In 2007 I had to move back to New York after a failed attempt at running my own business. It was an uneasy time, where I bounced between a variety of ad agencies, and as it usually happens a series of calamities had landed on my shoulders. I was wondering how in the world I had ended up in this situation.
I do not remember how and why I came across the book by the name of ‘The Creative Lincense’ by Danny Gregory. I have a feeling it was my old friend Sara from London, who was in New York that winter and presented me with this book.
In any case – why the long introduction and who is Danny Gregory?
If you read his illustrated books you will know that Danny Gregory was a creative director for many years, although in his heart he always wanted to draw. After his wife had a life-changing accident, Gregory was looking to make sense of his changed world, and to face the trauma he had experienced he began to draw. Everything around him. A spoon, a cup, his son, his wife, people on the street. He drew everything around him until he felt a part of this world again – and the story that I just told you is told in his maybe best known book ‘Everyday matters’. It is a perfect book, full of real words, and real illustrations, told by a real person. Everyday matters has since become a movement: there are groups and forums by this name, where people share artwork and stories. #everydaymatters
In ‘The Creative License’ Gregory asserts that ANYONE can learn how to draw. Does not matter if you are beginner, or think you can not do it. It is just a question of observation and doing it. And I have to agree.
As these two books landed in my lap, they pushed me towards a positive change as well. I drew everything around me that year and by the end of summer my life transformed. I can not say that it was drawings alone that did it, but it was certainly a step in the right direction. I even had an email exchange with Gregory, he is based in New York and I wanted to reach out to say thank you.
Since those early books, Grogory has published many more, produced films, podcasts, taught in many countries and much more. I really invite you to check out his work.
And whenever things take a turn for the worse in life, I still remind myself that everyday does matter. Thank you Danny.