Book Review: Art Before Breakfast

April 5, 2015


Above: A spread from one of Danny Gregory's visual journals—this one contained grey paper. It's included here as an example of the quirky and delightful sketches you'll see in his new book "Art Before Breakfast." In the post below you'll find a link to a trailer announcing the book. It gives you a flip through of the actual book. Image ©Danny Gregory. 

Do you think your day is too busy for Art? Do you wish you kept a visual journal or daily sketchbook but don't seem to be able to get up a head of steam to do so?

Danny Gregory has got your back in his new book: "Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to Be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are."  (I've included a link here to the Amazon listing of this book—but I'm not invested in Amazon—think about your local booksellers too.)

This is the latest in a series of inspiring books on keeping a visual record of your life. You may already have "Creative License," or "Everyday Matters." A copy of "An Illustrated Life" and "An Illustrated Journey" may already be found on your bookshelf.

If you have any of those books you'll already know that Danny writes in an inspiring and engaging way. He wants to convince you to sketch your life on paper, understand the benefits sketching brings into your life, and encourage you to tap into your creativity. His new book "Art Before Breakfast" is geared to motivate you to sketch throughout your day. The book is filled with quickly digestible suggestions and drawing prompts that you can follow right this minute, without another moment's thought. 

Marrying motivating language with his delightful sketches Danny seeks to show you how you can let loose and sketch whatever catches your attention. Whether you have never picked up a pen to capture your life's observations on paper or you have kept a visual journal for years, I think you'll find much to enjoy in this lively book.

If you're still not convinced you can see a trailer Danny made about his new book here.

I also believe, if you have friends who talk about keeping a sketch journal but never seem to take the first step this book is a perfect gift for them. Pair the book with a good pen (I like the Staedtler Pigment Liners because their ink doesn't smell and I can wash watercolor over it immediately on most papers) and a commercially bound journal perfect for mixed media (I favor the Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Softbound journal that's 7.75 x 9.75 inches). You'll be giving them a gift that will keep them busy all summer!

Note: Disclaimer—yes, Danny is a friend of mine. But he didn't ask me to write a review. I wrote this review because this is a fun book. I love every opportunity to look at his sketches and see how his creative mind is editing the world to fit on the page. I believe you'll love it too.

  1. Reply

    Danny strikes gold again!! I was in paper heaven at the new Binders store in Atlanta today. The manager asked me what I wanted and said she would get it. Strathmore 500 loose paper now on its way. I have to agree they are the nicest journal you can buy and with michaels generous discounts very affordable. I want the loose paper to make an accordion book do I can do a fake spy journal. Lol. I keep thinking I am a spy when out drawing people!! Why didn’t I figure that out BEFORE April 1?! Darn it!

  2. Reply

    I just learned about Danny Gregory today. Which of his books should I start with?

  3. Reply

    Margaret, if your reference about April 1 is about IFJM please know that you can join in at any time during the month. Join before April 15 and you’ll have two weeks plus which is more than enough time to get some real investigation into process. That’s real spy work.

  4. Reply

    Viktoria, I left out EDM and Kiss simply because they aren’t sketching books in the same way as the others. So now you need to get “Peanut” too, which is about Danny and Patti expecting.

  5. Reply

    Syvia, that’s a difficult question to answer. You could start with Everyday Matters and work your way through chronologically. That always works.

    If you want to oomph up your sketching practice I think Creative License would be the way to go. If you are looking for something with immediate “prompt” like suggestions the book I reviewed today would be the best bet. And if you want to see sketches from lots of people his “An Illustrated” books are great for that.

    Sometimes you just have to flip a coin. Have fun discovering Danny.

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