“I was born in London, which we left when I was 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.”
And, so began the life of illustrator Danny Gregory, author of An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Jounals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers, a journal showcasing the work of 40 famous and almost famous artists.
Gregory didn’t start drawing until he was in his thirties and admits that he never considered himself an artist. His occupational roadmap begins at a slaughterhouse, meanders through a record store, the White House, McDonald’s and several advertising agencies, but perhaps not exactly in that order. He is currently Managing Partner and Executive Creative Director of McGarryBowen.
Sketching, drawing, illustrating, the entire creative process has transformed Gregory, who not only encourages the practice, he organizes drawing weekends and actively engages in sketchcrawls with his teenage son and others.
An Illustrated Journey is what Gregory says fulfills “my dream of gathering the work of all the artists I admire most, people like Robert Crumb and Chris Ware and James Jean and many others, and then sitting down for a chat about my favorite subject, recording one’s life with drawings in a book.”
For me, illustrations are the poetry of art. A scene is drawn or created to show something of great importance to that artist. Each detail is included with purpose; each location moved the illustrator to retell its story through his or her own eyes. Finding the illustrator’s conscious or unconscious cues about their creation is the best part of Gregory’s book.