The Only Thing that’s Blocking Your Creativity


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!)

How to Fight Back Against Your Inner Critic

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!

< 1 min

Stay up to date with the latest news from Sketchbook Skool!

Did you enjoy this blog post?  
It helps us a lot if you share it!
creative habits

How to Start

I could start with a humorous anecdote, maybe something self-deprecating —I’ve been doing a fair amount of that sort of self-flagellation lately. Maybe about the time I fell asleep in the library in college and was so embarrassed when I was awoken by another student that….

Read More »

Everyday Matters – Profile of Catherine Youngren

Welcome to a new series from Sketchbook Skool about what making art means in our lives, as told by members of our Spark community.  “Making art gives me balance.” When life became turbulent, Catherine Youngren found stability in her sketchbooks. Art by Catherine Youngren I just retired from my work as a commercial interior designer

Read More »

Student Profile: Tammy Murdock

My name is Tammy Murdock, I am an enthusiastic artist who does illustration, collage and hand lettering. I love wonky lines, splatters of paint, earl grey tea, warm socks and drawing outside the lines. I live in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island and I have been an artist since I held my first crayon. When

Read More »