It’s not time. It isn’t money. Not the lack of an art school education or talent or a family full of artists so it’s in your blood, or any other reason you could come up with for why you “can’t” draw. The only thing standing in the way of you making art is—well, to put it bluntly, you.

Sorry, but there’s a part of you that’s very critical of any attempts you may make to be creative, and that can stop you cold. Here at Sketchbook Skool, we use co-founder Danny Gregory’s name for that critical inner voice: the monkey. The monkey exists to protect you from trying new, potentially dangerous new things by manufacturing fear—that you’ll fail, look stupid, make really bad art, or go bankrupt buying art supplies. (Actually, that last one is a possibility; once people start making art, they can go a little crazy buying materials. But we always say you can make really good art with just an ordinary notebook and a ballpoint pen. Have you ever seen Sketchbook Skool fakulty member Andrea Joseph’s work? Take a look here. Most of that is plain ol’ pens!)

Sketchbook Skool student Cynthia Morris recently talked about two books that can help you get past the inner critic, including Art Before Breakfast: The Workbook by Danny Gregory, in this video. Once you stop listening to the monkey chatter in your mind, you should have a lot of free time to make art!

Featured image by Danny Gregory.

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