A Beautiful Anarchy

In A Beautiful Anarchy, Books, Creativity and Inspiration, e-books, Life Is Short, Pep Talks, Rants and Sermons, The Life Creative by David34 Comments


Colour outside the lines and make the best art of your life!

To my core I believe that our lives can be lived boldly, intentionally, and as our truest work of art. I believe we are all capable of living extraordinary lives; that people like Gandhi, Picasso, or Mother Teresa, were ordinary people who chose to be fully themselves and play by their own rules. I believe that we are all creative and that if our lives are our first, and most intentional, act of creation, then the principles of creativity can teach us to be not only bolder creatives but bolder human beings.

A Beautiful Anarchy is a book about living life creatively and on our terms, free to be fully ourselves. Whether you make a photograph, a book, a family, or a business – it’s about making that creation, and our lives,  something that is beautiful, authentic, and wildly human.

A side project that’s become more and more an obsession, this is my most personal book. In all it’s taken me longer to write than any of my other books, and it’s the first one I’ve written that doesn’t contain a single photograph; it’s not about my art, it’s about yours.

 “Every once in a while a book comes along that isn’t just informative and interesting but actually opens up possibility where before there was none. A Beautiful Anarchy is that book. This candid manifesto for the creative goes beyond philosophy and invites the reader to reconsider how they relate with what they fear and to systematically reinvent that relationship in order to create a remarkable life. Highly recommended.”
Dane Sanders, Converge Podcast.

It’s hard for me to write this post because nothing I type sounds right; it all sounds like marketing copy and I don’t mean it that way. This is a book about being human. I wrote this book because after all my teaching about how our photography will be some much stronger and more authentic when we do it intentionally and with vision, I realized (and many of you told me) I was really talking about life. I wrote it because I hoped it would be the right book at the right time for the right people and that for those people it would be life-changing. With that hope, A Beautiful Anarchy is available today. I’ve also been working hard on a new website and blog to support this new focus – you can find that at aBeautifulAnarchy.com starting today as well. There you’ll find reviews of the book,  articles, desktop wallpapers, quotes, interviews, and other resources for anyone wanting to live intentionally and creatively.

“A Beautiful Anarchy is more than a book. It’s a call to be truly alive! The powerful stories and principles shared will teach you how to create personal freedom, make your mark and live with passion. Read this book and do something brilliant with your life!”
~ Richie Norton, author of The Power of Starting Something Stupid

A Beautiful Anarchy is available in several formats. First, we’ve printed this as a paperback, which is yours for $30 including shipping (to pretty much anywhere on the planet) and we’ll send you a digital version in PDF format as well so you can put it on your iPad or iPhone immediately. There are only 1,000 copies printed in this first edition, and once they’re gone we’ll probably make plans for more, but that might not happen quickly, so if you want a hard copy, get in on it fast. The PDF is also available alone and can be purchased and downloaded now for $10. Finally, if you’d rather have it on your Kindle, it’s also available on Amazon.com for $10. Follow the links below.

Click here to download and read the first three chapters of A Beautiful Anarchy, first.


Get the PAPERBACK AND PDF FOR $30, worldwide shipping included.


Get the KINDLE VERSION FOR $10 on Amazon.com




  1. Pingback: Book review: A Beautiful Anarchy by David duChemin | Mortal Muses

  2. Pingback: When inspiration becomes an excuse | My garden of life

  3. I loved the use of the word ‘flow’ in this book. When I was a child I would draw for hours and lose all sense of time, propelled only by the energy of pen on paper. A wonderful state so may adults sadly don’t experience. I daily practise the art of yoga. Lucky that I am to live on the east coast of Africa, I do my yoga ‘flow’ on the beach in the warmth of the morning sun. These ‘flows’ are equal. I am in the same ‘state’ when I am being truly creative with my camera in hand. All else ceases to exist and I become one with my art. I become emerged in the process and the energy. Yoga and art. Two creative processes, one state, many outcomes. I love that I allow myself to go into ‘flow’ when I work. I wonder how many photographers do not experience this. If they don’t they are not yet enjoying their art, nor prospering wholeheartedly from what it offers. I totally agree with the sentiment of this offering that you so eloquently write about David and I admire the bravery of your voice.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Niki. Where are you living in Africa. The east coast is one of my favourite places on the planet. Will be there again this February, and I hope every year until I’m gone and my ashes are scattered by an Acacia tree somewhere near elephants under the African sky.

      1. Hi David. I am generally based in Umhlanga just north of Durban but I also have a home on a game farm in Zululand. It is nestled between Phinda and Mkuze. I spend as much time as I can there and hope to make it more permanent in the next year or so. I will be the mad woman who lives in a hut in the woods and talks to the giraffe. I too shall be sprinkled under a tree, perhaps a Red Ivory, and the leopard will visit me there.

  4. I finished your book today, and I want to thank you for your honesty and for sharing with us the struggle and sometimes difficult choices you had to make to live the life you are living. Choices are necessary, and for every choice we will have to pay the price. Sounds hard, but it gets easier with time, doesn’t it?
    I strongly believe that the little choices we make every day will create the life we live. Yours is a blessing.

  5. David,

    The book might not have any images however it is full of the most unbelievable imagery. I am on page 68 and I am savoring it though not at 1/100th of a second.

    All the best,


  6. After reading the first few chapters I gave this book to my 16 year old daughter to read. I suspect it will be the subject of more than a few father/daughter discussions. We are currently in the process of selling our house in Los Angeles and moving to France. We are not from France, we don’t even speak French. But we love it there, and instead of saying we will live our dream “someday” we are choosing “now.” We are leaving our comfort zone far behind us, and I hope in doing so opening doors we can’t yet imagine. David, your book confirms that our instincts were good, and this is exactly what we should be doing. I wish my father had put it a book like this in my hands 30 years ago!

  7. Got the kindle version and read it in a single session. Inspiring as always dear David! I’m both a passionate photographer with little time for photography and a PhD student struggling to find his way in the overpopulated academic world. Surprisingly, is the PhD side of me that feels better now! Plus, you’ve convinced me to finally make the travel I dream of since I was teen-ager: Tibet!
    Thanks man!

  8. Just finished reading and will reread repeatedly, I’m sure, as there is so much there. Wonderful. Thanks.

    You might want to consider an audiobook version. I think this would work very well in that format.

  9. I’ve just ordered the book David. Unlike your others which I have in PDF form, I knew this is one to have close at hand; one I can highlight favourite passages on, make margin notes, and generally turn into another well-loved book in my library.
    Thank you as always, for your wonderful inspiration. And as Marke says, I’m loving this choir!

    1. Author

      🙂 Thank you, Enivea. It’s my favourite choir too. 🙂

  10. 60 pages in since I downloaded the PDF this morning. I’ve got a job interview later this afternoon, and the fear was clawing it’s way to the front… Your words were pointed and timeless. I’m going to enjoy finishing this this week! Thanks again for your honesty and insight!

    1. Author

      Courage, my friend. Lean in. And then kick ass on the interview. Let me know how it goes. Luck!

  11. Congratulations, David, on bringing another project into existence. You are a shining example of following one’s path, with an open attitude and a grateful heart. Although you might be preaching to the choir here, we are in this choir because we like to sing along. Hallelujah, Brother!

  12. Can’t wait to read this David! I’ve loved all your “life” posts, and I’m sure this is going to be terrific.

    Start close in,
    don’t take the second step
    or the third,
    start with the first
    close in,
    the step
    you don’t want to take.

    Start with
    the ground
    you know,
    the pale ground
    beneath your feet,
    your own
    way of starting
    the conversation.

    Start with your own
    give up on other
    people’s questions,
    don’t let them
    smother something

    To find
    another’s voice,
    your own voice,
    wait until
    that voice
    becomes a
    private ear
    to another.

    Start right now
    take a small step
    you can call your own
    don’t follow
    someone else’s
    heroics, be humble
    and focused,
    start close in,
    don’t mistake
    that other
    for your own.

    Start close in,
    don’t take
    the second step
    or the third,
    start with the first
    close in,
    the step
    you don’t want to take.

    ~David Whyte

  14. The book is ordered and the PDF is downloaded. I’m very excited!
    Each of your recent posts has prodded at my heart more and more. I have a strong feeling this is going to be ‘the right book at the right time for the right person’.
    Would you believe we just watched ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ 2 nights ago and just adored it?!
    I owe you an email :).

    1. Author

      Yes you do. But I probably owe you one too. Been a while since we travelled together in Oaxaca. Let me know how you’re doing, OK? 🙂

  15. Thanks David. Just bought my copy. Can’t wait to read it because I know it would be as fulfilling as EVERYTHING I’ve read from you. I totally agree with one comment – you have even speaking about life and it’s helped me a lot in my journey. Thanks again 🙂

    1. Author

      Thank you, Jerry, for being part of this community. I appreciate your support.

  16. OK, David, since you wrote it I’ll get the kindle version, I have always enjoyed your writing.

    For me personally, there is no separation between my life and my art. Picasso stated, “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.“

    Of course. the hardest thing for the artist, especially the young one, is to do one’s own work, regardless of other’s expectations. Once you can get past that barrier, freedom beckons.

    1. Author

      “…there is no separation between my life and my art.” Exactly. But sometimes it takes a lifetime to bring those two into alignment. I’m hoping this book helps some people do this with a few less tears. 🙂 Any chance I could ask you to leave a review on Amazon when you’re done, Tom? 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.