Cartoonist Lynda Barry Teaches You How to Draw

Friend, are you par­a­lyzed by your iron­clad con­vic­tion that you can’t draw?

Pro­fes­sor Chew­bac­ca aka Pro­fes­sor Old Skull aka car­toon­ist Lyn­da Bar­ry has had quite enough of that non­sense!

So stop dis­sem­bling, grab a pen and a hand-sized piece of paper, and fol­low her instruc­tions to Anne Strain­champs, host of NPR’s To The Best Of Our Knowl­edge, below.

It’s bet­ter to throw your­self into it with­out know­ing pre­cise­ly what the ten minute exer­cise holds (oth­er than draw­ing, of course).

We know, we know, you can’t, except that you can. Like Strain­champs, you’re prob­a­bly just rusty.

Don’t judge your­self too harsh­ly if things look “ter­ri­ble.”

In Barry’s view, that’s rel­a­tive, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you were draw­ing with your eyes closed.

A neu­rol­o­gy nerd, Bar­ry cites Gir­i­ja Kaimal, Kendra Ray, and Juan Muniz’ study Reduc­tion of Cor­ti­sol Lev­els and Par­tic­i­pants’ Respons­es Fol­low­ing Art Mak­ing. It’s the action, not the sub­jec­tive artis­tic mer­it of what winds up on the page that counts in this regard.

For more of Barry’s exer­cis­es and delight­ful­ly droll pres­ence, check out this playlist on Dr. Michael Green’s Graph­ic Med­i­cine Chan­nel.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lyn­da Bar­ry on How the Smart­phone Is Endan­ger­ing Three Ingre­di­ents of Cre­ativ­i­ty: Lone­li­ness, Uncer­tain­ty & Bore­dom

Fol­low Car­toon­ist Lyn­da Barry’s 2017 “Mak­ing Comics” Class Online, Pre­sent­ed at UW-Wis­con­sin

Lyn­da Barry’s Illus­trat­ed Syl­labus & Home­work Assign­ments from Her New UW-Madi­son Course, “Mak­ing Comics”

Join Car­toon­ist Lyn­da Bar­ry for a Uni­ver­si­ty-Lev­el Course on Doo­dling and Neu­ro­science

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine… Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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