The Creative License


Creativity is something we are all born with, but somewhere along the way, we convince ourselves we don’t have the right to label ourselves as creative or artists. This book is my attempt to reverse that with a step-by-step process to reawaken the creative impulse in us all. It’s designed to be fun, easy, a little snarky, and addictive.  My goal is to help you lay the foundation for a lifelong habit of drawing, making things, and becoming what you always dreamed of being — an artist. It’s crammed with drawings and paintings and designed to be your constant, dog-eared, coffee-stained sidekick. Pick yours up today.

A Few reader comments on this book:

Hope says:
November 6, 2010 at 3:38 am  (Edit)
Hello Danny,I am an artist andI just wanted to leave a message about my inspiration from your books.Today I visited my favourite book store “Banyen” in Vancouverand found another one of your treasure “The Creative Licence” and this is the second book that I’ve encountered since ” An Illustrated Life” I’ve noticed that the book is very indirectly spiritual and I believe myself and others are spiritual beings. I really appreciated the step by step guides of how you kept your Hope, also the illustrations are very eye catching. Thank you for the beautiful treasures.
sheila potter says:
February 9, 2011 at 10:49 am  (Edit)
Thanks very much Danny – I have been very inspired by your books. A a Kohinoor and moleskin that had sat untouched for 2 years are now in my purse. I am trying to loosen-up and just draw into the zone.As a kid, I felt as though my head was crammed full of pictures to the point of bursting. I released the pressure by letting the colour flow out my fingers. But other people’s expectations of my art lead me to fixate on accuracy – I lost creativity. And then I worked a bunch of years as a graphic designer – having the “undo” option on everything became my crutch. Now, I am trying to draw the way that I did as a kid – the way that my kids do. Just because.
Creativity! [dedicated to you!] « says:
February 11, 2011 at 6:23 am  (Edit)
[…] dear student let me borrow this fantastic book: The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are. What a wonderful title. So this post, like the book is dedicated…. From Danny Gregory’s […]
I can’t resist the temptation of bright colors « Tekenen van alledaagsheid says:
February 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm  (Edit)
[…] can’t resist the temptation of bright colors Danny Gregory writes in his book The Creative License about using color as a beginner: “I’d hold off on the color for now, too; stick to […]
Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing « Tekenen van alledaagsheid says:
May 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm  (Edit)
[…] Franck. It reminds me of some of the things Danny Gregory writes. In Danny Gregory’s book License to create there is an exercise to draw a bagel, and draw every, every sesame seed on it. In the same vein […]
Canadian says:
June 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm  (Edit)
Hey Danny,
Your book is beautiful, but I admit I cringed when I read your analogy about how learning how to draw is like learning how to drive a car. Guess what, I don’t drive either!
All I kept thinking how ironic it would be that I would get my creative license before I got my driver’s license. (I wonder if I get into bars with my creative one?)
Analogies! It’s not a one-size fits all world!
Rachel says:
August 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm  (Edit)
Dear Danny,Period!No seriously, I wanted to read up about the writer who spoke in depth of the issues we face in modern life and how actually sometimes silly they are or are not – showing our private selves to others when most people are interested most in themselves! Every path we take up, leads to light, laughter and life, if we walk far enough. Thanks, I am encouraged by many of your ideas to sketch doodle, and explore the hidden side of me.
Diana says:
October 12, 2011 at 6:55 am  (Edit)
Mr Gregory.My Godmum gifted me your book when i finished school.It was the perfect guide. I started my first journal the very same day.It’s been 5 years since. I graduated from art school as a painting student. Alot of factors were involved in my journey but i’m glad i have this oppurtunity to thank you. For your words that never cease to inspire me in moments of confusion and conflict. I’ve shared your book with many others and there isn’t a soul who’s returned it without immense gratitude. Many many thanks Diana.
Tina Koyama says:
November 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm  (Edit)
I first read The Creative License in about 2006. I re-read it three times since then, roughly a year apart. The fourth time’s the charm: I finally “got” it. Drawing has changed my life. Thank you.
– Tina
Louise Gilbert says:
November 13, 2011 at 9:39 am  (Edit)
I recently discovered The Creative License. Before I finished even skimming through the pages of your book, I picked up and pen and started to draw. I haven’t stopped. You’ve made me very happy. Thank you.
Hashi Love | SEWN says:
December 21, 2011 at 11:01 am  (Edit)
[…] post about wanting to learn how to paint and the creative urge, Hashi sent me this wonderful book, The Creative License, by Danny Gregory.  She said that she used it to learn how to draw and paint.  If you saw her […]
JeongIn Lee says:
January 18, 2012 at 9:48 am  (Edit)
Hi, I’m student studying in graphic design in Korea. Korea is in East Asia.I read your book 6 monthes ago.I had been through hard time, been depressed. And I had less confidence, which drove me to consider that I’m not good at drawing… Then I found your book! It was amazing. I start to draw or write anything. It changed me in many ways. Now I enjoy every day, everyday life. I totally get myself back. I’m happy now. I love my drawing again.Did I write correctly? I’m writing this by searching google and dictionary…. I just want to tell you this : “Thank you!” Very, very thank you !!I recommended your book to my friends, and they’ve started now, too
dannygregory says:
January 18, 2012 at 9:52 am  (Edit)
Im so glad it was helpful, Jeongin. Please keep drawing!
Nikki Kearns says:
February 16, 2012 at 8:11 am  (Edit)
Hi Danny,
There are two books mentioned in your book called “An Illustrated Life” that I have searched for on Amazon and Google and can’t find.
The Robert Searle ink blotches mentioned by you. I have found many of his books but none that mention the ink blotches.The ZWEI TUASEND EINS facimilies of Robert Crumb’s sketch books.
Please could you provide me with exact details so I can trace and purchase them.
NikkiI would like Author, Title, Publisher and ISBN
dannygregory says:
February 16, 2012 at 8:14 am  (Edit)
Searle’s inklbots are just a natural part of his organic process. I found them in most of hi s books. They’re not the basis of a specific book.The Crumb sketchbooks are available through Fantagraphics Books and you can find them all on Amazon.
Girl Crushes | SEWN says:
February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm  (Edit)
[…] a how-to-paint series on her blog.  I’m so excited.  And Hashi sent me a wonderful book, The Creative License, which I have started reading, about the creative urge and how to tap […]
Somebody that I used to know | Vanessa M. Penagos says:
April 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm  (Edit)
[…] diving into art books is also one of my favorite ways to get out of whatever funk I’m in. The Creative License by Danny Gregory is always my go-to book. While re-reading his book for quite possibly the […]
Martine says:
July 4, 2012 at 10:51 am  (Edit)
Hi,I picked up a copy of the Creative License at Hong Kong Airport september last year in the great bookstore they have there. I bought the book mainly because I loved the great style of your drawings. I had no idea at that time that it was not only about creativity but also about drawing. After 20 years of not making one single drawing (although i did pick up photography), you now got me hooked on journaling and urban sketching. And I can’t quite believe that I didn’t draw for that long, because as a teenager I was drawing all the time (mainly popstars, i was a huge madonna fan  ). Stating in your book that it was a matter of just starting, practicing and drawing stuff from your surroundings made it seem like a do-able thing. And it is! So thank you so much for getting me back into drawing again! grtz, Martine
wedding rug to date | Bird Brain Designs says:
July 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm  (Edit)
[…] an amazing time. I have been sketching in my journal for a few years now — first fueled by Danny Gregory’s wonderful book. But this course  is giving me a chance to learn some of the basics like perspective and […]
Sue Jones says:
August 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm  (Edit)
I have been reading your book and am inspired. Here in Italy on holiday I was drawing a boat and a little boy saw what I was doing. I explained that I it was difficult. He was fishing with his dad. He said he was quite good at drawing and went off to catch a little fish with his dad.Today he brought me his drawing of a boat. He showed me before his mum and dad and it was a great drawing. Fresh and confident with some lovely detail. I showed him the drawing I had done today.What a gift to share his drawing. It was extraordinarily powerful and emotional. Look what drawing can do. Now I just need to learn to be confident like him. Thank you Danny for your book Creative License.
Sketchbook 2013: Page 1 of 365 « Mona Lisa Lives Here says:
January 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm  (Edit)
[…] The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are  […]
A Place to Create, Recognize, and Celebrate … | Project Eve says:
January 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm  (Edit)
[…] looking through The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are by Danny Gregory, I came across a couple of pages that really stood out to me […]
Danny Gregory | Illustrarian says:
January 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm  (Edit)
[…] book THE CREATIVE LICENSE: GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE THE ARTIST YOU TRULY ARE introduced me to a method of working in pen & ink that truly changed my life.  I picked up a […]
A chair, a cup, a table and a person – My kitchen – The Sketchbook Series – 4 | Lineosa says:
February 3, 2013 at 4:41 am  (Edit)
[…] but this week my mind seemed quite blank. When on Wednesday evening I continued reading “The Creative License” by Danny Gregory (he’s here on wordpress, so check him out:)) I did what he proposes […]
Create. Recognize. Celebrate. – LurnQ Blog says:
February 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm  (Edit)
[…] looking through The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are by Danny Gregory, I came across a couple of pages that really stood out to me today. Here is one […]
Interesting book | Right-Brain Creativity says:
February 18, 2013 at 2:49 am  (Edit)
[…] Find out The Creative License here […]
Drawing Bread: Danny Gregory’s Creative License | concretemoomin says:
March 20, 2013 at 5:10 am  (Edit)
[…] I went to the library a couple of weeks ago and borrowed a copy of Danny Gregory’s ‘The Creative License‘, which I’ve been very slowly working my way through and I’m really enjoying […]
Ten things I’ve been doing instead of blogging — Tracking Breakthroughs says:
April 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm  (Edit)
[…] I didn’t work in nearly often enough. But recently, I discovered Daniel Gregory’s book, Creative License, and I’m joyfully recommitted to sketching practice nearly every […]
A Place to Create, Recognize, and Celebrate … | Project Eve says:
April 10, 2013 at 10:07 am  (Edit)
[…] looking through The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are by Danny Gregory, I came across a couple of pages that really stood out to me […]
Marianne Snoek – Talent says:
July 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm  (Edit)
[…] is een heel interessant boek (en heel leerzaam); The Creative Licence van Danny Gregory. Met uitnodigende ondertitel: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist you […]
danny gregory » colourliving colourliving says:
August 12, 2013 at 2:21 am  (Edit)
[…] in 2007 i discovered and bought the creative licence, which remains my absolute favourite and a constant inspiration to me. It’s really a […]
Chiara says:
September 19, 2013 at 6:29 am  (Edit)
Dear Danny, i finished this book just some minutes ago and I felt the urge to thank you from the deep of my heart. It’s giving me a new start and courage… I studied art history just because I thought I wasn’t enough good at creating. Since I started your book one week ago, I’m feelin more and more the need to take my journal and draw and that’s such a good feeling…Thank you thank you thank for sharing your own story and thoughts!
Leontine Hoogeweegen says:
October 22, 2013 at 6:28 am  (Edit)
I love your book ‘The creative licence’ and read it again and again. Sometimes just half a page here, half a page there, simply to get in the mood to pick up my pen and start another drawing. Your book opens my perspective on possibilities, on things to draw. Whether it’s a favorite mug or a picture in a book I like. To understand that there is no ‘this is what I am supposed to draw if I want to learn how to’, but more: ‘this is what I am in the mood for now, so yes: here I go!’ I love pictures of Robert Wilsons theatrical work and look forward to making a drawing of one of his plays. To see how my watercolors make their own image, starting from his work. Thank you so much for your positive energy that comes from your pages. Love it!
The pen is mightier than the… pencil? says:
October 28, 2013 at 10:57 am  (Edit)
[…] in April, I picked up a book by Danny Gregory called “The Creative License”. This was a huge step in reintroducing me to a drawing habit. One of the things he encouraged in […]
Chris says:
November 9, 2013 at 10:37 am  (Edit)
Hi Danny,
I am from The Netherlands and someone gave me THE advise to buy your book(s). Well, they are incredible. I Cannot put them away.. Every time i see someting new! THE drawing license is lie a bible for me… I have read it a few times… I bought a dummy… And i am scared to start… Tomorrow i Will drink my tea during breakfast… Is that THE moment i Will start?… My plan is to make every day a drawing… 365 day project…..
Thanks for your lovely books. I’ve got four now….Have a Nice weekend!Chris