Mother and daughter American expats Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini always dreamed of living in France. With a lot of hard work and a sprinkling of fate, they realised this dream and founded The Cook’s Atelier, a celebrated French cooking school in the heart of Burgundy.
Combining their professional backgrounds in food and wine, they created a convivial international culinary destination. Their debut cookbook chronicles their life in a charming French village and their relationships with the region’s artisan food producers and winemakers. Featuring more than 100 market-inspired recipes, the book—like their school—teaches classic French techniques in a beautiful, approachable way. With more than 200 enchanting photographs, THE COOK’S ATELIER is a richly illustrated presentation of the family’s delicious world, and a practical primer for adopting elements of the French lifestyle at home, no matter where you live.
When we make soufflés, we can’t help but think of Julia Child. Inspired by her classic recipe, we begin with a sauce bouilli, a thickened mixture of milk, sugar, and flour, which makes them especially delicate. Light and airy with just a hint of lemon, they can be adapted using orange juice and zest or vanilla.
7 tablespoons (90 g) granulated sugar
1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
¼ cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the moulds
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 large egg whites
¹⁄⁸ teaspoon fleur de sel
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
2. Butter the insides of eight individual 1-cup (240-ml) ramekins or one large 6-cup (1.4-L) soufflé mould. Using 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, sprinkle the inside of the mould(s), tapping to remove any excess. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, ¼ cup (50 g) of the granulated sugar, and the flour until well-combined. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking until fully incorporated before adding the next yolk. While the mixture is still warm, add the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk until fully combined.
5. In a large, very clean, preferably copper bowl, use a large balloon whisk to beat the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and the salt until firm peaks form. Stir a large spoonful of the whipped egg whites into the soufflé base to begin lightening it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites, leaving some white streaks in the mixture and working quickly to keep the base light and airy.
6. Pour the finished mixture into the prepared mould(s), filling them just below the top rim. Run your thumb along the inside edge of the moulds to remove any excess and ensure a proper lift. Bake until the tops of the soufflés are golden brown and lifted about 2 inches (5 cm) over the tops of the ramekins, 15 to 18 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for the soufflé mould). Do not be tempted to open the oven during baking or the soufflés will fall. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.
This visual cornucopia of a cookbook is THE guide to entertaining with effortless style. Celebrated author and food blogger Shelly Westerhausen shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organised by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy–to–prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings and notes on preparation and presentation.
Helpful advice includes tips on portioning, picking surfaces and vessels, pairing complementary textures and flavours, plus a handy chart featuring board suggestions for a variety of occasions (from holiday parties to baby showers). PLATTERS AND BOARDS is an inspiring housewarming or hostess gift and resource for throwing unforgettable get–togethers.
Fondue (the French word for “melt”) was a popular party theme in the fifties, sixties, and seventies in the United States, and it’s still just as thrilling to have a fondue party today as it was back then! With little preparation required and a communal serving style, fondue is an interactive way to bring people together at the table.
STRATEGY: Dice and prepare as much of the food ahead of time as you can. Steam the vegetables and cook the fondue right before eating. Look for color-coded fondue spears
so that each guest can keep track of their own eating utensils (especially if guests are eating directly from the spears instead of transferring to their plates and using forks).
DRINK PAIRING: Serve with an aromatic white wine like a Riesling. If you want to serve something more unique, add a splash of Kirsch, a German cherry brandy, as it is traditionally added to many cheese fondue recipes.
WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION: Salami and cheese are already a delicious match, but when this salty meat is dipped in warm fondue, it reaches an entirely new level of mouth-watering.
Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue (recipe follows)
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
2 cups [170 g] snap peas
3 apples, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups [480 g] seedless grapes
1 pumpernickel loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
1 French bread loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
1. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and place in the centre of your serving table.
2. Working in batches, lightly steam the broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and bell peppers. Transfer the veggies to a platter with the snap peas and set on the serving table. Lightly toss the apple slices in lemon juice, place on a plate with the grapes and put on the serving table.
3. Combine the two breads on the last plate and place on the serving table.
Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue
MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS [400 G]
1 garlic clove, halved
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup [240 ml] dry white wine
11/2 cups [110 g] shredded white
11/2 cups [110 g] shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
1 cup [80 g] shredded Emmental cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
11/2 tsp white truffle oil
1. Rub the garlic all over the inside of a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and cornstarch and whisk together. Slowly pour in the white wine while whisking. Turn the heat to medium and let cook until simmering. Once simmering, add small handfuls of the shredded cheeses to the mixture, constantly whisking and making sure the cheese has completely melted before adding another handful. Once all the cheese has been added and melted, remove from the heat and season with pepper.
2. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve right away.
Athena Calderone cooks with internationally acclaimed chefs, hosts stunning dinner parties for luxury publications, and showcases it all on EyeSwoon, an online destination for food, fashion, and design. And in Cook Beautiful, she’s revealing the secrets to preparing and presenting gorgeous meals. Included are 100 seasonal recipes with step-by-step advice on everything from prep to presentation—from artfully layering a peach and burrata salad, to searing a perfect steak. Organised by season, each section ends with a menu for entertaining and ideas for table decor. Following in the tradition of EyeSwoon, this book is where design meets food, where culinary tradition marries food styling, where home chefs become experts. These are beautiful, tasteful dishes to make for friends and family, with advice that will inspire you to create visually stunning, and still wholly delicious, culinary masterpieces.
The following is an extract from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone (ABRAMS Books)
THE WINTER TABLE
Rather than mourn winter’s waning light, embrace the darkness with lush, moody décor and a warm, cosy vibe. Here, saturated grey linen, rumpled for added texture, serves as the backdrop for simple black ceramics, mismatched brass candlesticks, and a rambling arrangement of delicate flowers and ferns. A handmade touch—no matter how small—is the best way to add warmth to a table. For this meal at home with friends, I made ink-stained paper menu cards, adorning them with fragrant eucalyptus leaves. The overall feel is intimate, refined, and just a little decadent—like the perfect winter meal.
N o . 1
O N T H E M E N U
There are few things more festive than handwritten menus—even when they’re not actually written by hand. Rather than hiring a calligrapher, select a scrolling script font and pop some pretty paper into your printer. Here, I used watercolour paper, tearing the edges and dabbing on watered-down ink, which bleeds to form a subtle, organic pattern.
N o . 2
W E L L S E A S O N E D
During citrus season, I love to flavour sea salt with a blend of zest and herbs. My recipe not only livens up roast fish or poultry, it also serves as a mouth-watering memento of the meal for guests to take home.
N o . 3
D A R K M AT T E R
We change our wardrobes with the seasons, so why not our dishes? These days, investing in darker, moodier place settings for winter isn’t particularly pricey. Chic—and cheap!—pieces can be found at stores like West Elm, CB2, and even IKEA.
N o . 4
L E T T H E R E B E L I G H T S
A matched pair of candlesticks in the middle of your table can feel a little predictable. Instead, add visual interest—and set a casual, modern mood—with an odd-numbered grouping of vintage finds in a variety of heights and styles. Dark-colored tapers are an especially cosy touch on cold nights.
N o . 5
S P I C E T H I N G S U P
Whole spices like nutmeg, allspice, star anise, and cinnamon are too beautiful to keep hidden away in a drawer. And, especially during the holiday season, their sweet, warm scents feel festive without being overpowering. Here, I used the sculptural little gems to decorate a side table, alongside spicy sachets that guests can use at home to simmer mulled wine.
N o . 6
P R I Z E R I B B O N S
Words to live by: Never pass up a spool of pretty ribbon. If you keep some on hand, you’ll find many lovely ways to use it, from holding together cutlery to binding bouquets—and, of course, tying up presents. Velvet varieties add elegant texture and subtle sheen to winter décor.
N o . 7
W R A P S TA R
Gauzy linen, available at most fabric stores, can serve as a beautiful and unexpected alternative to wrapping paper. Simply cut or tear a large square—leaving the edges unfinished—place a gift in the centre, and form a loose knot on top, tucking in a few green sprigs for a decorative touch.
N o . 8
C I R C L E O F L I F E
Get the look of a handmade wreath without the hassle of starting from scratch by purchasing the simplest evergreen option from your local market or nursery and embellishing it with seed pods, ornamental berries, feathers, sprigs, and other foraged finds.
N o . 9
S AY C H E E S E
When artfully composed, a cheese plate can double as table décor. The most inviting platters feel abundant, so fill in vacant areas with fresh or dried fruit. The cheeses themselves should look natural and gooey. Break up any pristine wedges by hacking off a few messy chunks and let soft cheese sit at room temperature until properly runny.
Interviews with 200 women from a variety of backgrounds provide a snapshot of female life around the globe. Interviewees include: • Jane Goodall, conservation and animal welfare activist • Margaret Atwood, author and winner of The Booker Prize • Roxane Gay, author and feminist • Renée Montagne, former host of NPR’s Morning Edition • Alicia Garza, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter • Alfre Woodard, award-winning actor and activist • Marian Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund • Lydia Ko, professional golfer and Olympian • Dolores Huerta, labor activist, community organizer, and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association • Alice Waters, chef, author, and food rights advocate • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and Macarthur Foundation fellow.
Each woman shares her unique reply to the same five questions: What really matters to you?, What brings you happiness?, What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?, What would you change if you could?, and Which single word do you most identify with?
With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength – inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality. Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image—and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. A percentage of the originating publisher’s revenue from book sales will be distributed to organisations nominated by the women featured in the book.
The following is an extract from 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World, edited by Ruth Hobday, Geoff Blackwell, Sharon Gelman and Marianne Lassandro, photographs by Kieran Scott.
Alicia Garza was born in Carmel in California, USA. She is an activist and organiser based in Oakland, California. In 2013, Garza co-founded Black Lives Matter (BLM), an ideological and political organising network campaigning against anti-black racism and violence. In 2016, she and her two BLM co-founders were recognised in Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Garza is the director of special projects for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is also an editorial writer, whose work has been featured in publications including The Guardian, The Nation, The Feminist Wire, Rolling Stone and Huffington Post.
Q. What really matters to you?
I want to be able to tell my kids that I fought for them and that I fought for us. In a time when it’s easy to be tuned out, it feels really important to me to be somebody who stands up for the ability of my kids – of all kids – to have a future.
The other thing that really motivates me is wanting to make sure we achieve our goals. As I was coming up as an organiser, we were told we were fighting for something we might never see in our lifetime. I’m just not satisfied with that; I think change can happen much faster, but it requires organisation, and an understanding of power and how we can shift it from its current incarnation. We need to transform power, so that we’re not fighting the same battles over and over again. This is what I wake up thinking about every single day. And every night when I go to sleep, I’m thinking about how we can get closer to it tomorrow.
Women inspire me to keep going. My foremost in influence was my mother; she initially raised me on her own, having never expected to be a parent at twenty-six. She taught me everything I know about what it means to be a strong woman who is in her power. I’m also very much in influenced by black women throughout history. I’m inspired by Harriet Tubman, not only for all the work she did to free individual slaves – which, of course, was amazing – but for everything she did to eradicate the institution of slavery, the alliances she built to do so and the heartbreaks she endured in pursuit of her vision. And it’s not only women in the United States who inspire me. In Honduras in 2016, Berta Cáceres was murdered while pursuing her vision of ecological justice and a better life for the people in Honduras being preyed upon by corporations and the United States government.
Black Lives Matter has been a big part of my activism. When it came onto the scene, there was a lot of pushback; people responded by saying, ‘All lives matter.’ I think the intensity of these reactions against Black Lives Matter is a testament to how effective our systems are in isolating these kinds of issues – they make them seem as though they impact individuals, as opposed to entire communities. The all-lives-matter thing is simultaneously fascinating and infuriating to me, because it’s so obvious. Obviously all lives matter; it’s like saying the sky is blue or that water is wet. But, when people say, ‘Actually, all lives matter,’ it feels like a passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘White lives matter.’
People seemed shocked that police brutality was an issue, but I thought, ‘Um, where have you been?’ The police are supposed to serve all communities, but instead, they aren’t accountable to black communities in the same way they are to white communities. The United States is rooted in profound segregation, disenfranchisement and oppression in pursuit of profits. And it feels like the country is being powered by amnesia.
Q. What brings you happiness?
My community – absolutely. This includes both of my families, blood and chosen – because my family is also my friends, the people I’ve been through things with. These are the people who stand with me, support me and love me. They are the people who feed me, and we just let each other be, because we understand each other.
Q. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I’d call it capitalism. There is nothing on earth that makes people as miserable, that kills people as avidly and that robs people of their dignity so completely as an economic system that prioritises profits over human needs. Capitalism prioritises profits over people and over the planet we depend on. There are millions and millions of people living on the streets without homes because of capitalism. And there are millions and millions of people suffering from depression and other emotional and mental afflictions because of it – because the things we are taught should drive us and make us happy are unattainable for the majority of people on this planet. Capitalism shapes every understanding you have of who you are and of what your value is. If you have no monetary value – if you can’t sell something that you produce in this economy – then you are deemed unusable, unworthy and extraneous. There is no other force in the world that is so powerful and that causes so much misery for so many people.
Q. What would you change if you could?
I would start with all of the people who are suffering right now. I would give whatever is needed to every mama who is living in a car with her kids and is trying to figure out how she’s going to make it another day – if not for herself then for the people who depend on her. I would give to all the people who are dying in the deserts right now, trying to cross artificial borders pursuing what they think will be a better life here in the United States – if I had a wand I’d make it so that that journey was easier and that there wasn’t punishment on both sides. In fact, I would ensure that no one ever had to leave their homes in pursuit of survival – they would have everything that they needed right there at home.
The other area I would work on is within our own movements. I spend a lot of time thinking about how we could be clear about what we’re up against and how we each fight it differently; I think about how we can advance our goals without tearing each other up along the way. So, if I could wave a wand, I would also change some of the suffering of organisers and activists in our movements who are tired and burned out, who feel disposable and don’t feel seen.
Q. Which single word do you most identify with?
Courage. It takes real tenacity to be courageous.
200 Women is out from 31 October, find out more here. You can view the official project website here, which includes the trailer and additional extra media content. Follow 200 Women on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselves—with age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think. In this richly illustrated volume, bestselling author and artist Lisa Congdon explores the power of women over the age of forty who are thriving and living life on their own terms. Profiles, interviews, and essays from women—including Vera Wang, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child, Cheryl Strayed, and many more—who’ve found creative fulfillment and accomplished great things in the second half of their lives are lavishly illustrated and hand-lettered in Congdon’s signature style. The perfect gift for women of all ages, A Glorious Freedom celebrates extraordinary lives and redefines what it means to gain wisdom and maturity.
The following is an extract from A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon.
Cheryl’s famous memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail was published when she was 43 years old. It took her two and a half years to trace the steps, challenges, and revelations she faced during her three-month, 1,100-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Northwest onto paper—and about two minutes for the finished book to land on the New York Times bestseller list. In the months following, Cheryl experienced instant fame—from Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 to the film adaptation championed by Reese Witherspoon and Nick Hornby, Wild went, well, wild. It is an international bestseller and a recipient of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Oregon Book Award. Cheryl is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough. Her first novel, Torch, was published in 2007. Her essays have been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Vogue, and Tin House, among others, and her work has been selected three times for inclusion in the The Best American Essays. She anonymously authored The Rumpus’s popular Dear Sugar advice column from 2010 to 2012, for which she now cohosts a podcast. She currently lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.
Lisa: You worked for many years at writing, and it wasn’t until just a few short years ago, in your early 40s, you published the book that made you a household name. I encounter a lot of young artists who imagine that if they just concoct some magical formula they can have “instant success.” How would you describe the role of purpose, work, and patience in your own journey?
Cheryl: I was a successful writer long before Wild was published. What happened with Wild wasn’t “success.” It was crazy lightning striking. I’m always taken aback when people imply that I achieved success in my 40s. In fact, I had a pretty steady upward career trajectory as a writer, and all of that came about because, as you say, I showed up each day to do the work. I began publishing in my 20s. By the time I was in my early 30s I had won many awards and grants, and was publishing in respected magazines, and I’d earned my MFA in creative writing. In my mid-30s I sold my first novel to a major publisher and it was broadly reviewed and sold well. Meanwhile, I was continuing to publish essays in prominent places and I was also teaching writing.
I was known in the literary community. Then Wild happened and with that came fame and a much broader international audience. It was astounding and glorious, but it didn’t, for me, mark the beginning of the sense that I’d arrived as a writer. I was already there and I’m still here—working my tail off. That’s the magic formula: work.
Lisa: One of the most life-changing lessons I’ve learned over the past ten years is the power of embracing all of my life experience, and this is something you write about as well. Why is this idea of owning and learning to love all of your experience (even the stuff that makes us cringe or that would normally make us feel shame), why is it so important?
Cheryl: I’ve long believed our mistakes and failures teach us as much as our victories and successes. When you acknowledge the full spectrum of your possibility—as both someone who can be great and as someone who is sometimes not so great—you can bring the full force of your humanity to everything you do.
Lisa: What for you is the best part of getting older?
Cheryl: Feeling more secure about who I am. Feeling stronger about being okay with disappointing people. Putting up less of a facade. Being gentler with myself and others, too.
Lisa: What do you think is the relationship between forgiveness and the ability to age joyfully?
Cheryl: I’ve written about forgiveness a lot and it all pretty much boils down to the fact that when you can’t forgive people who have harmed you (or forgive yourself for the harm you’ve done to others) you stay locked in that struggle. Forgiveness is, to me, really acceptance. Accepting that what’s true is true. It’s saying, this is the way it was and onward we go.
Lisa: What are the three greatest lessons you’ve learned in the last ten years?
Cheryl: 1. Saying no is one form of saying yes. 2. Our ideas about famous people are projections of who we are, not a reflection of who they are. 3. Everyone struggles. Everyone hurts. Everyone wants to be told it’s all going to be okay.
Lisa: What advice do you have for women who fear getting older?
Cheryl: The fear of getting older is about the false notion that one’s power was rooted in the things that youth offers us—namely, beauty. My advice would be to see that for the lie that it always was. Our power is never about how pretty we are. Our power is about how we live our lives. Start living it.
For his birthday, Pablo receives exactly what he doesn’t want: a chair. Disappointed and angry, he locks himself in his room, determined not to sit on his new chair. But he starts to play around with it and, by the end of the day, becomes a chair acrobat. Pablo sets out into the world, performing in amazing places and drawing great crowds. Eventually, he returns, chair in hand, having learned that the greatest gifts aren’t always the most obvious and often lie in our imagination.
The simple, hand-drawn images; coloured with a brush and ink, give the story a vivid, graphic look and perfectly compliment the story. Take a peek:
Pablo and His Chairis avibrant, high-design picture book with a gentle message of self-discovery and the power of imagination:a must have for your little one’s library.
Interstellar Cinderellawas not born out of some grand desire to reinvent a fairy tale; it sprang from word play. A friend was visiting me, we were being silly, and I heard the words “Interstellar Cinderella” come out of my mouth. I immediately ran to the big sheet of idea paper I had tacked on my door and scribbled the words down. What a great title that would make, I thought.
In fact, it seemed like such a great title that I assumed someone else would have already written a picture book with that name. But I checked just to be sure, and couldn’t believe my luck—the title was free! Then it just became a question of writing the manuscript.
That’s the short answer to the question of where Interstellar Cinderella came from. But there were other influences at work, too.
One of my favourite things when I was growing up was going to the planetarium with my dad. Dad was a maths professor, and his astronomy colleague did planetarium shows several times a year. I loved the domed ceiling, I loved the silhouette of our town that lined the walls, I loved the way the lights came down gradually so our eyes would have time to adjust, and I loved the distinctive timbre of the astronomer’s voice as she guided us through the heavens. So the idea of a fairy tale set in space delighted me.
I also wanted Cinderella to have more agency than she does in the traditional story. The princesses I read about when I was little weren’t exactly the drivers of their own fates. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are not just sleeping, but comatose during critical parts of their stories. Cinderella is stuck at home waiting for her prince to rescue her. The girls I know are smart, strong, and courageous. It seemed to me they deserved the option of reading about a smart, strong, courageous fairy tale protagonist.
When I was a kid, I was interested in mechanical things (again in large part due to my father, who, in my eyes, was able to fix anything). So I made Cinderella a mechanically-inclined girl who dreams of repairing rocket ships. And I decided that her main motivation wouldn’t be to go to a ball, but to go see the ships in the Royal Space Parade. If the prince’s ship happened to break down and she was able to rescue him? All the better!
I hope kids enjoy reading Interstellar Cinderellaas much as I enjoyed writing it, and I hope it inspires a new generation of mechanics, rocket pilots, and astronomers—male and female.
Interstellar Cinderella is available NOW from all good bookshops and online through our website.
Huck Magazine’s bible of creative advice from 60 inspirational ‘doers’ is available worldwide. In this excerpt from the introduction Huck’s editor Andrea Kurland explains how it started.
“You know that job you can’t get?
You didn’t want it anyway.”
A light went on when I first heard this comment. Followed by the comforting thud of things falling into place.
We’d spent the best part of a decade acting on instinct, finding stories we wanted to hear about, talking to people we admired, making a magazine we could believe in and would want to read. At some point over the years we sat up to find ourselves surrounded by like-minds – people who made the the effort to seek out new sources of inspiration, curious enough to question the familiarity that surrounded them, bold enough to build something that challenged what they knew.
But it wasn’t until I heard this comment, from a friend of the magazine who came to us with the clarity of fresh eyes, that I realised why the 18-year-old skate rat who just started his own record label out of his bedroom will forever be bound to the 30-year-old artisan who taught herself how to use power tools so that she could make something beautiful without relying on anyone else; why the surfer photojournalist out on the frontlines, is tied to the bike-obsessed activist typing away at home. Frustration. If there’s one thing that connects us, it’s the frustrated urgency of youth. Pushing beyond the finality of that deadening disbelief that the things we were promised will ever materialise, then waking up to the revelation that we never wanted them all along.
It’s these people that inspire us to keep making Huck. It’s their boundless curiosity that keeps us digging around the underground for untold stories capable of blowing minds. It’s their lifelong desire to keep pushing and learning that forces us to question the perceived way of things. It’s their ability to discern between words of wisdom and bouncy soundbytes that leads us away from the bright lights of transient stars and towards people who work tirelessly at their craft, from filmmakers like Spike Jonze to writers like Douglas Coupland, from artists like Swoon to skateboarders like Mark Gonzales.
This book is dedicated to our readers. And all those angry little sparks who keep us paddling against the flow.
Do you wish you could carve out a little creativity in your day, but are convinced there are not enough hours in the day?
We know the feeling.
But despair no longer! Artist Danny Gregory, creativity guru to thousands across the globe, is here to help with this unique guide. Serving up a hearty helping of inspiration, Gregory offers 5 to 10 minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule – whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table – along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that’s exciting, unintimidating and fulfilling.
So why should you make art part of your everyday? We will let Danny take the lead here…
But not only that, art can fulfill so much more…
Art stops time. When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is. Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one. Instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you will be able to stop, clear your mind, take a deep breath, and just be. You don’t need a mantra or a guru. Or an app. Just a pen.
Life is just a long succession of small epiphanies. You need to stop and seize them. By making art, you will be recording what you are living through and what you are learning about it. A drawing and a sentence or two in a sketchbook turns those everyday moments into something significant. Your art will set a frame around it and give you perspective on what really matters. Over time you will build up a book of memories—a true record of what’s important in your life.
It’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful. And the most beautiful things have character and experience built into them. There’s a lot to learn and appreciate in a chipped mug, a half-eaten apple, the tiny lines in the leather of your dashboard. Making art will show you how much you already have. Your real treasures. A brand-new Maserati is a lot less beautiful to draw than a rusty old pickup.
You will never be bored or waste time again. Every day is full of those moments between activities. Waiting in the doctor’s office, watching mindless TV. Instead of reading tweets on your phone, you’ll make a piece of art. Every minute of your day counts. Make it worthwhile.
We all live in chaos. It’s the natural state of things. Physicists call it entropy—everything is always changing and unraveling and ultimately turning into cosmic mush. That’s why your desk gets cluttered and your calendar gets filled. It’s physics.
Creativity is the act of shaping the mush of the world around us into something—of creating your own order. I’m not talking about going crazy and compulsive with a label maker and color-coded files. I’m talking about having a vision of what you want things to be like and moving toward it.
I assume that, deep down, you want to have more creativity in your life—that’s why you have this book in your hands. But you just don’t know how to fit it into the chaos of your day. There are always too many things to do, too many obligations and chores that take precedence over you. Maybe you think to yourself, “Sure, I’d love to make art, but I don’t have the time to indulge myself right now. Maybe on the weekend, on vacation, when I retire, etc.”
But creativity isn’t a luxury. It’s the essence of life. It’s what distinguishes us from the mush. And it’s why our ancestors survived while other less adaptive critters perished. They responded to change by being creative in some way, by inventing a new answer to the chaos.
And that’s what you need to do to make the most of your life, every day of it. To be inventive, open, flexible, in touch. To have perspective on what matters to you. To deal with change without being overwhelmed. And that’s what creativity offers you.
Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative. It doesn’t mean you have to be a full-time artist. It doesn’t mean you need lots of training or supplies. Or time. It doesn’t mean you need to be a so-called expert.
You just have to be you—and express what that means.
Art Before Breakfast is out now,find out more about here.
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