A to Z #3: C is for Creative License


The Creative License by Danny Gregory is easy to credit as being the book that made me stop taking myself so seriously. Up until then (then being 2006), my artwork had to be Perfect with a capital P, or it wasn’t worth showing anyone. Granted, I did show my bff at the time, but everything I did was prefaced with “I know it sucks, but….” Even our shared creative journal always had notes about how much I didn’t like what I drew. That negativity was really bringing down my confidence (and probably annoying the hell out of my friend) and making me lose the desire to draw.

Being trained in animation, so much of what I created was conceptual rather than real, even though we were told time and time again to draw from life so we could get it right in our concept art. Well, I drew from life, but I mostly drew people. That made my characters look a hundred times better, but it never occurred to me to draw the inside of a diner, or my food, or my medicine cabinet. As a result, I developed a fear of drawing environments, buildings, and outdoor scenes. Anything involving perspective? Heck no. But The Creative License and Danny’s other books have helped me get over that, incrementally though it may be. I mean, I may not be any good at it yet, but at least I’m willing to try.

I love Danny Gregory’s books. The Creative License was only the first. His newest book, Art Before Breakfast, is also fantastic. In fact, I need to read it again to make sure I don’t forget any of the ideas in that book.

If you like art, keep a sketchbook, or might want to keep a sketchbook but were always too afraid to try, then you should read The Creative License. Heck, even if you do something besides artwork or drawing, you should read it. You’ll realize you don’t have to take everything so seriously. It’s okay to relax and play around with your creative work. Don’t deprive yourself of a creative outlet out of fear or worry or the belief that you’re not good enough. That’s bull. Just go for it, and have a blast in the process.




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