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Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are
Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are
Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are
Ebook244 pages1 hour

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars



About this ebook

Packed with the signature can-do attitude that makes beloved artist Danny Gregory a creativity guru to thousands across the globe, this unique guide serves up a hearty helping of inspiration. For aspiring artists who want to draw and paint but just can't seem to find time in the day, Gregory offers 5– to 10–minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule—whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table—along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that's exciting, unintimidating, and fulfilling. Filled with Gregory's encouraging words and motivating illustrations, Art Before Breakfast teaches readers how to develop a creative habit and lead a richer life through making art.
Release dateFeb 17, 2015
Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are

Danny Gregory

Danny Gregory's blog, Everyday Matters, is visited regularly by tens of thousands of people from around the world. He lives in New York.

Reviews for Art Before Breakfast

Rating: 3.5555555555555554 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Such delightful creative inspiration!

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Art should be like breakfast: something you do every day. And if there is anyone who can guide you into seeing art opportunities in your everyday life, it is Danny Gregory.You can spend a day with this book. You can spend a week with it. A month. A year. Probably a lifetime. Full of delight.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Danny Gregory is a joy to read, hear, and watch. His approach tends to be "just draw; everything will be okay." This book strives to demonstrate how drawing on a regular basis doesn't need to be time consuming to be beneficial. That any subject can be beautiful when rendered on the page. That being more creative helps you become more grounded and clear-thinking and appreciative of the world around you. I recommend all of Danny Gregory's books, but this one is aimed specifically at those folks who think they are too busy to be creative every day. Try it. It helps.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    It is about willpower--you have to have the willpower, high self-control, and motivation to get yourself to initially undertake "white-knuckle struggles"--you cannot introduce a new, fully-formed habit in your life from out of nowhere, without actually going through the process of forming the habit and getting through the difficult part when it's still unfamiliar, uncomfortable, hard, unpleasant--when it's not yet automatic, learned, practiced, routine, habitual.The people with high self-control who typically meet their goals were said to "automate their behaviours"--it is the very process of 'automate-ing' that is what requires the self-control, the struggles, the willpower--between first making a resolution and actually achieving it/putting it into practice repeatedly.It seems that what a lot of people say is implying that no one previously knew that higher-achieving people didn't experience the same level of "white-knuckle struggles" every time they endeavoured to do what they had resolved to do, the 2nd time and the 500th time. It's not news that most things get easier over time, that the hardest part of creating a new behaviour/action/task/habit is usually at the beginning when one is fighting inertia and is climbing up the steepest part of the learning curve.Maybe the issue is that people who don't often try to develop new habits assume that it's going to “forever” be as hard, day after day and year after year, as it is for the first few times. And so this may be some kind of breakthrough to explain to them that no, you can _automate_ these actions/behaviors without having a brand new white-knuckle struggle every time, because many things actually get easier and more automatic every time you do them?One thing that isn’t explored, which I think makes a big difference in terms of forming or breaking a habit, is exactly which of these you’re trying to do. For me, forming a new habit like sketching is easier than ‘breaking’ one. Maybe, it’s because, by definition a new habit will be something you enjoy (or at least beneficial, and therefore some joy/satisfaction derived from it), whereas a habit you are trying to break is something bad (but you most likely derive pleasure from - e.g. eating biscuits). Sometimes metaphors can be taken too far - the rider and the elephant...

Book preview

Art Before Breakfast - Danny Gregory


I know you don’t have much time, so let’s get right to the point.

You are about to discover that

(a) making art will make you saner and happier,

(b) you don't need to think you have talent to make beautiful art,


(c) art making can fit into the craziest, busiest, most hectic and out-of-control lives — even yours.

And it'll take just a few fun minutes a day.

Got it? Moving on . . .

Be here. Now. Art stops time. When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is. Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one. Instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you will be able to stop, clear your mind, take a deep breath, and just be. You don’t need a mantra or a guru. Or an app. Just a pen.

Tell your story. Life is just a long succession of small epiphanies. You need to stop and seize them. By making art, you will be recording what you are living through and what you are learning about it. A drawing and a sentence or two in a sketchbook turns those everyday moments into something significant. Your art will set a frame around it and give you perspective on what really matters. Over time you will build up a book of memories—a true record of what’s important in your life.

Welcome to the world. It’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful. And the most beautiful things have character and experience built into them. There’s a lot to learn and appreciate in a chipped mug, a half-eaten apple, the tiny lines in the leather of your dashboard. Making art will show you how much you already have. Your real treasures. A brand-new Maserati is a lot less beautiful to draw than a rusty old pickup.

Sudoku no more. You will never be bored or waste time again. Every day is full of those moments between activities. Waiting in the doctor’s office, watching mindless TV. Instead of reading tweets on your phone, you’ll make a piece of art. Every minute of your day counts. Make it worthwhile.

We all live in chaos. It’s the natural state of things. Physicists call it entropy—everything is always changing and unraveling and ultimately turning into cosmic mush. That’s why your desk gets cluttered and your calendar gets filled. It’s physics.

Creativity is the act of shaping the mush of the world around us into something—of creating your own order. I’m not talking about going crazy and compulsive with a label maker and color-coded files. I’m talking about having a vision of what you want things to be like and moving toward it.

I assume that, deep down, you want to have more creativity in your life—that’s why you have this book in your hands. But you just don’t know how to fit it into the chaos of your day. There are always too many things to do, too many obligations and chores that take precedence over you. Maybe you think to yourself, Sure, I’d love to make art, but I don’t have the time to indulge myself right now. Maybe on the weekend, on vacation, when I retire, etc.

But creativity isn’t a luxury. It’s the essence of life. It’s what distinguishes us from the mush. And it’s why our ancestors survived while other less adaptive critters perished. They responded to change by being creative in some way, by inventing a new answer to the chaos.

And that’s what you need to do to make the most of your life, every day of it. To be inventive, open, flexible, in touch. To have perspective on what matters to you. To deal with change without being overwhelmed. And that’s what creativity offers you.

Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative. It doesn’t mean you have to be a full-time artist. It doesn’t mean you need lots of training or supplies. Or time. It doesn’t mean you need to be a so-called expert.

You just have to be you—and express what that means.

Art with a big A is for museums, galleries, critics, and collectors.

art with a small a is for the rest of us.

Art is a business, an industry, a racket.

art is about passion, love, life, humanity—

everything that is truly valuable.

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