Everyday Appreciation

Suticha in Reston, Virginia is creating daily art in her project Everyday Appreciation...

Why did you decide to do this project?  I have been concentrating on my full-time job so much all these years that I almost forgot how much I love spending time drawing, doodling and painting. The books "The Creative License by Danny Gregory" and "Daily Zoo by Chris Ayers" remind and inspire me to start drawing again. So I simply think that if I want to be better at those, I have to make time and do it everyday. So I treat this as a part of my 2012 New Year's Resolutions.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Self-disciplined.

See all of Suticha's creations on her blog or on Facebook.

My Hands Doing Things Follow-Up

My friend Kizz Robinson finished her yearlong photography project My Hands Doing Things on April 30, 2012...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?
The biggest technical skill I learned was to use my camera with manual settings. When I started part of my mission was to know my camera better. Taking the leap and putting the camera on manual and playing wasn't something I wound up doing in order to take a hand photo but I think that simply handling the instrument every day made me more aware of all that it could do and more daring in terms of caring whether or not I got a few crappy shots as long as I was trying something new. It's hard for me to try new things. One night, though, I was at a friend's gig a little early and when I sat down at the table I thought, "What would happen if I put this on manual and took my pictures tonight this way?" Spent a few minutes testing out settings and I don't think I've turned back since.

In what ways did the project change your life?
I'm more aware of my creative process. I think, due to shortcomings in organizational skills (notice that I still haven't properly been able to identify and label all my photos from the year), that a year long project is too long for me unless I make some serious changes to how I document and label things. The practice of doing something every day for a month or two or perhaps for a season, though, is really good for me in terms of pushing me to try new things and just screw around enough that new skills emerge. When I'm doing a little something every day the success or failure of each day has less impact on my motivation and ego. It's easier to learn from my mistakes. Going back over the photos to choose some to include here I also learned that I've been a mess all year. Funerals, illnesses, funks I think it's a good thing I had a project to keep me moving forward!

Now what? After reading that Stephen King pointed out, "If you write a page a day in a year you'll have a novel." I'm writing a page a day toward a memoir-style book of pet stories. I've got a few ideas for "X a Day" projects and I'm not sure which of those I'll do first. Probably the most ambitious one is that I'd like to get back to painting again and I think painting a small canvas once a week for 3 or 4 months could be a real help. Saving my pennies for new acrylics even now.

See all of Kizz's hands HERE.

Julie's Daily Project

Julie Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is doing a star themed daily project with her 2 year old daughter...

Why did you decide to do this project? I received 365: A Daily Creativity Journal and thought that it sounded like a fun project to share with my daughter.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I normally do arts and crafts with my daughter, but I like that this project pushes me to do so everyday. Also, using the book ideas as jump off points has inspired me to think of and make things that I may not have otherwise thought of. Many of these my daughter has enjoyed greatly. The best part of doing this project is not only sharing the experience with my daughter, but seeing her reactions to some of the things that we've created. She was so excited to wear her Super Mya cape on Day 100. She still wears it all of the time. She also loved making and was so proud of the shirt she painted on Day 132.

See all of Julie's projects HERE.

Unstuck at Urban Outfitters

I just found out that Urban Outfitters will be doing a trial run of carrying my new book Unstuck in some of their stores! If you shop there and spot it, please consider buying a copy (or three), so they know it's worth bringing it in as a regular item in all of their locations. Thanks!

Poster Every Day

Shiri Levy in Israel is making a Poster Every Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? When being "in between jobs" as they call it and trying to figure out what I want to do next, I decided I want to make sure I spend some of my free time on doing something creative. As a design school graduate and big poster fan, I decided the most fun thing to do would be to design a poster every day. It allows me to incorporate a lot of different things I like such as quotes, people, lyrics and design elements.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm only at the beginning of the project but I'm already having a lot of fun exploring different skills such as illustration or typography. I also love the fact that inspiration can really come for anywhere and I find myself writing notes to myself at odd hours with ideas for a poster future posters.

See all of Shiri's posters HERE.

Sartorial Zoo

My friend Adrien here in Richmond, VA and her friend Marianne in Knoxville, TN (whose project Looks Good from The Back was previously featured on this site) have created a new daily project together called Sartorial Zoo...

Why did you decide to do this project?

A: We did an entry on our style blog where we matched up street style photos with baby animal dopplegangers (which is surprisingly easy) and it was so much fun that it seemed like a project we should keep doing.

M: It's like we say in our tagline: Street style meets baby animals. Because duh. Fashion is notorious for taking itself too seriously, and baby animals are (mostly) cute. It's a win-win.

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

A: When the ZooBorns blog updates with new photos my first thought isn't, "Awww, baby sloth!" it's "Ooooh, that looks like the Sartorialist on a bad day." And I laugh. A lot.

M: I will send Adrien photos on a regular basis where I'm like, look at the giraffe's EYES! Or, I think the penguin needs to have it's mouth open. It's just ridiculous, and don't we all need a little ridiculous in our lives?

See all of their fashion/zoo mash-ups HERE.

365 Reasons Not To Die with A Full Craft Cupboard

Sharon Newth in Melbourne, Australia is creating 365 Reasons Not To Die with A Full Craft Cupboard... 

Why did you decide to do this project? I am a stay at home mum of four with a very busy life and I love to be creative. I stumbled across your book about a year ago and have been thinking about it ever since. I find I never get the time, so I thought if I did this project it would help motivate me to make time for the things that make me happy and in turn make those around me happier.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I find I smile a lot more since beginning this project, and I have a lot more energy to put into all areas of my life. I have been approached by people from around the world who have enjoyed my creations and this also gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I also find that since I started creating something every day everything in my life has become a potential source of inspiration and ideas come from the strangest of places. As I create I find I might also start off with one idea which completely changes by the time I get to the finished project. It's a also a way to share a part of myself with others that I wouldn't normally get to share otherwise. Sharing the project via my blog has definitely helped me to keep going with the project.

See all of Sharon's projects HERE.

365 Self Portraits on My iPad

Carol Bonomo in Southern California is creating 365 Self Portraits on My iPad...

Why did you decide to do this project? I wanted to see how many ways I could change a photograph using ipad filters and effects.  With the exception of a few somewhere in the middle of the project (where I used software programs on my laptop), I managed to come up with different takes on my same old self.  It was cheaper than buying 365 new outfits.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I am an enthusiast who can tackle new things with ease and excitement.  My "sticking with it" skills, however, are not nearly so good.  It never occurred to me that I would actually stick to something every day for 365 days.  Now that I'm two weeks from completion, I just might do it!  You have to think if you can take 365 self portraits (and not throw up seeing your tired old face and every tick and drool and droopy eyelid every day on your blog) and come up with something/anything "artistic" to do with the shot... well, what else could you do and stick with now?  I recently loaded several painting apps on my ipad.  I just might become a 365 ipad painter next.

See all of Carol's portraits HERE.

The Pinups of Betsy VanDeusen

My friend Betsy VanDeusen in Los Angeles, CA is spending her 29 to 30th year creating the The Pinups of Betsy VanDeusen...

She explains, "Starting on 2/27/2012, and working through 2/27/2013, I intend to work on my art daily. It will all be tied in to the "Retro Pinup" theme somehow. The important thing to me is the daily practice of working. I'm not necessarily interested in creating "finished pieces" on a daily basis (Taking a work to completion may take the accumulated efforts of a week, a month, or more- if the piece demands it). I just have so many ideas that I never follow up on, and this project gives me the incentive and excuse to focus on those ideas on a daily basis."

Why did you decide to do this project? Seeing other artists grow through their daily creative projects was a huge push for me to start my own. Skull-A-Day has been a huge inspiration, as have the people I know personally who have completed daily projects: Freehand Profit of "MASK365" and Charlton Yu of "Burger365."

In doing this project my major objectives are: Fighting procrastination and resistance, realigning with my priorities as an artist, studying and learning from the masters of pinup art, honing my technical skills, and creating & sharing work that I can be proud of... No small task, but luckily I'm just taking it one day at a time!  ;-)

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I've been trying to keep things light, and not to take myself too seriously with this project, but it's hard not to get caught up in the work! This is the first time that I'm really sharing my own personal artwork since I graduated from art school, and it's really scary!

During the last 7 years, I had all these ideas, but was really hesitant to actually make the things I wanted to make (and I definitely didn't have the courage to share my work in a public forum!). The biggest thing my daily project has done for me is that it's helped me to get over that fear of just getting started. You have to do something each day, so there's no point in dragging your feet about it!

It's also really helped me to break projects down into little "daily units of effort..." I like to think that it's like cutting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into pieces for a child- It's still the same amount of food, but when it's cut in to manageable bites, it's not so intimidating! The thought of "doing a whole oil painting" can be very daunting, and is therefore easy to put off... BUT working on a painting for an hour or so today before work... that's manageable! I can do that!

See all of Betsy's Pinups HERE.

365 Names

Lauren in Manitoba, Canada is creating her own name daily in 365 Names...

Why did you decide to do this project? I’ve attempted daily projects before—a drawing a day, a photo a day, etc.—but I never got past the one month mark and subsequently gave up. This time was going to be different. I saw the “Make Something 365” book online and it totally inspired me to try this all over again. So, instead of taking pictures, I decided to do something more personal. I decided to create my name using a different medium every day for one year. I chose my name because I’ve had an interesting relationship with it. When I was 4, I declared to my parents that I did not like the name “Lauren” and insisted on only being called “Laurie”. And that’s how it was until 7 years ago when I was in class on my first day of college and the professor asked if I would want to be “Lauren” or “Laurie” and I said “Lauren!” and I’ve never gone back. I love my name now and I wanted this project to reflect my change in heart.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?I’ve really learned to be much more open and willing to share bits of my life with others. I’m a pretty closed book but keeping a daily blog and letting people in on what I’m doing, has certainly taught me to let others in occasionally. I’ve also loved hearing ideas from friends (and strangers!) and getting encouragement as the project has progressed. Who knew a daily project could be fun?!

See all of Lauren's names HERE