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The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are
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The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  20,026 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
The author of "Everyday Matters: A New York Diary" teaches readers to open their lives to creativity and fulfillment by relearning how to draw. Handwritten and illustrated in color throughout.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Hachette Books (first published December 21st 2005)
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Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-books

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This book is full of pointers on drawing, on creating something on paper with ink. There are a lot of ideas on what to draw ,when (now) to draw but not how to draw. Every page feels like a call to put pen to paper.

The text is typeset in a handwriting font, which might make it hard to read for long periods of time. The good thing is this book can be picked up and read in portions from any page.

It's a very inspirational and motivating book to read, especially when
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Since discovering Danny Gregory's book, I've filled two illustrated journals. I really love doing it, too. I find that when I take the time to "illustrate", my memory of that particular event/place/whatever is so much sharper. I love Gregory's spirit and enthusiasm; I feel like he really believes in me, personally. I never would have discribed myself as "creative" before owning this book, but when I look back at my journals and the one I'm working on now, I think I should maybe reconsider :) Tha ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I didn't always agree with the author, it was a good, thought-provoking book on using drawing to bring more creativity to all aspects of your life. It definitely got me thinking and writing about some deeper things.
Black Heart
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, americans
Great book on giving yourself permission to dabble--or even push yourself more seriously--in various artistic spheres. Gregory will teach you to draw (hint: you already know how!), and to journal, giving you your own "creative license" to do what you like and embrace your inner artist. Whether you're a frustrated, failed, first-time or burnt-out artist, this book will help get your creative life back on track. Like he says: "Art ain't fancy or special. True art is democratic and human." It's abo ...more
Colby Purcell
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who want to be creative/think they aren't creative
I just wanted to say "amen" a whole lot while reading this book by Danny Gregory, which basically is one big argument for why we should still be artists and why being an artist has gotten such a bad rap in our society.

We have been trained by our society several tragic things:

1) Creativity is a you-have-it/you-don't issue.
2) Great artists are great because they were born with a lot of talent.
3) Art only has value if the artist makes money off of it.
4) Art is a selfish venue/not a real occupati
Bill Lancaster
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books
Danny Gregory, the author of “Creative License” has carved out a unique niche for himself. Benefitting from the pervasive spread of the internet, Gregory created an influential blog years ago that described his re-entry into the practice of drawing for personal pleasure. And through his books and his blog (and now, his newly monetized online instructional website (“Sketchbook Skool”), he has been quite successful in doing so.

I first read this book several years ago. This is my second reading. I
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book tells you how to start an art journal and gives you mini-assignments so you can get off your but and trust that there is a creative genius inside of you, YES YOU!
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
i'm enjoying the experience of "drawing" and thinking about drawing again. I'm really looking forward to work on some art journaling very soon.
Apryl Anderson
This was nice--very enjoyably nice--although it unleashed my inner conundrum. That snippy, snarky "Left Brain" voice insists on damning me whether I do or I don't, so this time it reminded me of the pointlessness of reading about drawing instead of doing the drawing, and LB is such a trickster that she used Gregory's cheerfully encouraging style to really lay it on thick. This book is loaded with excellent suggestions for how to see and communicate our observations...No Matter What. Press on! Pe ...more
Morgan Golladay
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Danny Gregory has spent a life-time with art, artists, art products, advertising, and discussions about art. This book is specific to problems many creative people face - being “ok” with creativity. Whether the reader’s focus is on sketching, crafting, writing, painting, etc, the focus of this book is giving oneself permission to be that creative person we hope to be.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Couldn't finish it 2/5 stars.
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: art-design
The first book read for my 2010 reading list. A older selection that jumped out at me in a strange time, after the Holidays, when I received a plethora of books to read. I bought this book in 2006 after reading select passages in a HOW magazine. I was in the early years of design school and trying to regain my confidence to draw after year away from the art board. I grabbed the book and shortly realizing the book was gauged for someone entering the art world for the first time and not some who k ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
What can I say that others haven't said? If you have the creative urge to draw but can't get past some block, this book will help you out. I was constantly drawing as a child, graduating to water colors & pen and ink in adolescence. Then I entered the world, felt my art wasn't good enough, and stopped. Years later, I still have that quiet urge to draw, to paint, to simply create things of aesthetic value. All these years, I've been a little down on myself for not being creative, not being go ...more
I used to drawn a lot in my teens, but like many others then suddenly quit. Now, years later, I started drawing again... because of Danny Gregory's wonderful book.

The book is incredibly inspiring and encouraged me to pick up the pen again, just draw and keep drawing. Now, I carry my Moleskine sketchbook and a pen *everywhere* and whenever I have a chance, I try to draw. It's fun, it's great...

The only downside of this book is the all capital font which is designed to look handwritten. It takes
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I credit this book with getting me (properly) back into drawing after a hiatus of something like 15 years. I found it motivating, inspiring and maybe for the first time I felt that it was ok to just create, and was able to more or less put to one side my perfectionist tendencies. Danny encourages you to keep drawing but simultaneously go easy on yourself. The book isn't a formal drawing course but is more about learning to really truly see what you draw and to recognise the beauty and value in t ...more
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: creative darlings
This book is awe inspiring. I have read it twice this year already. The author feels like a mentor and a friend. The tasks are comprehensible and manageable for even the busiest lifestyle and most procrastinating of individuals. The wording of this book is magical, as though this person is truly thankful to write a book about something he believes in so much. If drawing is not your prime creative endeavor, this book and it's soulful wisdom can be applied to anything with creative merit. Chances ...more
Jesse Rose  Williams
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I keep saying I am going to buy this book next time I go to a bookstore, and I haven't yet, but it's amazing. If you need a kickstart to your creativity, get this book. I guess the main message is to draw EVERYTHING around you...contents of your medicine cabinet, your tie collection, what you ate for breakfast, etc.... The author has a great sense of humor and makes you view your drawing in a different light. Tons of great ideas. It's also a fun book to read because it is full of his own drawing ...more
Sherry (sethurner)
Oct 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, nonfiction
Danny Gregory is a force of nature when it comes to creativity and especially creating illustrated journals. This book works as a sequel to Everyday Matters, and has looks of support for the aspiring sketcher. His argument, if you can learn to drive a car, you can learn to pay attention to the ordinary aspects of your life and draw/write about them. There are lots of illustrations and motivational quotes, lots of suggestions for getting started and overcoming self-doubt.
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Let me admit that I did not really finish reading this book but already within the first day of reading it I had returned to some of my creative roots and began drawing again. I have since spent my weekends outside, enjoying the spring time while sketching into a composition book. I am thankful for having the courage to pick up this book and admit that I missed the creative side of myself. I will definitely pick this book back up and keep reading.
Armando Alves
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creativity
Coming back to drawing, the book seemed an interest introduction, even if the amount of sketches and handwritting instead of typesetting were suspicious.
How wrong could I be ... Danny Gregory's book is much more than a book about drawing or journaling, it's a journey into the world of creativity.
Not only my love for drawing has reborn, but the mundane things now seem an opportunity to be creative.
Mary Kenyon
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated with the author's drawings, this book made me want to go out and purchase a thick, handmade journal and start drawing again. I read this book to inspire myself as I begin writing another book, this one about creativity. It didn't make me finish up my proposal, but it did make me take some quiet time to contemplate just what creativity entails. Lovely, inspiring book~
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are so many great ideas for nudging your creative muscles in this book. I didn't read it straight through, but jump around. I find it a great way to rest and think about something different at the end of the day.
Jess McCabe
May 16, 2011 is currently reading it
Yep, I'm reading an art self-help book...
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great read!
Katrina Sark
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
p.88 – Be good to yourself
• Draw things that make you glad. Catalog your blessings.
• Commit a space to your art. A corner, a desk, a shelf, a tackle box, a space that says, “What I make matters.”
• Collect things to draw. Scour flea markets, thrift stores, hardware stores.
• Buy yourself the biggest box of crayons available.
• Reward yourself with art supplies. Meet a goal, buys a pen.

p.91 – There are many different ways of writing in your journals. You could make spare little observations abo
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Danny Gregory never disappoints, this is the second (or third) book I read from him and I find it so helpful. I'm a Graphic Designer and lately I find it hard to devote some time to drawing and keeping a journal which I used to do frequently for quite some time.
Since none of the people I normally relate/hang out with consider themselves artists I don't get to have someone to question why i haven't been drawing lately, which I think is what I need sometimes.
This book is like that friend that remi
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was so much more than I thought it would be. Gregory connects the practice of drawing what you see with the practice of mindfulness, which really resonated with me. He offers a lot of insight on creativity, and gives a ton of suggestions to jump start yourself out of a rut. Plus there's some really practical advice on drawing. I may just buy a copy of this for myself. I'm also interested in checking out his other works.
Cynthia Cat  Garnder
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This book is very entertaining and fun
I loved it
Korie Brown
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read most of this. I get the idea. The book gets repetitive.
Michael Duckworth
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It expands your artistic side by encouraging yourself to dive into the great world of arts.
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How do you "read" this book? 5 22 Dec 04, 2014 03:17PM  
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“There are no bad drawings.
Drawings are experiences.
The more you draw, the more experienced you'll get.
In fact, you'll learn more from bad or unpredictable or weird experiences than from those that go exactly as you'd hoped and planned.
So let it go.
Release your ego's desire for perfection.
Take risks.
Create as much as you can, whenever you can.”
“The true purpose of illustrated journaling [is] to celebrate your life. No matter how small or mundane or redundant, each drawing and little essay you write to commemorate an event or an object or a place makes it all the more special.” 6 likes
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