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
Number of pages204 pages
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Art, Comics, Nonfiction

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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Ame_Aki
    Lynda Barry's Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book is not composed of a single, stand-alone story but a culmination of multiple stories progressing throughout the book in tandem. There is the story of two girls, Marlys and Arna, and their experience with drawing/creating, there are the stories of Mr. Beak and Mr. Trunk, of the Near-sighted Monkey & her imaginary friends, rabbits and chickens and another story featuring the Barry herself and...
  • Thuy-linh Pham
    Lynda Barry’s Picture This: The Near-sited Monkey Book is an open and free story, where not all are pieced together in total coherence, just like the unique arrangement of visuals in the story. Lynda’s story is a jumble of plots that I try to piece together rather than a straight linear plotline. It introduces a pleasantly strange primate and her different habits as she goes through daily life, such as pouring a banana-pancake batter into the...
  • Sandra Jiang
    Lynda Barry’s “Picture This: The Near Sighted Monkey Book” takes me through a whirlwind of childhood memories and an ever creeping tone of uncertainty, mainly questioning what happened to me to get me to my anal retentive state. The text focuses on two reoccurring sections: a visiting monkey dropping advice and existential questions here and there and the creative endeavors of two sisters, Marlys and Arna. Throughout the piece, there is an ...
  • Irene
    "Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book", is a book in its own category, filled with beautiful watercolors, paintings, and writings that tell the story of not only Marlys and Arna, but the story of almost every child as well. The book questions why people stop drawing when they grow older, along with the limits of art and what makes art art. Along the way, it adds "how to draw" tips using the Near-sighted Monkey. This book is a heady combo of...
  • Hillary
    In a seasonal romp that eventually coalesces into a how-to-draw guide, Lynda Barry provides an engaging and nostalgic argument in favor of rediscovering our artistic side. At once a beautiful array of collage-style artwork, instruction manual, gentle advice, and personal revelation, Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book asks its readers to relearn how to play on the page.There are recurring characters, like the Near-Sighted Monkey herself, a...
  • Josephine L.
    Upon opening Lynda Barry’s Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book, the reader is bombarded with colors, images, instructions on drawing, and questions about the choices made throughout one’s life. We follow the stories of Marlys and Arna, the Near-sighted Monkey simultaneously, and occasionally tidbits from minor characters like Mr. Trunk and Mr. Beak. The book is a conglomerate of doodles, comics, and paintings paratactically mixed with ...
  • Shannon Mclaughlin
    In Lynda Barry's "Picture this" we are using adult perspective to look at the idea of making art like a child. The book is divided into four sections, which are categorized by color, as well as seasonally, yet the continuation of Marlys's and Arna's dialogue, the blurbs of Near-Sighted Monkey's life activities, and Don't cigarette advertisements are found within the entire piece. At first, the work looks like that of an adolescent child, with mul...
  • Mal Re:
    Burning through “Don’ts...The imaginary cigarette preferred by forgotten shapes everywhere” (150) Lynda Barry reminds us again and again “Do” through her whimsically perturbed The Near-Sighted Monkey Book/ Picture This. Barry manipulates text, image and color in both paint and tenor, “borrowing” fragments of and whole works from Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shelley, Milner, Sengai, Kuiseko, and Blake, amongst others. As charac...