You Could Work Or...

Graeme McNee, creator of the daily Minimal Comics, in Kobe, Japan, has started another 365 project he calls: You Could Work Or... . He explains, "You could go to work everyday, or you could goof off and do something fun instead. I've decided to draw the 'something fun instead' every day. I post the pictures during morning rush time, to inspire workers checking out the site on their iPhones to hop off that train, call in sick and seize the day!"

Why did you decide to do this project? If you love your job, then you don't need to bother with my site. But if your job sucks, then you might want to check it out. I got tired of speaking to workers here in Japan who pull 12 hour days, take 20 minute lunch breaks, do stacks of unpaid overtime, and only use four or five of their 20 days annual paid vacation. They put in this extra effort not because they love their work, but because they are scared of losing their job and having no money. It's a real shame because if they just had a little more confidence in their abilities they could be making a much better life for themselves and enjoying more of what the world has to offer. Anyway, this site is for them. Or for people who have a day off and are trying to think of something fun to do.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It's made me spend my own time more wisely! When I wake up and think about what to draw for the day, I often come up with something I can actually go and do myself. The site is still in early days, but as time goes on I'm sure I'll have to think of more exciting and unusual things to do with the day. Also, it means I have fewer of those "gahhhh, I totally wasted today" moments.

See all of Grame's alternatives to work HERE.

Anne-Liesje's A Pattern A Day

Anne-Liesje in Belgium is making A Pattern a Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? I started the project after I saw a little article about daily projects and your book and site in 'Flow magazine'. A new creative experience was very welcome in my busy life full of stress and studying so that's why I decided to start up my own daily project. I have now my little (or sometimes bigger) creative moment to relax, be creative and make some nice patterns. :)

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I just started the project but already I feel a big difference. I'm looking to the world with a much wider view and a open mind. Everywhere where I go, I'm looking around if there are things that could inspire me or that I can use for a new pattern. Also making the patterns helps me to relax and to clear my mind after a busy day.

See all of Anne-Liesje's patterns HERE.

100 Milkteeth Follow-Up

Heidi Sabertooth finished her 100 day multi-media performance art challenge to create 100 songs in 100 days, 100milkteeth, on June 8, 2012...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?  I think the biggest lesson I learned was to create ways to fail regularly!  What is that saying I've heard before?  Creativity is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  Haha - well, prior to the song-a-day-project, on those days when I would enter my music studio and not really progress with any great ideas for the first hour or two, I would say 'oh, gee, I'm having an off day.'  And then turn everything off and walk away.  I would end up feeling kinda bad about myself...sometimes I would really dwell on that failure and would be gone from the studio for weeks, reinforcing that deep fear that I think many artists have – that perhaps I am just not that inspired or talented enough..'who am I kidding?  am I really an artist!??'

So setting up a goal where I had to FINISH something every day and I had to release it into the world for others to hear, meant I had to push through that urge to walk away.  It allowed me to build a whole collection of methods and experiences of breaking through that barrier and get more comfortable with the fact that there are degrees of failure in every creation,  because nothing can be perfect -- but that should not mean that I stop creating!!   During the making of each and EVERY one of my 100 songs, I experienced a dark sobering moment, something of impending doom -- and here is pretty much the exact dialog that went along with it -- "OMG.  I'm gonna fail. This song is crazy terrible, just complete crap....wait a second, girl...hold on went through this just started down the course just fine, were excited about an initial song idea...things were going well....but then something went wrong and the lens went out of focus and you started losing your way.  And then came the panic and the sweat.  And you let that fear start talking -- saying you are an awful musician and have no good ideas.  But, you shook that voice off!! Remember?  You forgot about it and just kept coming up with ideas and tightened things up and focused back in...and hey, pretty soon you were having fun again, in the zone, and a pretty cool little idea came through in the end!! -- so, don't give up!!  try something new -- it will come to you!"  Ha!  :)  Sometimes I even found myself saying these things out loud -- it was a pretty intense project to create a song a day :)   So, even though perhaps some of these songs might be a little rough around the edges, are any of them failures?  no...and YES!  all of them are a beautiful mix of both failure and inspiration that taught me how to move through my fears and as they say, CALM DOWN and CARRY ON...and do so regularly!!

In what ways did the project change your life? Well, the above life lesson has certainly changed me... and I find its pretty indescribable how life changing it was to release all of those ideas into the world.  I think I am still getting a handle on it.  Im not really sure if there are words - its more a feeling.  I am sure most creatives can understand that feeling.  It's why we create.

Now what? Well, I am currently playing the milkteeth LIVE show -- a solo show featuring songs and video from the project - it's a fun process to develop a live show because I have had to figure out new ways of playing these songs – I can't bring my whole studio out, so I had to reconfigure songs – I also like to perform a seamless set, meaning no break between songs – so I added some good beats and ambient sounds and samples to the mix.  So basically I think I have a leg up on the remix album!!  But no kidding, there will be some remixes coming up down the road - and of course, I do plan to release a milkteeth EP in the near future, which will likely feature milkteeth mixed with some of these new ideas.  I have also been commissioned to do some video work for a record label – which I am super excited about.  I am blessed, I have a good life and good people around me - so I just plan to keep on enjoying it and do the best I can. 

Read Heidi's original 365 interview HERE.

See & hear all of Heidi's milkteeth HERE.

A Boat A Day

Luna Staple in Bristol, UK is making A Boat a Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? I wanted a challenge; I read loads of other posts on the blogspot and got inspired! Then I realised it would be great to see if I could actually do something for a whole year. I have never done anything like that before; things like New Year’s resolutions only work for about a week on me. I also want to get into the deep dark corners of my studio and use the things I have been squirrelling away for years, and to try out some different techniques in my art.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? So far I am only on day 11, mostly I have just had a bit of direction every day. I wake up and I know I need to do a boat. It has been getting me out of the house a bit more, and I am really good at unfinished projects, so for me I have managed to watch myself complete something every day! Also my friends all think I’m crazy and are putting bets down to see how long I last! Aren’t they lovely…

Oh and I see boats almost everywhere I go.

See all of Luna's boats HERE

The Daily Amigurumi

Jackie Bartelmo in Woodstock, Georgia is creating The Daily Amigurumi...

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to share a skill and a craft that I love, which is crocheting. So I thought it would be fun to make a different amigurumi everyday for a year.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I am only on day 6 of my project, but it has been fun. It has made to go out and search for new project and try different levels of crochet. It is a great way to test my abilities and advance my skills and knowledge.

See all of Jackie's amigurumi HERE.

The Project 365 Journey

Reg in New York is taking daily photos in The Project 365 Journey...

He explains: I am an amateur photographer that's decided to actually get serious about learning photography. It all started when I took a photography class about two years ago. The instructor made us all get a camera. I purchased a used Canon Rebel XT. It was a great purchase and the class was fun, but I still didn't know what I was doing with the camera. So I put it down. Earlier this year I went to Mardi Gras and took my camera with me. Prior to that I watched a video that explained some of the features of the camera and how to of photography. I took some great pics. Then I heard of the "one a day" rule and gave it whirl. What fun. Then while playing around one day someone asked me to shoot their wedding. I got scared. I couldn't believe that someone would actually pay me for taking pics. I did my homework and ended up not doing it but it made me think that maybe I should really learn how to use this thing. I have a 50mm/1.8 prime and a 55-250mm on the way. This journal will be a chronicle of my project 365. Wish me luck.

Why did you decide to do this project? I have always been taking photo's. I heard about the 365 concept in a podcast and decided that it was a great way to improve my skill level. I wish I had known about this type of challenge a few years ago but so be it. Even though the blog seems to be in it's early stages I have been doing 1 pic a day for about 3 months. I just did the blog to make it more official and to share my pics.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It has made me more serious about photography. I pay more attention and anything that you pay attention to you get better at. It is actually a type of Kaizen method of improvement that I learned about a few months ago. Small improvements over a long period of time makes for gigantic change. I have taken some pics that I am going to put up as art on my walls, and I have been approached by a few people about photography.

See all of Reg's photos HERE.

365 Days of Creative Canning

Megan Forsyth in Perth, Western Australia is doing 365 Days of Creative Canning. She explains it as: "A new canning-related creation each day. Preserving fresh fruits and vegetables. Delicious jams and jellies. Lovely relishes and spreads. Healthy soups and stews. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. Photographing stages from ingredients to method to final product. These photographs accompany a review of each recipe with the source listed so anyone else can follow what I have done."

Why did you decide to do this project? For many years I have made jams and the occasional chutney or sauce. Only a few months prior to beginning this challenge, I learnt how to safely process (hot water bath canning and pressure canning) more produce - so when fruits and vegetables are in season I can preserve them so our family can enjoy them year-long! Undertaking 365 days of canning was important to me to teach myself more about these canning methods and to learn to use local, fresh produce.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It hasn't been too hard to incorporate into daily activities - I find it quite relaxing pouring over a recipe and seeing the final creation, photographing stages to share and inspire. Every day we are using jars of something I have canned - whether it's puree fruit for my youngest, canned fruit for my four-year-old or meals and sides for dinner for my family. I am learning more and more every day, it is very exciting to see what you can can and makes it very handy after a busy day working! I have made so many friends and connections worldwide from sharing my experiences and exploring more about this craft.

See all of Megan's canning projects HERE.