Cartoonist Lynda Barry teaches us how to silence our inner critic and draw like a child

The pioneering cartoonist, professor and MacArthur Genius Grant winner is helping us access the creativity she says we all possess with a new book called Making Comics.

Here's a question for you: How old do you have to be to make a bad drawing? As kids, we would frequently scribble the wildest things across the page with zero inhibitions, but as we grow up, we often start judging the things we make.

That's where Lynda Barry comes in. She's a pioneering cartoonist, a professor and a MacArthur Genius Grant winner. Her new book is called Making Comics and it's full of drawing exercises that help you access your creativity and silence your inner critic. The exercises are based on the curriculum of a class Barry teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

She joined q's Tom Power in studio to tell us why creativity isn't a divine gift that only a few posses. You can find Barry's book Making Comics in stores now. Below, see some drawings she and Power created during their conversation, as well as some excerpts from the book.

Download our podcast and click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full conversation with Lynda Barry.

— Produced by ​Vanessa Greco

Miss an episode of CBC q? Download our podcast.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?