365: A Daily Creativity Journal – New & Expanded!

 I'm pleased to announce that the brand new edition of my book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal is now available! 

This book is your guide to making your own daily yearlong creativity projects, inspired by the success I had with my own Skull-A-Day project. This new & expanded edition features an additional month of prompts to keep you going after you finish your own yearlong project and new resources & interviews to keep you inspired!

Ask for it at your local independent bookstore! Don't know where one is? IndieBound can help you out.

Of course it's available at your favorite online book retailer as well, including Amazon.com,
Barnes & Noble & Quarto.

If you'd like for me to do a book signing/talk/workshop in your town drop me a line!






365 Days of Origami

Ruth Thompson in Columbia, Maryland is making 365 Days of Origami...



Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project after reading an article in the Washington Post Magazine about people doing 356-day projects and finding the Make Something 356 blog soon after that. I’ve done other creative challenges like NaNoWriMo and knitting 14 pairs of mittens for 2014 (it’s harder than it sounds) before, so I thought it would be interesting to do a year long project that was different from my normal creative work as a graphic designer.

I picked origami because I don't have any prior experience folding paper. There are hundreds of models and crease patterns from the traditional to abstract available, so I knew I wouldn’t get bored folding origami either.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Folding origami every day has taught me to deal with frustration better. It takes patience and a steady hand to fold origami, so I have learned to stay calm and not tear the paper. Even simple models have to be folded precisely. I’m also learning how to take better photos.

See all of Ruth's origami HERE




Leap Year

Tim Bourne in London UK is documenting a red subject every day for a year in his Leap Year project...



Why did you decide to do this project? I had heard of (and purchased the book) 365: A daily Creativity Journal and also found out from another arts practitioner/lecturer – Nick Pearson – about the "tradition" and that he himself had done something similar some years ago.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? As an adjunct to the daily photograph I have included other events which have enriched my life – when I look at the video/photos I'm surprised how they bring back a story from each picture.

Sometimes I have felt "oh there's nothing today" and then a great opportunity has appeared in front of me. This example is a favourite at present.



I have had strong encouragement particularly from John Bradford who has told me how it has made him observe things more and helped inspire him to blog on "Creativity".

Others I have shown the project to have been enthused and suggested images. I am planning to document the project and create some written pieces about "red".

This project will also include a projected show in a local Pop Up Shop (first event August 1st to 14th) and more interaction with the public via BEAT (a local West London arts initiative) project in September. The project will end in November with another period in the Pop up shop.

See all of Tim's red findings HERE


The #griefheart Project

Anne Moss Rogers is Richmond, Virginia is creating The #griefheart project.



Why did you decide to do this project?
 On April 11, 2016, I started posting a heart a day to help me heal on my grief journey since my son Charles’ suicide June 5, 2015. He was 20. 

The purpose? To give suicide loss survivors like me permission to remember a loved one that died by suicide. The #griefhearts represent the state of my heart in the grief journey, a memory of my son, honor another who died by suicide, show support from others or makes a point for the purpose of suicide awareness. Others are encouraged to be part of the project and I have published guidelines. 

It’s about all of us telling our stories and allowing us to share memories of our loved ones that died by suicide. This has never been encouraged. We are allowed to speak their names without whispering, share our memories without shame or judgment and honor our own grief journey.

Learning to live without the person that was my purpose is probably the hardest part of my grief journey. After my son died, my creativity did, too. I wanted a project that honored his memory, opened up conversation about suicide because it saves lives and rekindle my own creativity to remind me that I am alive and have a purpose. I saw Noah speak at a local event about his Skull-A-Day project and it hit me that day what I needed to do. 



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?
 I have discovered so many things about others and myself. I didn’t expect the outpouring of support. I didn’t expect that others would want to honor their loved ones with a #griefheart. I didn’t expect young adults to write me and thank me for bringing attention to a topic that is often swept under the rug and ignored.

I have learned to accept help and support with grace. I have learned to accept that some days are good and some are still very hard. I have connected with others who have lost a loved one by suicide or otherwise. I have learned that I’m not always the captain of this journey.

And yes, it has rekindled my creativity. But it’s done so much more than that.

Since I started it, I have been able to complete a school program of suicide prevention for schools that is unlike any other out there. Piloting in Virginia soon.

See all of Anne's #griefhearts HERE








Rey-a-Day

Michael Firman in Ontario, Canada is making an illustration of the character Rey from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens daily in his Rey-a-Day project!



Why did you decide to do this project?  After watching the movie, and enjoying the new characters, I made Rey fanart. I wasn't happy with how it turned out, so I tried again the next day. This process is looping indefinitely.  Committing to it as a project was whim and maintaining the commitment is a love of its absurdity. 



How has doing a project affected your life? 
My art skills & self-discipline are improving. I'd considered myself in a 'slump' earlier this year, so besides technique, the daily routine is exercising my ability to produce and surrender something without freezing over flaws or how it will be received. The constraint of subject is forcing me to think in a creative and exploratory way to try to keep the days fresh. It's encouraging to hear from everyone entertained by the work, and I am grateful for having an audience! It's always interesting when people tell me which illustrations they most enjoy because there's such variety in the answers, and sometimes I'll post an image thinking, "Oh no, is this my worst one yet?" and someone will cheerily proclaim it as their new favourite.


I don't mean to overemphasize outside attention though. Ultimately a daily project will develop character, personal value & creative liberation when it's made for the person making it. Don't worry about making something bad. Don't worry if they're all bad! Who cares! Even if it's not obvious progress when you look at your own work, you are learning something every time you try. Dailies expedite development.

You can find all of Michael's Rey's on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr




Emma Kay Daily

Emma Kay in Blue mountains, New South Wales, Australia is creating Emma Kay Daily...



Why did you decide to do this project? I just completed the April CreativeSprint. During the sprint, I decided to continue making something every day and got hold of your book 365: A daily creative journal. I’ve decided to begin with a Post-it note a day. I just wanted to keep up the momentum. It may change in time.

When I started the sprint I was going to only use ink and paper but soon I was making with other things. So I’m open to evolution. Having said that, Post-it notes made sense because I wanted to keep it simple, fun and not too daunting while I’m putting a lot of hard work into my other art work.

I know from studying jewelry at art school that small is not always easier, but being bound to a relatively small scale means less labour and being someone who tends to make ridiculously labour intensive art I definitely need a labour limit. Other advantages: I can carry a Post-it note anywhere, they are relatively cheap and I already have lots of materials to use with them. I’m interested to explore the possibilities within this small scale.



I've completed two "creative challenges" in the past: Academy of Emergency an art exercise where you create two things per day for two weeks in response to the newspaper. And The Artist's Way a twelve week programme to support your creativity. You journal daily and complete other exercises on a weekly basis.

Both of these experiences:
  • evolved my art practice to another level 
  • developed confidence in my ability to create 
  • where the generation of a few seeds that grew into other projects 

How has doing a daily project changed your life? During the April creative sprint, I found that lots of ideas that had been floating around vaguely in the back of my mind for ages had a chance to come into being. This either:
  • allowed me to get it out of my system and move on 
  • see the potential in this idea to go further 
and this was very useful! I want to see what else will show itself if I continue with this discipline.   

See all of Emma Kay's project on her blog or on Instagram.



Eyes on A Leap Year / Ojos en Año Bisiesto

Annel ZúñigaTablada in Washington State is creating Eyes on a leap year / Ojos en año bisiesto...


Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to start this project because I liked the idea of choosing something I liked – an obsession you said in the back of your book – and make something new everyday. 

I've always liked making things and being creative but have never stayed with one subject for a while and I'm finding that interesting and challenging. Of course I have quite a few more months to go but I can't believe ideas keep coming to me at different times for the daily creations. Most of the time is late at night when I get to do things but the ideas come any time, in the middle of daily routine. 



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm definitely enjoying the process. I think having a subject only as a rule and 365 +1 opportunities gives me lots of room to make, explore, play, and have fun while also expressing myself and learning more about eyes, the creative process, and the mediums I use. Oh and the blogging thing is new for me too.

See all of Annel's eyes HERE.  



Rosanne's 365 Days of Creativity

Rosanne Hansen in Darwin, Minnesota is making 365 Days of Creativity...

 

Why did you decide to do this project?
When shopping After-Christmas Sales at the mall, I saw the book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal on display at a used bookstore. The title intrigued me, so I went in and flipped through it. I remember thinking “This is pretty cool! I should do this.” So, I bought the book and I began my journey on January 1st, 2016 as my New Year’s Resolution to make more art.

I am an art teacher and I found myself constantly making art as lesson examples, but I rarely making my own art. I decided this would be a great way to get back to creating art. I began without any specific theme, but I seem to be making a lot of flowers.

Before starting, I read the tip to share your projects. I made a photo album on my Facebook page so I could share my projects with family and friends. I am glad I did, because some days it is hard to be motivated to make something. Then, I remember all of the likes and comments, both online and person, that I have received and I find the strength to keep going. I even had someone text me at 11:30 one night asking where was my daily project. I was just finishing it and getting ready to post.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  Since beginning this yearlong journey, I’ve found myself exploring many new materials and processes. Some projects, such as book folding (Day 2) and working with polymer clay (Days 20 and 76), I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but never found the time to do it. While other projects, such as knitting with plarn (plastic yarn) (Day 57), I would have never thought to explore.

I’ve found that my creativity inspires others as well. For example, I was working on my noodle collage (Day 49) at an art club that I lead after school once a week. My elementary age students thought it was so cool that they begged to join in on the fun. So after altering the lesson for that day so that they could make a mini collages, I bought more noodles so that they would make larger collages the next week.

See all of Rosanne's creations HERE

 

 

 

A-Painting-A-Day

Sarah Hand in Richmond, VA is making A-Painting-A-Day...



Why did you decide to do this project?  I get in a funk – creatively and generally – in January. This year seemed particularly funk-y, and I decided to jumpstart February with a project that had forward momentum and color! I chose a painting-a-day because I want to improve my painting skills, expand my subject matter, get looser, and build my portfolio. I was inspired by a few folks I follow on Instagram who also do paintings every day. And I found the idea of making a painting every day to be just the slightest bit scary (could I do it?!!!)... That feeling of challenge pushed me to do it!


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I've just entered the second month of my challenge and I have to say that it is one of the best parts of my day. I look forward to it - even if I've put it off until just before midnight! Sitting down and getting lost in a painting - it's everything! My mood is better - my funk has lifted. And the more I create, the more ideas I've been having and the better and faster my making gets. Posting my art on social media - specifically, Instagram - has been fun. The support is amazing. And it's cool to see which paintings people respond to - often, they aren't my personal favorites. That pushes me to look more closely at my work and figure out what people are connecting with. Mostly, though, this project is about play, and I definitely feel happier and happier with every painting I make.

See all of Sarah's daily paintings HERE.  




One Year of Collaging

Gayle Montgomery in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico is making One Year of Collaging...



Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project to keep the creative juices flowing even on days that I am blocked or have too much going on to do a larger piece.  This year began with difficulties and I did not have much energy to engage in larger and more detailed work so I used a 6 x 8 book and started to make the small collages.  I limit my time to approximately 15 minutes so it is spontaneous and intuitive...some are wonderful and others not so but I am creating just the same.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? The project gives me new insight into my world and a new awareness of my being.  One begins to view their surrounding quite differently when they set a conscious goal to create something big or small every day.  Years ago I was in a debilitating work environment with little time to create and decided to do something similar by writing a haiku every day for a year.  At the end of the year I made a handmade book with 52 envelopes where I inserted all the haikus I had written for that week which I printed on vellum. 

I have always felt that a creative person is a happier person and with my own blog I try to inspire others to 'take up arms' and find an outlet for creativity however large or small.

See Gayle's collages HERE







Church-a-Day

Ben Heimsath in Austin, Texas is sharing daily in his Church-a-Day project. 




He explains...  

They could be anywhere! Images or references to churches, worship places, temples, or sacred objects of all kinds are much more common than we think. So inevitably we take them for granted.

Maybe it’s a place that we see so often we no longer think of its connection to faith or spirituality. Maybe it’s a common object or image that we never associate with a faith or a spiritual environment. It could be a place, a building, a rendering, or a media image. These spiritual or faith connected visuals could be almost anywhere. My goal is to focus on one place, image, or reference to a church, temple, or spiritual object every day for 365 days.

I use the label ChurchaDay with some hesitation. In our Western culture, most of us understand and associate with a Christian heritage. However, for Americans, in both historic and modern times, the number of diverse religions and their influences is truly astounding. So this inquiry is to identify and spotlight elements of all faiths and traditions that far too often are hiding in plain site.






Why did you decide to do this project? This project fell in my lap - almost literally - on December 31. My wife had been waiting all day for a delayed Amazon order. So before we left for a New Year’s gathering in the country, I checked the mailbox one last time. There it was, Noah Scalin’s 365: A Daily Creativity Journal. My wife read out loud as I made our way through traffic. Before too long, she asked me what I would do if I could commit to something creative everyday. “That’s pretty easy,” I found myself saying, “I would share something about churches and holy places.”

I’m an architect who has spent the past 30 years building a practice that specializes in project with churches and faith communities of all kinds. I’m often surprised to realize how much I’ve been able to see and learn in my day-to-day activities that most people never appreciate or experience. This is a chance to share.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? So far, Church-a-Day has been an outpouring. I’ve been thinking about many of these issues for a very long time. There’s something beautiful about committing to a daily deadline. The posts aren’t perfect, the pictures aren’t always architecturally stunning, but these ideas now have a home.

Now that I’m into my second month, I also find I’m forced to take action in a way I hadn’t before. If I drive by an interesting site, I start looking for a place to park so I can take pictures. When I’m online, I’m consciously looking for references to worship or faith places so I can bookmark the site.

Then there’s a few posts of things I don’t think I ever would have noted. My recent post about the Flash Factory in NYC came from a casual conversation during a conference call. My contact recalled his friend had gone out dancing and was impressed with the space that looked like a converted church. It wasn’t, but when I looked into it, the Flash Factory was actually a space made of castoff church pieces and maybe a start of a new trend.

See all of Ben's project HERE.  



Spoon-a-Day follow-up

Sonya Penn spent 2015 making a Spoon-a-Day for the entire year... 



What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? The biggest lesson that I learned is the immense power the daily routine has in our lives. One small thing each day adds up to something quite huge over a year's time. Generally, it took me a little over an hour each day to form, photograph and post my daily spoon. That isn't a ton of time, but the resulting body of work that I see is quite substantial. I believe that even just 15 minutes a day of practicing something that you want to improve upon will give you amazing results over the course of a year.


In what ways did the project change your life? The project made me have a greater focus on just getting in there and making. There is a sign for artists that I have seen from time to time that says "Go to your studio and make stuff." You can't just wait for inspiration. You have to create, do and make to find your inspiration.



Now what? Ha! NOW, I am working on glazing all of these 365 clay spoons! I did glaze a lot of them during the course of the year, but there are still a lot of them to go. I am working to have them ready for a local show in April where people can come see them all as a group and purchase their favorites!

Read Sonya's original 365 interview HERE.

See all of Sonya's spoons HERE.  


365 Feathers

Lisa Marie Tsering in Twin Cities, Minnesota is creating 365 Feathers...



Why did you decide to do this project?  I decided to do this project to get back to my creative calling as an artist. I had spent nearly a decade pushing my personal creative desires to the side while I focused my energy on being a mom, wife and graphic designer. I dabbled in art projects on occasion and was happy enough, but the desire to step more fully into my art was something that had been lingering for a number of years and it was just getting harder and harder to ignore. I knew I needed to make a bold move and bring my art to the forefront. Once I made that commitment the idea for this yearlong project unfolded.





Feathers have been scattering my path for a few years now and I am always intrigued, inspired and grateful when I find one. When I made the commitment to pursue my art again I felt this knowing that I was to “follow the feathers” and that is what I have been doing with this project - creating art inspired by my connection to feathers. My big, lofty goal was to create a piece of art every day over the course of a year. I hit the one year mark a few weeks ago and completed 300 pieces of art. I didn’t hit my goal for the year, but considering I hadn’t had a consistent creative practice since college and being a mother of two young, rambunctious boys I think I put in a strong effort and am going to continue on and complete my 365.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? The project has forced me to move through the fear that was preventing me from going forward with my art. I had a lot of fear about whether I was good enough, fear of what people would think, fear of failure, fear of not having anything to say as an artist. The fear and lack of confidence were paralyzing. But, over the course of this project I've noticed my confidence growing. I have more confidence when approaching the blank canvas, more confidence with my mark-making on the page (as well as making mistakes with confidence), more confidence in my ability to create, more confidence in showing my art, and this confidence is spilling over into other areas of my life. Also, I notice that I am a happier person when I am engaged in a consistent creative practice. Every day that I sit down to create my feather inspired art I feel content and in my element. After a creative session, my hands smudged with charcoal, I feel so damn grateful and inspired to pick it back up the next day.

See all of Lisa's feathers on Facebook or by searching for #365Feathers on Instagram.