How to Avoid Making Art

In How to Avoid Making Art, the bestselling author of The Artist's Way delivers a (tongue-in-cheek!) guide to doing anything and everything you possibly can to avoid making art. Anyone who is engaged in a creative pursuit will no doubt identify with these wonderful cartoons by award-winning artist Elizabeth Cameron of creative wannabes doing everything except actually getting down to work.  

"For most people creativity is a serious business," says Julia Cameron. "They forget the telling phrase 'the play of ideas' and think that they need to knuckle down and work more. Often, the reverse is true. They need to play." Ultimately, the characters in this book show us how we can turn our procrastination into play and our play into great work. With this delightful volume, Julia Cameron once again hits the nail on the head on the subject of creativity.

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By Abbey (Boston, MA) · ★★★☆☆ · May 29, 2013
Gently entertaining little book of line drawings that illustrate the point of some interesting, some perceptive, some very sharp one-liners, i.e. "When your boss puts more bricks in your pack, feel crazy that you can't keep up." and "Hire helpless "helpers" who drain you of your creative energy."... ...more
By ياسمين (Cairo, 11, Egypt) · ★★★★☆ · December 19, 2014
it's amazing. It makes me see all of the procrastination excuses I always use not to making art :) ...more
By Robert (Brunswick, OH) · ★☆☆☆☆ · February 08, 2009
Julia Cameron, How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy) (Tarcher, 2005)

I have never been a fan of the kind of mean-spirited carping Cameron attempts to pass off as “humor” here, and never am I less so than when someone belittles things like the importance of holding a job (and then tu... ...more
By Kaseka · ★★★☆☆ · June 03, 2010
I rated this three stars instead of four because the of the last captions: while the book has a physical cut-off, there is no actual ending.

That said, it's a charming book, and a short and fast read. The pictures are adorable, and the captions--each a different way to avoid making art (or anythin... ...more
By Therese · ★★★★★ · January 23, 2015
Whenever I'm looking for a way to talk myself back into picking up my pen I leaf through this book. The illustrations make me smile; the text makes me cringe. Brilliant. ...more
By Evelyn · ★★★★☆ · September 07, 2011
I thought this book was quite funny, especially attending Art College for a couple years and definitely witnessing other artists hinder themselves, myself included, by the little (or big) things we do trying to make it in the business. Oh, especially about parents or friends who mock what you do... ...more
By Niko (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · April 02, 2007
This is a great little book of cartoons, humorously and gently pointing out the excuses and rationalizations we all use to avoid doing what we love. This is a great resource to have on your shelf if you're feeling stuck, stale, not doing the creative and vital things you need to be doing. This is... ...more
By James (Blaine, WA) · ★★☆☆☆ · October 08, 2011
This book is full of pithy cartoons illustrating how people fail to "make art" or do anything else because of failure to prioritize, follow through, or because they fill their time with other things.
Not a particularly deep book. It takes about 10 minutes to read through, and not all the cartoons... ...more
By Gail (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · May 02, 2009
This small book of cartoons (illustrated by the author's sister, I'm pretty sure) was funny, as well as "on the mark." I could especially identify with several of the cartoons about how to procrastinate, etc., instead of actually practicing one's art form. An amusing, quick read for any artist (w... ...more
By Akilah · ★★★☆☆ · August 10, 2011
Cute little book full of anti-procrastination tips. Shamed me a little bit, but I had fun being shamed.

I just reread this for the first time since 2008 (when I did the above review), and I feel the exact same way about. Actually, I was more inspired than shamed this time, so that's a plus. ...more