Thank you, Internet.

A dozen years ago, I started this blog with my first silly post. Since then I have always had a place to go to share how I am feeling, what I am learning, and what I am doing. I do have a few relationships that have lasted longer than that — but not many.

So thank you, Internet, for being there to listen and provide me an endless creative workplace.

Before I met you, I knew of two other people who, like me, thought it worthwhile to record their lives in words and pictures between the pages of a book. One, d.price, I met in 1998 or so, through a Xeroxed ‘zine in the magazine rack in Tower Records. I wrote him a letter, dropped it in the mail, and we became pals. The other, Hannah Hinchman, I found in a second-hand book store. She was far too intimidating for me to approach and I didn’t correspond with her for at least another decade. Then the web finally happened and I set up the Yahoo group, Everyday Matters, and soon I found many new friends who also kept illustrated journals, people around the world to inspire and educate me.

So, thank you, Internet, for giving me a creative community to support my passion for drawing.

(this is currently my favorite video and I run it all my waking hours)

It’s cold out today and the streets are jammed with frenzied shoppers. But I don’t have to leave my cozy spot by my virtual fireplace (thank you, YouTube). With a couple of clicks, I can buy anything I need and have it delivered to my door.

But here’s the thing — the easier it is to buy anything, the less I actually want. I want to streamline my life and reduce it to a couple of pairs of well-worn jeans, some t-shirts, a sketchbook, and my laptop. I don’t need or want to own much more — knowing it’s within reach means I’m fine just leaving it all at Amazon.com. So thank you, Internet, for make me want less — by giving me more.

Two years ago, I stopped going to a big brick building on the shores of the Hudson River each day and started working on the Internet instead. I met my partner-to-be Koosje Koene and we started Sketchbook Skool. Now tens of thousand of people come to learn and create in a schoolhouse built of ones and zeroes that stretches from Moscow to Capetown, from New York to Walla Walla. My coworkers live thousands of miles apart and commute each day via keyboard and mousepad. Thank you, Internet, for the best workplace I’ve ever had.

Internet, you bring me lunch, pens, ideas, and cat videos. You’ve let me express myself, find people who are interested in what I make, tell my son I miss him, and learn why my dog drags his butt on the rug.

The world is far from perfect but I am hopeful about its future because if all 7,389,160,216 people on this planet (thank you, Google) can experience 1/10 of what I have online, we can look past our differences and start to work on solutions. Together. Thanks to you, Internet.

22 thoughts on “Thank you, Internet.”

  1. I found you at the book store, which led me to your internet sites… it’s been an 8 year romance (don’t tell my husband). You’re the fabulous inspiring art teacher I never had. THANK YOU internet and THANK YOU Danny.

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  2. YES! Thank you internet for bringing me to Danny and Sketchbookskool…also yoga, meditation, recipes, history, a beginning understanding of quantum physics…and whatever else catches at my insatiable curiosity! The greatest invention since the library!

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  3. I discovered Everyday Matters about 6 months ago when I took my first ever sketching class. I have been a devoted follower since. You have introduced me to a number of other bloggers that I now also follow. My internet world is expanding! My husband and daughter may yet convince me to join Facebook!
    Thank you for your inspiration! Happy Holidays to you!!
    BTW: I have a real fire place to sit in front of. It is just as pretty but it really gives off cozy heat on these cold days. However, there is the issue of cutting, splitting, and hauling the wood!

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  4. Reminds me of one of my favorite poets, a cardiologist by trade. His few words moved me to tears and made me laugh. John Stone lived life well according to his friends. The one book of his poems I own and treasure is “In All This Rain” – the subject of death, dying and life was so well written in his short poems. His “Noel, A Christmas Poem” is one I think you would particularly enjoy and understand. 14 lines of wonderful

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  5. Christmas Greetings for the Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. Because of you I’m been sketching everyday matters almost everyday since May 2014 (my son gave me your book for Mother’s Day). Thank you Internet. Thank you Danny.

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  6. Hey, Walla Walla! Isn’t that an awesome name? I’m in Milton Freewater just seven miles south of there. I don’t remember how I came across your blog, but I love it! Thank you internet for those select few blogs I enjoy-and for being the reason this introvert has had in person social engagements with people outside her family.

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  7. Yes, thank you Internet for introducing me to Sketchbook Skool & a myriad of new friends across the globe! But I have to say it was an “old school” presentation by Danny at Fullerton College that captured me & showed me that this was going to be a very special experience!!

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  8. I totally agree. When hubby and I left the Foreign Service/US Dept of State, we “retired” and got internet access in 2004. What a world! Hubby asked what I was doing: I replied, getting my Master’s Degree in Art Quilting (I’m a textile artist who sketches and does photography to support my art and to learn). I’m still doing it. My best friends are mostly from the web, and sometimes I even get to meet them in person, take classes with them, even though we are flung easily 8 thousand miles apart. Another “Thank you for existing, Internet” moment.

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  9. I forget what year my dear husband starting saying “you ought to get a computer, Lynn.” But my quick retort was always “What do I need a computer for?” I finally broke down and bought my first one, a thick bulky Apple laptop in 1988, their earliest one I think. I didnt even know how to turn on its hard drive of 20 Megabytes! And that was the beginning. I don’t know how many I’ve had since, but my life has grown in leaps and bounds since, and having one did bring me to you eventually too! What a blessing it’s been! Yes, I bless the Internet daily! What would I do without it?

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  10. Thank you Internet for helping me find Danny and dprice almost as many years ago and then, more recently SBS and Tommy and Miguel and lapin and so many, many more inspiring artists and teachers. This post gave me goosebumps because the Internet helped me find you Danny and you gave me this great gift of art and kommunity and, most of all, recovery from desperate mental health problems through a sense of purpose in life and the sense of wellbeing and self-belief that has come through drawing. I don’t need Santa. I have everything I need in this wonderful online art kommunity created by you. You are Santa,

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  11. Hello, all the way from Singapore. Yes indeed. Internet is a great place. I am learning the ropes of communication and learning to blog. Chanced upon your website Danny. what you are doing is a great inspiration for all. I too love drawing and through your inspiration I am forging ahead with skechbook drawings. Thanks to internet for bringing people around the world closer through common interests.

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  12. You speak for so many of us, including me, for whom the internet has drawn us out of box and helped us reshape the way we work, explore, share and grow. I started my blog January 2013, like many others to pull myself up from a crushing defeat. A painting a day along with a quote and thoughts from my own head, and I found that there was plenty of me left that wasn’t crushed at all. Then I found Sketchbook Skool when it first started. What a lift and a blessing that was! All this because of the gift of technology in the times I was born into, and positive people like you!

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  13. I live in the central United States but discovered your book Art Before Breakfast in a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Connecticut this summer. It has been part of a six-month journey that I hope will last for years — if I can keep up the motivation! Your books (had to buy the Creative License, too), the internet, and your blog help. Thank you.

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  14. Amen! The internet has provided the yellow brick road to OZ for me. Now all I need is those ruby red slippers. Ha, you’ve got me hooked on the YouTube fireplace. I’m addicted to it. So relaxing and it also keeps me from checking emails and FB during studio time. I moved towards a very, very simple wardrobe years ago. Smart move. Cheers-Darlene

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