Foreground/Background podcast episode 2: George Ferrandi

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast, about the day to day aspects of making a living as an artist, is out now! Take a listen below and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every episode when it comes out.



George Ferrandi is a Brooklyn based artist whose performative work focuses on experimental approaches to human imperfections. George currently teaches Sculpture and Performance Art at Pratt Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as at the Rhode Island School of Design and runs a small business which specializes in restoring statues at churches.

In this hour long conversation we discuss:
  • The artist's education
  • Making a living 
  • Definitions of success
  • Priorities and balance
  • Selling art
  • Career opportunities
  • Grants
  • and more!

If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin.

Flowers and Faces

Jessica Mack (aka BrownPaperBunny) from Seattle, WA is drawing / painting a flower or a face every day, in any medium, on any surface available for her project Flowers and Faces...


Why did you decide to do this project? Drawing and painting flowers and faces is something I enjoy but also something I want to improve, so I’m setting out to draw a flower or face every day.














How has doing a yearlong / daily project affected your life? It has become a habit now, and I start to feel ‘the itch’ if I miss a day because I’m traveling or sick etc. It has also become a little piece of my day that is just for me, which has done wonders for my stress levels. I’d even go so far as to say I’m sleeping better at night because of my daily creative habit.

See all of Jessica's project on Instagram at @100daysofflowersandfaces.





Heart of the Day

Anette Bäck of Skövde, Sweden is creating one heart daily in 2019 for her project Heart of the Day...


Why did you decide to do this project? A few years ago I got the book 365: A Daily Creative Journal by Noah Scalin from a dear friend. A perfect opportunity for me to challenge my creativity. In my professional life I am the head of an IT department, which is a fulfilling and challenging job in many ways and I think I'm pretty good at it. But it isn't the most creative job.


I wanted to start the project on January 1st. But... for several years I had forgotten it, but not this year. This year I started my project. I am going to continue as long as it is challenging and fun. Hopefully I will reach the finish line at December 31st. But if the "want feeling" is replaced with a "must feeling" I have promised myself to change the plan. I don't need any more musts in my life!

I chose hearts as my project for two reasons:
1. It's quite a simple shape
2. I associate it with positive feeling and hope that it will help me carry on if (or rather when) the inspiration comes. 

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I have just started my project and so far I have learned that I can't bring myself to destroy books. This project is also teaching me to settle with "good enough". Normally, I am kind of a "good girl type" that always wants to do the best (preferably to perfection), but the time restraint when creating one heart every day while working and taking care of everyday stuff doesn’t leave room for perfection. It is a really valuable experience for me.See all of Anette's project on Instagram at @heartoftheday and on her site HERE



































365 Days: In the Mourning

Regina Wahl in Osnabrueck, Germany is creating daily as a way to think about grief and loss in her project 365 Days: In the Mourning...




Why did you decide to do this project? It was the final day of my second Creative Sprint in October 2017. This time, I stayed relaxed and optimistic throughout the whole challenge. And this gave me the courage to do a yearlong project inspired by Noah Scalin's book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal.

People who know me weren't surprised when they heard about the theme I chose for my project. Last year I saw a printed shirt with this sentence on it: I am a mourning person. This is so right! I am a mourning person (to be honest I think everyone is). I think I always was. I cannot count the things, places, dreams and of course people that I lost in my life so far. And since I was a young girl I am interested in death and grief and their effects on people and relationships and systems. I know, this sometimes seems like a very scientific view...this is a part of my coping strategy I think: Trying to understand the incomprehensible, trying to stay in control,...all these things.

However, I always tried to not stay detached but to get closer to my own grief and to the grief of others. Two years ago I became a qualified grief counselor. I am a hospice volunteer. I made a lot of good and appreciative friends in the field of grief counseling and hospice care. It is a very supporting and caring community (like the Creative Sprinters!). I am very grateful to get to know a lot of wonderful people coping with loss. And if there is one thing I learned in recent years: Mourning and grieving and coping with loss is an art itself and we are all raw beginners...

This is my way to learn something about life. This is my way to live one year with eyes and arms and heart wide open.




How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  I learned a lot of things during the last months. The most important thing I learned is: There is always an idea! I feel very confident for the last couple of months that good ideas are always on hand. So far I never panicked that I can´t find anything to do.

At the beginning of this journey, I thought I´ll stick to the daily inspirations in the book for a while, see where it leads me from there and maybe work on my own prompts. But after a few weeks I learned to enjoy the daily prompts from Noah's book as what they are: on the one hand I don´t have to think about a new technique or material to work with every day. On the other hand, I am forced to leave my comfort zone and try new things – which I probably wouldn't do that often if I would have to think about something on my own (I would probably paint with water colour or pencils every day ;-)

That said, I really try to not be super rational about the prompts and projects and to avoid planning the prompts in advance (which is really hard, I love making lists and staying in control): Head AND heart AND hands and all that. But sometimes I concede myself a day of rationalizing and working with techniques and materials I am comfortable with – it´s all about balance, right?

I also learned to not have to be 100% satisfied with the outcome to post a picture of my art. I like that there is always the next day to make something better or more pointed or wittier… And that my English in the caption of a picture doesn´t have to be perfect to be understood.

During the last months I also became more courageous: Not only in terms of techniques, but also about the themes of my daily projects: Grief and death is not nice and proper and I feel it is quite liberating to share my rage and the ugly or tabooed things, too.




Well, and sometimes it is hard: The people close to me (my family and close friends) read and look at the things I do every day. And my grief is often their grief (I lost my grandparents, my parents lost their mums and dads…), which sometimes makes it very difficult for me to express what I feel: I know when they see my project, it makes them sad, too. But it is also a new way to talk about our grief! One day I draw a picture of my great aunt with soap on the mirror and captured it with “I am thinking of her so often these days!” and when my mum saw the picture, she told me: “I am also thinking a lot about her lately - I didn't know it is the same for you!”




Finally I want to share, that currently I enjoy doing the daily projects just for me. And this took me and everyone else by surprise. When I first started the “365 Days: In the Mourning”-Project my friends and family asked me: “Are you going to collaborate with others?”, “Are you going to involve people?”, “Are you planning an exhibition at the end of it?”,… And I was sure, I would do that, being sometimes very driven and a real limelight hog when it comes to doing the things I like to do and talking about the topics I am interested in. But up to today I have no need to show my art on a grand scale or to go public…And I think part of it is, that I stopped demanding such high standards of myself, which is great progress for me and took all pressure off. However, let´s see where this leads to and what other surprises are around the corner!

See all of Regina's project on Instagram at @365.days.in.the.mourning and on her site HERE.


Melody Thinks She Can Pull This Off


Melody Reed in Columbus, Ohio, created for over a year inspired by 365: A Daily Creativity Journal... 


Why did you decide to do this project? In October 2016, I attempted the Creative Sprint challenge. It started more out of boredom than anything. A friend posted she was going to participate, and on a whim, I joined up. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I also tend to be fairly optimistic, so I figured I could keep up.

That led me to purchasing the book, 365 A Daily Creativity Journal and I decided I could totally keep up with it. I really liked taking the few minutes each day and making something.

Reading the introduction in the book led me to think of a way to organize my masterpieces. What can I stick with? I get bored fairly easily. (Oh look, a squirrel!) That's part of this challenge for me. Commit, stick with it. Commit, stick with it. "Lather, rinse, repeat and lather, rinse, repeat and lather, rinse, repeat. As needed." My gut instinct was to give myself a different subject or medium each week or month. That way I explore and try different ways of messing with it without feeling like I'm tied to it. 

I work in arts administration and I surround myself with creative people day in and day out. I'm energized by them. I do their admin, because I don't have their passion and, quite frankly, they suck at the mundane. In return, I key to feed off their excitement about their art. But in this small way, I feel like I was for once not just feeding off, but adding to the creativity all around me.

I also wanted to set a good example for my kids. They all like to color and draw and build with blocks. Every now and again, they'll get down on themselves. Especially at school, they'll see what someone else does and think theirs isn't good enough. I want to show them that it doesn't matter what you make or how well you do it, but that you made it, and it was yours. This project helped me do that.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? ​I think I knew going in that there would be days it just wouldn't happen. And I was right. I forgave myself when I missed or skipped a day here and there. Some days, I just couldn't find a way to tie in the prompt to my theme. Other days I just couldn't find the time to take that few minutes. Still others, I couldn't spare the brain power. But I decided I would keep track of all of them and swing back around later so that I still made 365 prompts.

I took October off completely. I started a new job and something had to give. The couple prompts I churned out weren't much to speak of. I was feeling kind of drained. When I came back in November, I was definitely recharged and I started enjoying it again.

​More than anything, making the concerted effort to spend a few minutes each day doing something just for me has been therapeutic. I like sharing the prompts and getting comments from my friends (whom I think I've surprised by my actually sticking to it).

To finish out the project, I've decided to return to my favorite medium. Writing haiku has always been a joke with my 4 closest friends, so it makes sense I'd enjoy it the most, but it's also where I feel a comfort. I like that there are strict rules to follow and you have to work to use just the right words. Hopefully I'll carry that need to use the right words into other aspects of my life too.

See all of Melody's 365 project HERE.


Artist Interview: Freehand Profit

I recently had the pleasure of talking with my friend Gary Lockwood AKA Freehand Profit about our mutual interests as working artists and I recorded the conversation to share with you!


This LA-based artist is internationally known for his work transforming highly sought after sneakers into one-of-a-kind masks. He discovered this technique through his yearlong practice making masks, which was inspired by my own Skull-A-Day project!

In this hour long conversation we discuss: 

  • The artist's education
  • Working with galleries
  • Valuing your work
  • Making a living
  • Priorities and balance
  • Your unique vision
  • Art collectors
  • Goals
  • Success & fame
  • and more!


And here are some links to some things we mentioned:

I hope you enjoy our discussion as much as we did!

p.s. This project happened because of my Patreon supporters! If you like it, please consider becoming one of my supporters there as well

Want to learn more about my creative practices?

In an effort to give folks more access to my studio practice I've launched a Patreon page

This is a place where people who like what I do (like you!) can help me do more of it by committing to a small amount of support every month and in exchange get a lot more access to my art and knowledge! Want to gain more knowledge about my creative practice and get in depth look into my studio, this is for you! Check out the intro video below and read the whole story on my page HERE and hopefully I can connect more with you this year...






Freddie's Daily iPad Paintings

Freddie is making daily paintings on his iPad... 


Why did you decide to do this project?
A dear friend of mine told me if I want to get better at something, essentially like what you say with getting unstuck, is just to do it a lot...presumably everyday. That's what I did and when I got to the end of a year of every day, I took a break and looked around to see what's up...then I missed "it", said fuck it...and just kept going. Closing in on 900 days now. Cool stuff. 


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Very impactful and powerful. Life is beautiful. I now get to do rad stuff like share my love of creative expression with kids at the hospital here in town, larger community art projects, more commissions for clients aka $$, meet awesome people, travel around the world. 

See all of Freddie's daily paintings HERE.



365 Mini Collages

Yvonne Kettner a Dutch artist living in Duisburg, Germany is creating 365 Mini Collages...



Why did you decide to do this project? After consecutive 365 day projects with zentangles I wanted to do something new. I really liked the concept of a year long creative project with a little piece of art per day. It´s the “little” that gave me the inspiration for my mini collages. What I love most about it is that it´s all handmade and that it´s fun to do. It gives me the opportunity to create images that are just fun, free to enjoy by the beholder. Add to that an enormous collection of books, magazines and other possible imagery at my disposal and the 365 day mini collage project was born.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Having to create a piece of art every day can be quite stressful, but mostly it´s fun to do. As you´ll know, creativity flows in it´s own tempo. With a project like this that cultivates into a night where the art practically creates itself, followed by days where you don´t seem to have any idea what to place on the blank canvas in front of you. I think it´s important to respect that flow. As long as you have fun doing it, the inspiration will keep returning.


It´s a mindset really. Walking in the streets, you suddenly see fun combinations of images. Inspiration is everywhere around you. All you have to do is maintain an open mind and use what the world gives you. Or rather, what you take from your perception of the world. The joy of creating is reflected in the reactions I receive from my followers. It´s interesting to see which artwork invokes just a few reactions, while others spark a consencus of enjoyment. Whatever feedback is shared, it´s always positive. It´s quite rewarding to create images that put a smile on someones face.
See all of Yvonne's collages HERE

#365daysof47

Tere Hernandez-Bonet in Richmond, Virginia made #365daysof47 in which she posted one black and white photo of herself on Instagram every day for one year, beginning on her 47th birthday.


Why did you decide to do this project? It started as a whim. I have always loved seeing those photo projects that people do where they take a pic of themselves every day and then do a sped up slide show of all of them in order. I thought it would be interesting to see how much I change over the course of a year. But I wanted to make it more of a creative outlet for myself rather than just a time-lapse project by taking the same pic every day. I gave myself some parameters to work with. Each photo would be a black and white square format and a pic of just me (yes, a few cats made it in). And no stockpiling images. Each photo used was taken on the same day I posted it for a true representation of me in time.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. It started out as a lighthearted project but became part of my daily ritual. Most days I looked forward to it but there were days that were not so fun. I lost two beloved cats over the year and the last thing I wanted to do was to take a selfie. So you'll see me crying in a few shots, but that was a true representation of me that day. It became a visual diary of sorts. I can look back and when I see a certain image, I know exactly what I was thinking and feeling on that day. I really tried to make them interesting. I didn't want it to be all glamorous selfies. Some days I'd wake up with a vision of my shot and then work through it in my head. Sometimes I'd see an object or lighting effect and it would remind me of something or spark an image composition. For instance, I saw a kids barrette on the dresser and it looked like a moth. That reminded me of the movie poster from The Silence of the Lambs and then I suddenly had my image for the day. I tried not to think too far ahead. I didn't want to spend more than a few minutes capturing each shot. 

When I completed this project on my birthday, I didn't realize how much I would miss the daily ritual of it. I will continue to post new images from time to time because I really enjoy making them.

Follow Tere on Instagram HERE and see all of her #365daysof47 posts HERE


Food 365

Darci Lenker in Norman, Oklahoma is creating Food 365...




What is your project about? I am embroidering a tiny piece of food every day for a year and giving them all away in exchange for a donation to helping hungry people. People can follow the link and sign up to receive one in the mail. The donations can be anything from dropping food off at a shelter or Little Free Pantry, donating money to a food bank, helping with a community garden, paying off school lunch fines, helping a food insecure family, or whatever else someone can think of. I wanted to encourage others to also give what they could. It is unfathomable that there are so many food insecure people.


Why did you decide to do this project? I was really unhappy with the outcome of the last election, and felt I needed to do something to feel like I was helping make a better world in some way. I did a 365 project last year with embroidered circles, so I had some idea what I was doing, at least when it came to preparation, and I had some idea of what would be involved in completing my goal.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?
The project takes a lot more time every day than I anticipated, but it's incredibly rewarding to feel like I'm making some small difference in the world. I had no idea it would spread as far as it has. So far I've sent foods to 33 states, 10 countries, and 5 continents. Connecting with people all over the world through social media and then again through the postal service is really fun for me. I'm almost halfway through this project and have already started plans for next year.

Follow the project HERE and sign-up to be a part of it HERE!



Want to experience the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

Glitter Peach

Victoria Looney in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, England is creating daily fairy-related creations at Glitter Peach... 



Why did you decide to do this project? I was inspired by the Skull-A-Day project to do my own 365 day creative challenge. I was in a creative rut and very much felt like I had lost some of my creative skill and abilities. I used to be very creative and always drawing and creating and I felt like I needed a kick-start to get back to being arty on a regular basis.

Having suffered a couple of losses close to my heart, I could feel myself losing motivation across the board and decided to challenge myself and try to motivate myself to do at least one thing every day for a year to get me back on my feet, as such.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? This has given me something to aim towards; a target to achieve; a challenge to complete.

From the start of this project I have started to see different inspiration for various materials everywhere I go and have come across some new media that I would have never thought to use for my creative challenge (including various food items, loom bands, creating a maze & a wordsearch using Excel).

I have discovered some new techniques that I really enjoyed using including; needle felting, woven ribbons, yarn painting, lace pancakes and Zentangle to name a few.

This has really helped to motivate me and I am really enjoying getting engrossed with each new material and technique and getting back in the swing of things creativity-wise.

See all of Victoria's fairies on her site and on Instagram.



Want to experience the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.


Little Idea Shop

The number of days in a daily project (30, 100, 365, etc.) is just meant as a motivator. Actually achieving that goal is wonderful, but what's more important is what you gain from the process. The story below is a great example. Erin set out to write down 300 ideas in 300 days and then discovered something she really wanted to do in the midst of her daily project, so she put it on hold to pursue her passion, what better result could you ask for?!

Erin K. Barnes in Denver, created the Little Idea Shop...


Why did you decide to do this project?  As a writer and mother of two, I was brimming with ideas for inventions, startups, and just concepts that we don't talk about enough. I had all of these ideas, but didn't know which to pursue. 

In the end, ideas are just small steps toward the world we want to live in. So instead of pursuing putting one of my ideas in practice, I decided to try to jot down one idea per day and share with the world.

Then one day, I stumbled across an idea that I didn't want to share. And in fact, it was the first time that I said to myself, "This is the idea that would be best executed by no one in the world except me. I am the person to do this."


How has doing a daily project affected your life? Well, it led to me conceptualizing my newest idea: a bedtime novel for adults. Many of my ideas are worked into the novel. It allowed me to put all of my ideas in one place, and those ideas took shape, unbeknownst to me, in my psyche. They all came pouring out into a novel. It's in the workshopping stage right now, and I hope to release it in the coming months. I couldn't be happier. 

See all of Erin's ideas HERE.


Want to experience the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

New In LOU

Meena Khalili is creating a year-long daily drawing series inspired by her first year in Louisville, Kentucky called New In LOU... 


Why did you decide to do this project? I'm new here.
In the last three years I've moved four times across three states. As a travelogue illustrator and designer-of-things, the best way for me to get to know a new place is to draw it. New in LOU is a year-long drawing series inspired by my first year living in Louisville, Kentucky.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? 

I’ve discovered my new home: Did you know Louisville celebrates its weirdness? This city is rich with personality around every turn. I’ve lived in DC, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee. I came to Louisville for work without knowing much more about the city than the Kentucky Derby.

I’ve become more dexterous and resolute: The ritual of drawing every day has strengthened my visual skills in myriad ways and made me more decisive about my content. I work full time as a professor of design and run my own practice, so there is simply no time to “hem and haw” over position, content, and layout. The drawing must get done, but it should also be interesting, so if I’ve done the job right, you may even be captivated for a minute.

I’ve become more observant: As much as I can, I try to adventure to places I’ve not discovered in my new city. But some days it’s the same old routine, and those are the days that are hardest. I try to be more observant of the things I may have passed over the day before. I see the mundane things (my shoes, flowers, old cars, shotgun homes) and they become an object fascination, even sparking their own micro-series’ within the greater New In LOU series.

See all of Meena's creations on Instagram and archived on her site HERE




Want to experience the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.