It starts with Toast

art before breakfast -by Danny Gregory

I have been a fan of Danny Gregory for forever. His book “everyday matters” is a memoir of how creative journaling can be life changing and it fueled my own creative journaling habit. After a while my life had a different rhythm to it and my sketching and journaling habit went my the wayside. Then, browsing in a bookstore one day I was excited to see that he published a new book last year called “art before breakfast”.

He starts out his book with this:

“This book is for people who don’t have time to read it”

Wait-is he talking to me? I don’t have time to read this book! I have about 20 books on my desk, bedside table and on my countertop of doom!

I bought it anyway..

The book is filled with his fun little illustrations of everyday things as well as a thousand ideas for things to draw and ways to make time to draw them. It reminds us that we don’t have to make good drawings, just drawings. And the point of drawing is this: It helps us to slow down and see the wonderful world around us. It starts with toast, or rather, drawing your toast. Before you eat it, for breakfast.

As a person who has a hard time slowing down this feels doable. The coloring book craze is in full force right now, and there are tons of other books out there about meditative drawing, mindfulness and similar practices. They are important and useful, but none of them seem to stick with me. One day I will commit to a meditation practice and keep it up, but in the mean time I have many starts of this practice and I will get back to my sketching habit. Slowing down while I do that, observing the voices in my head that are talking, telling them I will get back to them as soon as I can but right now… I am drawing.