Diane DeMers Chen in El Cajon, California is making an ATC(Artist Trading Card)-A-Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? I like making art but have a hard time with things holding me back mentally: I'm not good enough, the subject isn't beautiful enough (or meaningful, precious, profound, etc). I bought the Skulls book when it first came out but I don't think I really understood at the time that Noah made one EVERY day. Earlier this year I joined a sketchcrawl group and one member was talking about the make-something-365 project and talked about the skulls, so I went home and looked at the book some more and decided I would do a 365 project. I chose the ATC format because it is small (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"), so it is less intimidating.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It has really changed my perception of myself and art. I have much more confidence in myself; that I can create something when needed. For the first couple of weeks I didn't have any trouble with ideas for subjects. Then it got harder and I would get really stressed out if I didn't have an idea by late afternoon. Now I know I can make an ATC in 1/2 an hour if I need to. I go through phases where I think I'm getting stale - I use a lot of faux postage I've purchased, and sometimes it feels repetitive, especially since I often use 3 gems as accents, mostly because I went nuts buying them and probably have a 5-year supply! And yet, I think each single ATC still stands by itself OK. I have a Pogo printer that prints 2 x 3 inch prints from my pictures on my phone. I have used this quite a bit too, and a lot of scrapbook papers, both backgrounds and themes.

The most interesting thing is how some friends have reacted. One friend thinks it's really cool and when I went to visit her, she was excited to help me with ideas and gave me some stuff to use. Another is jealous of the time I spend on them, even though she does art and should know better.

It's been more than 4 months, and I have no plans to quit anytime soon. I have missed a few days here and there, but make it up the next day and I think that's OK. Usually it's because I'm really busy and just don't have time (more than once I've fallen asleep in the middle of working on one - seriously). Once I got busy doing other things and actually forgot! That surprised me because when I started it was constantly on my mind, and now it's just another part of my life. But I do get behind in posting because I'm often too tired when I finish the card. Then I end up posting 3 or 4 at a time. People don't seem to mind, though.

See all of Diane's ATC's HERE.


Rachel said...

It has been so exciting to see Diane blossoming with this project. Yes, she is using many of the same materials, but using them DIFFERENTLY. I am a great fan of *using up the stuff you have.* And she is an inspiration in both that area and in the *dont just think about it, DO SOMETHING. Make art* area. Yay, Diane.

geogems said...

yea, Diane. I was so amazed at all the atc's I had an oportunity to see. Such varied choices of subjects as well as techniques. She is a true inspiration! geo

Lydia Velarde said...

diane these are beautiful and i enjoyed the post very much! I like how you said its a part of your life. you've formed a great habit!

Joanne Chen Sullivan said...

Congratulations Diane, 4 months and still going strong. You are an inspiration to all us procrastinators.


Kat Baker said...

This is great Diane. Your ATC's are beautiful. I'm always getting on myself because sometimes I'll go a couple of weeks without making art. When I've done ATC's, it was for a swap. It never occurred to me that I could do an ATC just for the fun of it...every day! You have inspired me.