I think an artist can never have too many art books. A great way to break out of a slump or same-old-shit-itis…or light a fire under your ass…. is to check out what other folks are up to. I really think its important to build a good library of art resources. Or maybe i just tell myself that to justify how much $ i have spent on books over the years, ha.
Most of these can be found through amazon or by googling the title. http://stuartngbooks.com/ is also a great ( but dangerous for your wallet) place to find books.
Also http://parkablogs.com/ does a lot of great reviews on art books and has a nice list of stuff to explore.
A lot of these books have become very very high priced over the years. Don’t feel like you need to break the bank to buy them all up. Please keep in mind i have collected my books over the last decade! Build it slowly, don’t go bankrupt haha. And keep that in mind when you buy newer art books! Take care of them since they might be worth a big chunk of change in a few years and you dont mind parting with a few you can make out like a bandit! ( i once bought a $60 japanese art book, kept it for about 7 years and recently sold it for $275… whaaaat!)
The Cream of Tank Girl- Before a million 13 year old girls wrote slash fanfic about 2D/Murdoch from Gorillaz, there was a comic called Tank Girl. Jamie at his finest and a huge impact on me as a young mutant.
Art of District 9- Lots of amazing alien variation.
Art of Okami- Such a neat game, fantastic style.
Anything by Claire Wendling- yes, anything. As in, all her books are great. Iguana Bay, Drawers are great books. Your ass will be kicked. Her command of shape, form and dynamic expression still make me feel a little ill and inferior ;)
Ichibay- lovely tattoo work
Shige- More lovely tattoo work
Cover Run: Art of Adam Hughes- This guy can draw. But everyone knows that already. It shows a few older pieces too…i like seeing where someone started out and being able to track when they really found their voice. It’s neat.
Iron Will: Art of Grime- Yes, this is a very expensive book. I feel like it’s worth every penny. Call me crazy. Something about his style just mesmerizes me and i think it’s influenced me recently. His other book Two Year Autopsy is more of a journal… more words less art.
Monster Hunter Illustrations- Great sketch work, clothing and weapon design. There is also a MH CG works art book out there which is probably great for 3D computer artists since it’s pretty much renders and resources from the game. It’s sort of a waste on someone like me though, i want to see sketches and hand drawn work!
The Art of Darksiders: If you can get your hands on it, grab it! I love that chunky Madureira style , lots of nice character sketches. Check out page 76- A rad art friend that worked as a concept artist told me he did up that character with my curly fanged style influence. Made my day!
Braindump: Paul Richards: Speaking of said art friend! This is a total tease because i dont think he’s selling his sketchbooks any more… but if you can find one grab it! Amazing sketch work. He keeps a really great art blog here: http://autodestructdigital.blogspot.com/
James Jean Fable Covers or Process Recess vol. 1: Hello, James Jean is the man.
Mythical Beasts of Japan: Chock full of gorgeous traditional monster art.
East African Mammals, Jonathan Kingdon: Expressive and lovely animal art. Lots of species info and first hand accounts of behavioral information so great for animal/art nerds.
Gonna leave off here for now… might list some more at some point. Hope it helps!