go home it’s not all that different (my books are much newer of course, but they are quite a presence in my life).
Over the last decade or so I’ve been slowly building up an inspiration library that I can turn to when I’m starting a new fabric collection or other piece of artwork. I never directly copy the work in these books, but simply use them as a jumping-off point for my own interpretation. If you want to learn more on that topic be sure to grab a copy of Steal Like an Artist, it’s a classic.
For me, it’s got to have variety. If I only look at historic patterns I can feel overwhelmed or uninspired. Many of these books include different kinds of objects, images from books, decorative arts, clothing, and photographs. I like to see how things are made and I try not to be too influenced by what I see, sometimes that’s easier if I’m looking at an embroidered dress.
Books are heavy and can be quite pricy, but I’m a real sucker for them and so I continue to collect and weigh down my household. The good news is that even if you can’t afford to purchase books new you can find them used or head to your local library to check them out. Regardless of how you obtain them, I still find true value in books and can’t imagine a house without lots of them around.
I personally own many of the books on this list and a few of them have been on my wish list for quite some time. Even if I haven’t bought them yet, I have had a chance to peruse them at my local bookstore and know they are good ones (by my standards at least).
If you have books you turn to for inspiration that aren’t on this list I’d love to hear bout them. Leave a comment or send me a message on Instagram, I’d love to hear about them.