Picture This by Lynda Barry

Picture This

The creative-drawing companion to the acclaimed and bestselling What It Is Lynda Barry single-handedly created a literary genre all her own, the graphic memoir/how-to, otherwise known as the bestselling, the acclaimed, but most important, the adored and the inspirational What It Is. The R. R. Donnelley and Eisner Award–winning book posed, explored, and answered the question: "Do you wish you could write?" Now with Picture This, Barry asks: "...

Details Picture This

TitlePicture This
Release DateNov 9th, 2010
PublisherDrawn and Quarterly
GenreArt, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Nonfiction, Favorites

Reviews Picture This

  • Kevin Fanning
    I'll maybe write an actual review later. But basically: Lynda Barry doesn't ever use the word "religion" in this book but I think it's what she's circling around. It's a book about drawing, but it doesn't really "teach" you to draw. The idea is, and it's one that I subscribe to completely: doing creative things is very good for your soul. The trick, and the trick is the hard part, is that you can't worry about purpose. You have to be willing to s...
  • Ron Tanner
    A glance at Linda Barry’s “The Near-Sighted Money Book, Picture This” would make you think that it’s a parody of a kid’s how-to-draw manual. On the cover is this pitch: “Do you wish you could draw? Take art lessons from a monkey!’ It’s the kind of nonsense we’ve come to expect from Barry, whose wacky comics have made her one of the most popular alt-illustrators of recent decades. But take a closer look at “Picture This” and ...
  • Kate Merriman
    So, I've not been doing a lot of "making images" in the last few weeks and obesssing about the fact, unsure what the hang-up was and sometimes getting to the point of feeling overwhelmed. Which is really odd for me.Yesterday, rummaging around a pile of books, stumbled on "Picture This" by Lynda Barry, which I'd bought weeks back but never even glanced at. What a gently inspiring thing! She's created this whole complex, gorgeous work around the qu...
  • Chris
    Another good illustrated book from Lynda Barry - this one focuses mostly on drawing.
  • Courtney
    I had a good feeling about this one. You see, I loved Lynda Barry's earlier work, "What It Is", the ground-breaking, mold-shattering, genre-defying and above all, inspiring, book about creative writing. I had a sneaking suspicion that she might have adapted the same format with visual art in mind. And I was right. "Picture This" does for art what "What It Is" did for creative writing. They encourage letting go of preconceived notions of "good" an...
  • Lars Guthrie
    Even though I knew Barry has been going off in a different direction, I came in expecting the narrative force of 'Cruddy,' and looking for Marlys and Maybone. Marlys and Maybone are in 'Picture This,' but it's not an autobiographical work like, say, 'ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS!' If you can't get over your preconceptions of what you think Lynda Barry does, or you are the linear type, this work will be difficult to take in. It's not only a primer for dra...
  • Bonnie G.
    What It Is is a masterpiece of writing, cursive, battling fears and embracing them, writing excercises, childhood, etc. Picture This is more of a scrapbook showcasing Lynda Barry's portfolio, which I personally have no problem with, but she is more used to writing about writing than drawing about drawing and it shows. A beautifully produced book with the meditating monkey, the near sighted monkey, the crazy ass elephant and the terrifying stain m...
  • Tristy
    This is the best book about creativity I've ever read. Lynda Barry dives in and out of the dark places using her paintbrush as a life-line. It is so heartening to connect her process of grief and really see how drawing and painting saved her life. Really, there aren't words to describe how good this book is. I'd have to paint and draw and collage my review. Lynda Barry is a life-saver. She gives us all permission to draw like a kid again.
  • Mayda
    This book is in a genre of its own. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I found it difficult to make any sense of it at all. What was the author was trying to achieve? It seems like many of the reviewers lauded this book, but I failed to see much development or importance in the pictures or the accompanying text. Not my cup of tea.
  • Jimmy
    Yes! I like that she elevates mindless doodling to a level worthy of respect.Also check out What It Is, which is about writing.
  • Sundry
    I've decided I love Lynda Barry. This is a sweet, honest book that asks why we start drawing and more importantly, why we stop. I started doodling and drawing again thanks to this book. I took a long time going through it because I wanted to savor it.
  • Janina Schnitzer
    “Picture This” shapes concepts into images, using comics, scribbles, dots, smears, cut outs and torn paper pasted onto pages, lines, colors, brushes, ink, paint, food coloring, and words which are “pictures” painted with a brush. This activity book provides an insight into the author’s mind and experiences. The Near-Sighted Monkey is Lynda Barry’s persona – and she enjoys art, watching a frustrated ballerina show, smoking Don’t (a...
  • Sassafras Lowrey
    I really liked this one - Lynda Barry has such beautiful thoughts on creativity and about artistic practice and self censorship. it's a beautiful book and a thoughtful book - and a great reminder to push myself to doodle and draw more in my daily and my creative life
  • Liberty
    Lyda Barry messes with our expectations in this fun and funky coloring, craft and do-a-lot book that confuses genre and drags the reader into a strange world where monkeys smoke, little girls do not grow up to be princesses (okay, that bits real) and two creatures called Beak and Trunk have intense conversations, transcribes through morsels that run through the pages like a crazy herd of elephants. It’s hard to pick a favorite theme in this boo...
  • Victoria Walton
    Lynda Barry's Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book is an exploration, an "Amazing New Scientific Breakthrough", into the role that drawing, doodling, and ultimately art, plays in the importance of children and adults' lives. A chain-smoking female monkey wearing glasses and a bandana guides us through a memoir-like storybook of images that tell about Marlys and Arna's childhoods. The narrative voice that emerges seems to be Barry's own, as ...
  • Ciara
    i really have no idea what to think of this book. it was nice to look at. i liked all the marlys in it, & i really liked all the bats. especially marlys hanging out with a bat, & a bat attacking a ballet dancer. but collage & drawings is pretty much all this book is. what "substance" there is in terms of thoughts about drawing is mostly very vague & impressionistic. i didn't dislike it...but it's not really the kind of thing that gets me going. i...
  • Penny
    This is the most amazing memoir / art how-to I have ever encountered. I had to stop several times while reading it to make comics. For anyone who is struggling with creativity, who has anxiety about making things, or who just feels like they're not creative, this book is for you.
  • Emily Dings
    I could not love Lynda Barry more. This book is mesmerizing. She talks (and draws!) about the barriers to creativity in the most generous, inspiring, clever way possible. Nothing I've ever read has made me so motivated to create.
  • Tracy
    Went to the library for Ursula K. Le Guin's Tehanu, found this instead. Win. Lynda! Barry! Rocks!
  • Heather (DeathByBook)
    Genius. Great. Lynda Barry is the best. A book for getting unstuck or finding a new way, or re-finding an old way of looking at things.
  • Debra
    I was directed to this book by an author of another graphic novel who mentioned that she was inspired by this author/artist. This is mesmerizing. I loved the idea that she uses used paper to paint over. Must try that with some kids. It would help not seeing a blank piece of paper. I also never met anyone who revealed that they see images and monsters in water stains and shadows. I always thought I was weird. I love to look at patterns and see ima...
  • Rebecca
    I've had this on my shelf for years and finally read it. I love Lynda Barry's approach. This entire book is a reminder to play, to make art without purpose, and to use what you have -- no fancy supplies necessary. Making up stories & images from the stains on the ceiling made me smile. This is one of Leonardo da Vinci's tips as well: "If you look upon an old wall covered with dirt, or the odd appearance of some streaked stones, you may discover s...
  • Misbah
    Love this book. Wacky watercolor paintings and drawings. This book is so inspirational and unique. You get insight on the author and how she started drawing as a kid. You see questions raised about why we stop drawing as we grow older and how easy it is to be imaginative when we are kids. There are cute little activities in there too, to inspire you to make a little art. I think I'll check this book out again to copy some of the drawing technique...
  • Krista Park
    Great thought piece
  • Deborah-Ruth
    Great illustrations, though because I'm not used to this type of book I didn't totally understand everything, but the basic concept is about encouraging drawing and creativity.
  • Elena Silva
    In Picture This: The Near-Sighted Money Book, Lynda Barry uses comics, cartoons, found text, watercolors, and simple, but profound creative revelations to depict the wisdom behind the fantasies and fears of childhood. The book does not follow the format of a typical genre comic or children’s book. She organizes the sections into “Picture This: Spring, Summer, Fall,” and an unnamed beginning section readers assume is “Winter,” because of...
  • Austin Wasielewski
    Lynda Barry’s Picture This: A Nearsighted Monkey Book takes it’s reader on a long journey through the colorful world of the writer’s psyche, in which she reveals her viewpoints on the nature of art and our existence as conscious beings. Through cute and crude drawings of strange imaginary beings, this interactive picture book takes the reader through four seasonally divided sections that discern everything from the nature of the value of co...
  • Melissa Tang
    “Picture This: The Near Sighted Monkey Book” interweaves the story of Marleys, a child who picks up a coloring book from the library, with characters from the book-the monkey, her pet chicken, Mr. Trunk and Mr. Beak, who guide Marleys and the reader, on an art project. The book is a synthesis of a memoir, graphic novel, comic, how-to book, and self-help book. Readers gather that the author identifies with Marleys, whose story is told in a com...