Places & Spaces My Library

My Library – Danny Gregory

August 12, 2013

Another week, another monday, another my library post.

Books are enriching, fascinating and inspiring and i’m always really taken with visual learning. The web definition is: “visual learning is a teaching and learning style in which ideas, concepts, data and other information are associated with images and techniques.” Research suggests we retain far more information through visual associations.

It’s so much fun to share my books with you and today i want to introduce you to one of my all time favourites. It’s difficult to introduce danny gregory, so here’s what you’ll find on his website:

“Danny Gregory was born in London, grew up in Pakistan, Australia, and Israel, is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Greenwich Village with his son and dogs. He is Executive Creative Director, Managing Partner of a major NY ad agency, and has created award-winning campaigns for clients like Chase, American Express, IBM, Ford, Chevron and many others. He is the author of six books (so far) and his illustrations have appeared in the New York Times and many other publications and books.”

Gregory taught himself to draw after tragedy hit in his personal life. It seemed therapeutic and helped him to find meaning in life again. He transformed his entire life by changing his career, his priorities and his view of the world.

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

The first book i bought from danny was everyday matters. It’s his journal of discovery, recovery and daily life in new york city. It’s funny, insightful and intimate. It was refreshing to come across a book full of inspirational illustrations that also had a deeper meaning. It’s all in the title: everyday matters! It suggests to live life to its fullest.

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving


Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Then in 2007 i discovered and bought the creative licence, which remains my absolute favourite and a constant inspiration to me. It’s really a handbook for encouraging our creative spirits. It also tells gregory’s own story of how he made the transition from employee to entrepreneur. I cannot recommend this book high enough. It’s not a guide to how to draw. It’s more of an encouragement for us to draw and sketch, embrace life and see the benefits it can have.

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Then, a year later, there was the illustrated life. This book shows a sneak peak into the creative imaginations of 50 top illustrators, designers and artists.

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Earlier this year, an illustrated journey was published. A sort of sequel to the illustrated life. Here you’ll find inspiration from artists, illustrators and designers, who share their sketches with us taken on travels and excursions. I love seeing parts of the world through their eyes and this is another gem.

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

Danny Gregory Books - My Library - Colourliving

The other day, when doing some sketching for a project i was invited to take part in, i realised how much i miss drawing and sketching. Since taking up blogging it seems that my camera gets all the attention. I’m hugely inspired by gregory’s books and will try and sketch more regularly again. It’s truly a most wonderful way to connect to ourselves and the world around us. Try it sometimes.

Gregory says: “creativity is something we are all born with, but somewhere along the way, we convince ourselves we don’t have the right to label ourselves as creative or artists.”

Do you sketch? Do you consider yourself creative?

It’s my Birthday tomorrow (tuesday, 13th) so i’ll be getting spoilt. I love receiving gifts but also love giving them. So, in the spirit of my Birthday, here’s a giveaway of 2 of gregory’s books.

These are the rules: One winner will receive 2 books of their choice. Please leave a comment and tell me which 2 books you would like. The giveaway is worldwide and will stay open until thursday 15th August 2013 at 6pm GMT. The winner will be chosen by

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 11.19.39

Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes and your kind comments. Congratulations to Alexandra. Your books will be with you shortly.

Everyone else, thank you for entering! x

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  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar August 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Fascinating to read that he drew as a form of therapy. I’ve always felt creatively frustrating when it comes to art because I can’t draw very well at all. When I was very young I remember how my dad would paint when we were on holiday and being fascinated how he transformed a blank page into a version of the scene in front of him.

    So kind of you to arrange the giveaway – thank you! I think Everyday Matters and The Creative Licence appeal to me the most. Here’s to a great birthday week for you! x

  • Reply Catherine August 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow Tina, I hope you have a wonderful day and do something special. I discovered I can draw when I was in high school and when the children were younger I would draw the illustrations in Dr Seuss books for them. It’s something I’ve never developed and should. My younger daughter is very good at art and drawing but hasn’t continued with it since primary school. I remember a family holiday to Italy in 2006 when she had a sketch book and would draw images of where ever we were visiting…must dig that book out, hope we’ve still got it.

    These books by Danny are sublime. I’d really like “The Creative Licence” and “Everyday Matters”. If I don’t win “The Creative Licence” I’ll buy it as it’s really spoken to me. Thank you for this very generous gift to us on your birthday. XO

  • Reply Joanne Jones August 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Stunning! Not only am I an interior designer but an archaeological illustrator and general illustrator. I love the freedom of illustration that unfortunately is restricted somewhat in archaeological illustration as it’s more about giving historical information. These illustrations are amazing and inspiring…..

  • Reply Lindsey August 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Yay for birthdays and inspiration! I write for much of the same reason he draws so I can completely relate.

    I agree with Will – the two books that speak to me most are Everyday Matters and The Creative Licence. Thank you for thinking of your readers!

  • Reply Anya Jensen August 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    HAPPY Birthday for tomorrow love, hope you have a fab day:-) Thanks for this amazing giveaway. These books look incredible. I love love love people who can draw – I cannot for the life of me (much to the amusement of my girls ha ha)
    I’d adore winning – and if I did win (my birthday is at the end of the month yay) I’d love to pick Everyday Matters and The Creative License. Fingers XX

  • Reply Made by Molu August 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Oh how I miss sketching!!!! You’d think as a trained architect you’d be doing plenty of sketching but it’s getting more rare these days with computer software taking over.

    And I come from a fine art background too so I miss it even more! Interestingly enough, few weeks back I had dug up a few charcoal sketches I had done back during high school and told myself I must get back into this again. I may not be super talented (or maybe I’ve convinced myself of that seeing so much talent out there)but it used to be my kind of therapy once upon a time!

    I think Everyday Matters and The Creative License would be so apt right now! So I shall keep my fingers and toes tightly crossed!! 🙂

    Thanks for the generous giveaway! I hope you have a fabulous birthday tomorrow!!! xx

  • Reply Inge @ Simply Fabulous Chic August 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    First of all: a very happy birthday to you tomorrow! I hope it will be filled with fun, joy and loads of friends, family and everyone you love surrounding yourself with. And of course some cake and loads of cards too (that is what I love to get on my own birthday). Or maybe a great book, like you mentioned these in this wonderful post?
    I really LOVE the creative life and Everyday Matters – I love how it says ‘Have no fear of mistakes. There are none.’ I really should print and frame that quote. Because although I love being creative and writing away, I sometimes feel so afraid of making mistakes or not giving more of myself… And it’s all because I’m afraid to make mistakes.
    And I think it’s sooo generous of you to give away these wonderful books! They would come in so handy now, and maybe, just maybe, it would help me to start drawing again like I used to do… 🙂 If I don’t win, I really list them in my own birthday wishlist. 😉

    Thanks again and I hope you have the loveliest birthday tomorrow!!
    Hugs, Inge x

  • Reply Deepa August 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Happy birthday to one amazing lady! What a wonderful giveaway. I would love to win Everyday Matters and Creative License. Just looking at the pictures here already stirs my creative mind. Time to do something creative today, I think!

  • Reply Alexandra August 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Happy Birthday, Tina! I hope you have a great day full of friends and family and laughter and cake and colourful summery cocktails!

    Thank you for using your birthday as a reason to make one of us very very happy – and thank you for making this giveaway open to international readers.

    I am currently unemployed, which is a total mind drain. I realised I can make myself feel better by … being creative in daily things, like tweaking a favourite recipe or sewing things out of fabric I’ve had languishing around the place for years. And I absolutely understand why people are reluctant to call themselves “creative” – I feel as if “creative” is a word for people who paint or sculpt or make music, while I am just trying to make my own everyday life better and brighter and more cheerful by adding a bit of something extra and trying to satisfy my craving for colour and texture.

    So, long story short, I’d love to win The Creative License and Everyday Matters. 😀

  • Reply Chi@106 August 13, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Happy Birthday, Tina!!! xoxo

    What a super giveaway . but then it’s the only kind you do! 😀

    Danny’s story is so inspirational and I would LOVE to own his gorgeous books. My favourites are Everyday Matters and The Creative License. I’m so taken by them that I’d buy them even if I don’t win.

    Fingers crossed! 😀

  • Reply Lena August 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TINA! The books look great, THANK YOU so much for featuring Danny Gregory, I’d never heard of him before but the books look like something I’d love. I’m definitely not drawing and sketching as much as I want to – it is something I loved to do when I was a teenager, but I don’t do it much anymore. If I win I’d pick the creative licence and an illustrated life. If not, I’ll put in on my wishlist for my own birthday 🙂

    Happy birthday again!

  • Reply Tina Francis August 15, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Such beautiful books and a lovely post to go along with it. I had not heard of him until now – thanks for the share!

    My friend Peter Field is currently collating his 10 year illustrated blog and turning it into a book so I would love to win An Illustrated Life for him.

    For me the Illustrated Journey would inspire me to really take that sketch book out of my bag when on holiday or just when travelling on the train.

    Great post – thanks!

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey August 15, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Wonderful photo journey of Danny Gregory’s books. I don’t sketch tho used to doodle quite a bit. I’ve tried a few Mac apps, but it’s not the same.

    I believe I am creative although its taken a little while to get my confidence back in this respect. Working in corporate environments as I have in the past does knock the creativity out of a person.

    Lovely giveaway 🙂 I would choose the creative licence and an illustrated journey.

    Thanks Tina xx

  • Reply Parisbreakfast August 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Danny is such an AMAZING and brave guy and single-handed lay he’s lead a drawing revolution. It was an honor to be in his book and he was terrific to work with

  • Reply Alison Sye August 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Beautiful books, Tina, love the dogs in coats! Still laughing.
    Note To Self: Must read your posts on time. 🙂

  • Reply Holly August 18, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I can’t wait to see your library in REAL LIFE! 🙂

    Thanks for introduction to another inspiring person. His work seems very stimulating.


  • Reply Jennifer P August 24, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Happy belated birthday and you’ve just reminded me how much I’ve enjoyed Creative License in the past. Must break it out again and get sketching. Let’s catch up soon xx

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