The Wishful Artist

Elizabeth Struk in Hutchinson, Minnesota is doing a daily drawing project she calls, The Wishful Artist.

Why did you decide to do this project? I went to school for fine and graphic art. Spent lots of time learning to draw realistically. I actually found it easier to draw with realism in mind, if I had the time to spend. Drawing "what I see" had become pretty natural for me.

Fast forward about a decade and I found myself extremely rusty. It was both surprising and depressing. I had always though of myself as an artistic person with an above average ability to draw but when I tried to pick up where I left off ten years ago, I found I didn't even know how to hold a pencil. It felt like a huge part of my personality had died. I made it my goal to relearn what I had lost and even add on some new skills I didn't have before. Drawing likeness was one of those new skills I am aiming for.

So to really put my shoulder into it, I have set a challenge for myself: Draw 365 likenesses in the next 365 days. They don't have to be done one each day. Sometimes I will do a few in a day and then might skip a few days, but I will try to post a new face here on my blog daily. This is a hefty challenge for a mom with an active four year old and a 7 month old baby but I am sure it will be worth it.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I sometimes think to myself, "If I can show this much improvement while only getting 4 to 5 hours sleep and tending to 2 lovably high maintenance cutie pies, IMAGINE IF I HAD MORE SLEEP AND TIME! I would be so awesome!". Other times I think to myself, "What am I doing? This is crazy. You will never be at the level you want to be so just give up now."  I guess I have good days and bad days...well, more like good hours and bad hours.

I feel that tug-o-war when I see this sketch. Sometimes I look at it and think I see overall improvement and hope and then an hour later I look at it and wish I could do it over.

I often wonder what people think when they see my drawings. Are they really impressed? Are the just being nice? Does no comment mean they hate it? Maybe they haven't seen it yet? or Why do they like my stuff so much? It's not that good.

I guess that's just the type of personality I have; constantly striving to do a good job and receive recognition/reassurance but then feeling like I don't deserve it when I do receive it. Maybe by the end of this journey, I will not only improve my artistic abilities but  grow a little thicker skin and maybe even add more confidence to my personality in general.

See all of Elizabeth's art HERE.

An Elephant A Day

Sheila Singhal in Ottawa, Canada is making An Elephant A Day...

Why did I decide to do this project? I picked up your book, and it inspired me to give a 365-day project a try. This was something I'd never considered before.

How has doing this project affected my life? It's made me finally try things I thought I'd never get around to, such as carving a watermelon, making drawings with sparklers, and trying just about every weird Surrealist technique there is. It's been exhausting, and there have been a few days when making anything and writing about it is just about the the last thing I want to do.

Thanks for the idea! I get about 400 hits a day, and my blog is currently being read in 122 countries around the world, with a total of 58,000 or so hits (at last count).

See all of Sheila's elephants HERE.

The Neptune Collective

Elise Mahan in Oakland, California is doing a painting a day project she calls The Neptune Collective. She explains that it's, "a continuously evolving visual narrative that spans one year and is devoted to my love of research and exploration into the study of astronomy and cosmology."

Why did you decide to do this project? The act of creating a painting every single day allows me to research and explore the vast and complex universe through a collection of visual studies. My paintings are also inspired by my work with children. I am an Art Studio Coordinator for a East Bay non-profit called Habitot Children's Museum, which has served a wide range of children and families from different countries and socioeconomic backgrounds in the East Bay for 14 years.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? My experiences developing art projects for this program has shown me that anything is possible and there are no constraints or boundaries in the art making process.

See all of Elsie's paintings on her blog HERE and buy her work on Etsy HERE.

Anna's A Pattern A Day

Anna Johansson in Sweden is making Ett Mönster Om Dagen AKA A Pattern A Day

Why did you decide to do this project? There are a thousand things I want to do, but I get tired just by thinking of all that is possible. Instead, it becomes nothing. But last Christmas I received a book; 365: A Daily Creativity Journal. One project. One year. Ok, let's go. My 365-day project starts here, January 2012. A pattern a day, for one year.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? First of, the insight that creativity has its ups and downs. All the time. Always. I'm more confident that my passion and ideas will endure.
Secondly, the best way to make room for new ideas is by executing the current ones.

See all of Anna's patterns HERE.

Elaine's Flower A Day

Elaine Greywalker is in the midst of her 4th 365 project(!), this time it's A Flower A Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? I started the first project because I like making something every day whether I want to or not. Having a daily mini-creative project gives me a sense of accomplishment and keeps the creative source open."

I did the "Morning Pages" for years before I did my first Make Something 365 project: "Archives", which was an attempt to cull the morning pages. It was a failure. Probably because it wasn't about making something. Then I started "Skies" which was successful. I only missed 30 days.

Flower a Day is the best so far: the most fun and freeing. Having a concrete object makes it easy to create. I tried making "Spirit Boats" but that was too broad.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It's about being in the now and seeing possibilities. I find a lot of similarities between making art/being creative and meditating or being present. Art/creativity transforms by opening up childhood wonder and appreciation of what is. So, it is about being fully me. A daily project keeps me in touch with the my source.

I come to this with a lot of training and experience in art, a lot of practice with hand-eye coordination (which is about being present and noticing), years of making abstract expressionistic works (which is about how I feel and relate to color, shape, and gesture). And also many years as a graphic designer. I want to unlearn a lot of formalized training and dig deeper in to what resonates with me. The daily project makes that happen.

During the "Skies" project I generated some really cool art. The "Flower" project looks to be going the same way. I'm happy and thrilled to be embarking on another year of discovery.

See all of Elaine's flowers HERE. And read more about her 365 projects HERE.