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Everyday Matters Paperback – January 9, 2007

98 customer reviews

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  • Everyday Matters
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  • The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are
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Total price: $36.63
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Editorial Reviews


""Gregory's lively sketches and witty meditations on big-city life are anything but mundane." -- [Score: A-] Entertainment Weekly

"At times heartbreaking, but more often uplifting . . . a must for anyone searching to reconnect with a lost inner artist." -- Creative Loafing

About the Author

Danny Gregory is the author of Creative License, Hello World: A Life in Ham Radio and Change Your Underwear Twice a Week: Lessons From the Golden Age of Classroom Filmstrips, which was named one of Amazon's top 10 humor books of 2004. His weblog, Everyday Matters, is visited regularly by tens of thousands of creative aspirants form around the world. He is an award-winning copywriter and creative director who has created global advertising campaigns for clients like American Express, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Burger King, Chase, and AT&T. He was born in London, grew up in Pakistan, Australia and Israel, is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Greenwich Village with his wife and son.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; Reprint edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401307957
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401307950
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I spent most of my life not believing I had the right to consider myself an artist in any way. But then I started drawing in my mid-thirties and it changed my life. It led me to travel, to meet people, to get books published, but most of all it transformed the way I see the world around me and how I experience every day.

I believe that everyone has the same opportunity. Not to become a Professional Artist but to make art into a regular part of your everyday life. It doesn't matter what your elementary school art teacher said, or your parents, or your boss. You have it in you to draw, to play an instrument, to write poetry, whatever you choose. You can and should express your self. Regardless of what you fear anyone else may thinks of the results, you can become a creative person and achieve a new view of the life you lead.

I often wonder what the world would be like if every adult was as creative and free as we all were as kids. I think it would be calmer, lovelier, more peaceful place. And I'd like to do something about it.

Several years ago, I started writing about my experience of creativity and sharing it on my website, Within a few months, the Everyday Matters group was formed and now thousands of people get together regularly to encourage each other in drawing and painting and making beautiful things. They chat on the Internet and they get together in cities and towns around the world to collaborate and share.

Many of my books -- The Creative License, Everyday Matters, An Illustrated Life, An Illustrated Journey, and Art Before Breakfast --were written to help and celebrate the sorts of people I met in our group. Some are students, some were artists and designers. But most were just people like me who had suddenly decided, when they were well into adulthood, that they wanted to return to making creativity a regular part of their lives. Most of them don't want to make a living painting or have their drawings hung in galleries and museums. They just want to have the pleasure and satisfaction of creating things.

If you would like to incorporate more creativity into your life, check out my new book, visit my site and drop me a line. I'd love to be inspired by you.

Meanwhile, here's some more of my story:

I was born in London, which we left when I was three or four. We moved briefly to Pittsburgh, Pa. then to Canberra, Australia. When I was nine, I went to live with my grandparents in Lahore, Pakistan. Next we went to a kibbutz in Israel then moved to a small town called Kfar Saba. As the Yom Kippur War broke out, we relocated to Brooklyn where I went to a Quaker high school. I was editor of the school paper and organized a Marxist study circle. I graduated from Princeton University, summa cum laude, with a degree in Politics. It was my 21st school.

When I was eleven, I began my first job - assisting the vet at the local slaughterhouse. I've worked in a record store, in one of New York's finest restaurants, and my congressman's office. I was a White House intern (Jimmy Carter lusted for me only in his heart) and a McDonalds' fry cook. I have also worked in a half dozen advertising agencies, and illustrated books, newspapers, and magazines. I now am co-founder of sketchbook Skool an online art and creativity school with dozens of teachers and thousands of students worldwide..

I live in Greenwich Village in New York City. If you are in the area, come draw with me and my group.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Lori R. Tan on January 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I collect books on how to keep an art journal and this is the first one that unleashed my drawing and writing about everyday life. The other books are so polished and beautiful it made me feel like my drawings and writing weren't quite good enough. I love how he includes partial drawings because my sketchbook is full of partial drawings, they caught a glimpse of something so they are worthy of keeping. I also love how his writing can be a simple or funny thought that occurred to him during a drawing, rather than always something deep and profound. A beautiful book that will go on my very special favorites shelf to be read again and again.
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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Dana Jenkins on March 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you want to be inspired to draw, or to write, or to live more fully, or best of all to do all three simultaneously, (and if you only have 60 minutes to move closer to your goals)- Everyday Matters is a must read. It's real, charming, witty, whimsical, and teaches art and life lessons that can be applied BY ANYONE. For all those who say "but I can't draw" and even more for those who say "but what shall I draw" this has some answers to the first question and many to the second. It's hard for me to say whether Danny is a better artist, writer, or philosopher. Fortunately we get all three in this slim volume. I can't wait for his next book.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Poundstone on March 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Everyday Matters is such a special, intimate, lovely book, it's hard to know where to begin singing its praises. To open the book is to steal a look inside the sketchbook (a.k.a. the heart and mind) of a man who has just realized that drawing might help him see everything more clearly -- including seeing his way into a whole new life, one in which his wife is in a wheelchair. And that man happens to live in and draw pictures of New York City, which he adores.
Besides the delights of Gregory's words and images -- which are sometimes funny, and other times poignant -- the book also serves as a nearly overwhelming incentive to pick up a pen and draw. And by drawing, to see objects again for the first time. If by publishing the book Gregory wished to remind people to look at the world around them with fresh, hungry, sensitive hearts and eyes, he has succeeded with this reader.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Reading my way thru life on April 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Such real writing and drawing here. I couldn't put this book down yesterday when I got it. This guy combines his drawings and his thoughts about life in a way that is just so honest and human. He opens up his life (and medicine cabinet) for everyone to see. I highly doubt that you can read/look through this book and not want to start your own drawing journal.

My favorite parts:

* Danny's Drawing in the beginning of the book where he traced Jack's hands and then drew the view from Jack's window. -Oh, I loved that!

*The honest account (the thoughts and the drawings)of the trajedy that changed their lives. (ie: - "I didn't know anyone who was married to a cripple. I didn't know anyone who was disabled at all.")

- And the part about how the people acted to him at work following his wife's accident.

*I liked the drawing of the Books with the statue book end- I've read almost all of them!

*I liked the drawings of people in various places. Which makes me wonder what people must think when they see someone looking them over and then writing or drawing in a book. How funny that these people are out there somewhere and most likely have no idea that they've been drawn and included in a book. Makes me want to get brave enough to go out in public and draw.

I love this book. This is a book I will revisit many times over. I got this book after I bought "The Creative License" -Which I also highly recommend. These books have changed the way I look at ordinary things. I see normal/boring things that I usually wouldn't pay a bit of attention to -and now, I think about how I would draw that. I take a small sketchbook with me everywhere now. It's really cool.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By M. Carole on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As other reviewers note, this is one man's journal that came about after his wife had an unexpected, life-changing accident. It is inspirational in the sense that Danny encourages you to do the same, and his own work is absolutely charming, but it is NOT a book on how to draw or make an art journal. I bring this up because this book comes up on searches linked to books that are geared that way, and as such can be misleading. It is far more akin to an autobiography than an art instruction book, and I thought a more clear explanation would help others in knowing what they're getting.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Monica R. Miller on September 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is actually the "textbook" for the pen and ink drawing class that I am taking. I bought it ahead of time and read it in 2 days! I had a hard time putting it down and now that I am finished I keep going back to it to discover the clever ways Mr. Gregory depicts life in the big city and abroad. What he has to say ranges from being dramatic to funny and interesting. He takes the every day things we take for granted and makes them into something worth taking a second look at. I am thinking of buying all of the books he writes.....This is good stuff!
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