365 Inspiration: A Year of Letters

Another great thing about 365 projects is that they can give you an excuse to spend a year doing something you love, but don't normally make the time to do! In the case of A Year of Letters, Angelia missed the letter-writing days of her youth and decided to send 365 letters to different people in one year! Since my mother is a prolific letter writer and mail artist herself, she connected with Angelia and gave her my address, so I got my very own letter from her just this past week! It came in a handmade envelope made from a map of Virginia, which was covered in vintage stamps, and included a lovely blank note card for me to use as well! Now I just need to find the time to write her back...

Angelia still has many more letters to go and she's looking for suggestions of people to mail them to, so if you want her to send you one, why not get in touch with her through her blog: A Year of Letters

Book Release Events - Richmond, VA

365: A Daily Creativity Journal is officially being released on December 15th and to celebrate I'll be having two events in Richmond, Virginia...

Book Release Party
Chop Suey Books
2913 W. Cary St.
6 – 8pm

Book Signing & Free Craft Event
Quirk Gallery
311 W. Broad St.
Noon – 3pm
Bring the family for some free craft-making fun with materials provided by the gallery.

If you're in the area I hope you'll come by at least one of them and say hi! Both stores will have plenty of copies on hand and I'll be on hand to sign books and talk about my project.

p.s. NYC area events are also in the works, details to come. If you'd like to bring me to your town for a book signing/lecture/workshop get in touch!

365 Inspiration: the3six5 – 365 Days, 365 Points of View

I'm continually amazed at how many creative possibilities are offered by 365 projects. Just when I think I've seen every possible variation some new awesome idea comes along. Len Kendall and Daniel Honigman asked 365 people to pick one specific day and write about their experiences on it. The results are posted daily on their blog and as the year comes to an end it appears they've already got another idea for next year involving 12 editors!

Read all of the entries at the3six5.

Book Release Update

Just a heads up that, despite the official December 15th release date, my new book has already shipped to some folks that have pre-ordered at local bookstores and online! So there's no need to wait til the release date if you can't wait to get your hands on 365: A Daily Creativity Journal.

Just a reminder that it's available everywhere books are sold, but here are the direct links to some popular resources to make it super easy...
Better World Books
Powell's Books
Barnes & Noble

I look forward to seeing what you do with it!

p.s. If you have ordered it through Amazon.com please leave a written review, it really helps get the word out to other folks!

p.p.s. It's also on GoodReads and I would appreciate reviews there as well if you're a member!

365 Inspiration: Robot a Day

What I love about 365 projects is that they can be adjusted as you go. While Erin Wilk originally set out to make a robot a day for a year a few things got in the way of that plan (not the least of which was having a baby!) so instead the project shifted to once-a-week and then once-a-whenever! Now she's even doing a challenge with another artist where they both work on a similar theme. The important part is she's continuing to create amazing pieces when she can and by keeping track numerically she'll still make her way to robot #365 eventually...

See all of Erin's amazing work at Robot a Day

Look for an exclusive interview with Erin in my new book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal which is being released on December 15th, but can be pre-ordered now at your favorite local independent bookstore  and at all major online book retailers.

p.s. Erin is not the only daily robot maker out there, so expect to see more on this topic soon!

Interview: Jessica Hische - Daily Drop Cap

Jessica Hische is making a drop cap (oversized letter used at the beginning of written works) every workday until she finishes 12 full alphabets…

How often did you make similar creative work before “Daily Drop Cap”?
Illustrative type is definitely something I do very often for clients, but this project was more of an excuse to experiment / challenge myself to not always work in the same style.
On average how much time are you spending on each piece?
Between 20 minutes and 2 hours depending on how crazy my schedule is on a given day.
What did you expect to get from this experience?
I was initially just hoping it would be a great way to stay motivated when work was slow, but I didn't expect it would get so much press and praise online. This project ended up making so many more people aware of me and my work and I would say it has launched my career in a way. I was busy and getting work before, but I was definitely not as well known before this project.

What have you learned about yourself in the process of doing this?
I learned a lot about keeping on a schedule. Ever since I left my day job and became full time freelance, it's been tough to wrangle my workweek and stay on task. This project helped me realize that if you set times each day to do specific things, it's much easier to get things done / not waste the day on one project. You have to give yourself mini deadlines throughout the day.
How do you stay inspired?
Really it's knowing that so many people read the Daily Drop Cap site that keeps me inspired. I feel terribly guilty when I miss a day and make up for it the next day.
In what ways did doing a year-long project transform your life?
Probably in more ways than I even know. One thing that has been wonderful is that because the project received so much attention at first, when I meet other designers / people in the industry and introduce myself they generally know of me. This makes the hugest difference in interacting with art directors and being able to just show up to design events and not be the one standing in the corner afraid to talk to strangers.
Do you think you will ever commit to doing another yearlong project?
I think so, but probably not within a few years of completing this project. I didn't really realize how much doing something every day would affect your life. Even if it only takes 5 minutes to do, it's still a major life change (Imagine taking two showers a day every day, even though it takes less than 10 minutes, it would make quite a difference in your life).
Any advice for people considering starting their own year-long project?
Pick something that you already enjoy doing in some way. If you're trying out something completely new, the chances of you stopping the project midway are much higher I think. Makes sure whatever you do takes you an hour or less, for the most part, per day. Twenty minutes doesn't seem like a lot when you're working for 11 hours on another project, but when it's 2am and you're about to go to sleep but you can't because you still have to do your "thing a day", you'll be happy that thing doesn't take 2 hours to do.

Jessica Hische is a typographer and illustrator working in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Tyler School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design, she worked for Headcase Design in Philadelphia before taking a position as Senior Designer at Louise Fili Ltd. While working for Louise, she continued developing her freelance career, working for clients such as Tiffany & Co., Chronicle Books, and The New York Times. In September of 2009, after two and a half years of little sleep and a lot of hand-lettering, she left Louise Fili to pursue her freelance career further. Jessica has been featured in most major design and illustration publications and she was named Lettercult's Person of the Year 2009.

365 Inspiration: WeekMinds

A 365 project doesn't have to happen every day: Danny Lynn was inspired by my Skull-A-Day project to corral her co-workers into creating something every week for a year around an image of their choice. After year one of WeekMinds ended, she's continued the project extending weekly creative challenges to the readers of the blog...

Be sure to check out all of the WeekMinds work and join in their year two challenge: WeekMinds

365 Inspiration: Clouds 365

Kelly DeLay in his second year documenting clouds daily...

Visit Kelly's clever interactive site to see all of his clouds: Clouds 365 Project

365 Inspiration: 365 Skulls

Eric De La Fuente was inspired by my Skull-A-Day project to create 365 skulls of his own! Originally a daily project, he now makes his skulls periodically. The great thing about a 365 project is that it doesn't have to end in just one year, you can change the rules to fit your life...

Visit 365 Skulls to see all of Eric's fine work.

365 Inspiration: Stupid F***ing Awesome

Despite the dirty name, Kris Garland's daily watercolor project is actually quite sweet...

Be sure to check out all of her creations and other daily project: Stupid F***ing Awesome

Look for my interview with Kris in my new book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal which is being released on December 15th, but can be pre-ordered now at your favorite local independent bookstore  and at all major online book retailers.