Making Made

Jeanne Haegele in Chicago, Illinois is doing a yearlong project she calls Making Made.

She explains: "Since nothing makes me happier than making stuff, my project this year has been to make something every single day for 365 days.  The things I make for my blog, Making Made, tend to center on what I like doing the most—doodling, photography, and cooking—but I allow myself to do pretty much anything including craft projects, songwriting, making videos, or whatever else I can dream up"

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this because I enjoy making things, but previously would never get around to creating anything, I guess because I was too lazy, too afraid of mistakes, and too busy doing things that I didn’t find nearly as satisfying. I knew that doing a 365 blog would force me to work on projects, despite my laziness or time commitments, and also help me with my fear of messing things up.

I also hoped that making something every day would help me learn knew skills, such as pen drawing and digital illustration, and help me get better at cooking.

Lastly, I think I just wanted to challenge myself and find out if I could even do something so crazy. Was I determined enough to make something for 365 days straight?

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I think there are two really important ways that Making Made has affected my daily life. First, it's  forced me to adjust my priorities around my creative projects, which has been a great thing for me. Before, I used to come home from work and do whatever I wanted. Now, when I get home, I have to figure out what I want to create that night, figure out how long it will take, and then adjust what I do in the evening around that. Sometimes I fail at the whole planning thing, though. One night, I woke up with a start around 12:30 a.m. because I hadn't made anything that evening. Ahhh! I hopped out of bed and quickly photographed some fruit (problem solved!).

The second thing that's really changed for me is that I spend a lot more time searching out creative inspiration. Whether it's shuffling through artsy boards on Pinterest, reading some of my new favorite blogs (I love Doodlers Anonymous, Booooooom, and the Jealous Curator), or talking about ideas with friends, I feel like my whole life has been infused with a sort of artistic energy that was never there before. It's really exciting!

See all of Jeanne's projects HERE

Rebecca's A-Robot-A-Day

Rebecca Jackson in Lawrence, Kansas is creating A-Robot-A-Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? Due to a mild obsession with robots and a generous stockpile of recycled bits, I’ve been making recycled robots for almost three years now.  I saw Noah’s book and became inspired to try to make something robot-related every day.  I thought it would be a great way to explore new mediums and force myself to actually create every day (not just daydream).   As a mother of four young boys, I’m a professional procrastinator when it comes to doing the things I actually want to do.  This project has given me an “excuse” to do something fun and also allows the boys to join in if they want.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I am terrible about follow-through.  If I’m lucky, I get something 90-95% done, but then end up going on to something else.  So embarking on a daily project has forced me to actually complete my endeavors and, thereby, experience some measure of satisfaction—you know, instead of enduring the guilt-ridden “I-really-need-to-finish-that” mantra of my pre-365-Day life.

I’ve also found that instead of running out of ideas, I seem to be overflowing with new ones.  Finding the time/energy to make them materialize is another matter, but it’s nice to know my creative spark didn’t get entirely doused by the monotony of adult life. 

See all of Rebecca's robots HERE.

Brother and Sister Projects

Helle & Vincente Göransson in Göteborg, Sweden are using my book to create Brother and Sister Projects...

Why did you decide to do this project? I found the book in a store where they sell funny and inspiring things. I thought that it could make my days less boring. And so it did! We've taken the tasks really serious and the outcome have been really funny and great :) me and my brother loves creativity and new thinking so this book is just perfect for us!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? This is not a daily project for us but we do it every time we meet. It has become a routine kind of. It's challenging and exciting. It makes the world such an interesting place. Life changes colour for a moment and you can stop thinking of any other problems you may have. I don't do things I don't love on my free time. I love this book. It really makes my life better! Thank you!

One experience was when we went out in the woods, in the middle of the night, to build things out of trees. We built them inside of course :) We sat for five hours creating that night/morning :)

p.s. You can find the Swedish language version of my book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal in many online bookstores.

Colour of The Month

After completing two yearlong projects – Daily Oak ("one tree, two positions from which a photo is taken on every day that I am in town, pictures of ‘guest trees’ on days that I am not") and Daily Mail done collaboratively with Kathy Loomis ("an e-mail per day with a picture of 'something') – Uta Lenk in Southern Bavaria, Germany has a new project: Colour of the Month ("going through the color wheel of primary and secondary colors I take a picture of something of that color on that day")...

Why did you decide to do this project? I loved the regularity of Daily Art as I experienced it in my projects together with Kathy Loomis, and my Daily Oak Project. I would have liked to do another tree after the conclusion of Daily Oak but did not find a different species in the vicinity that fit my requirements (easily accessible so that getting there would not take too long, single tree). I wanted to concentrate on color to increase my awareness of color, color range, color gradation, and “Colour of the month” has certainly been a successful project in that respect.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? The Daily Oak project has taught me a lot about trees in general, old trees in particular, and oaks as such. I believed myself to be aware of issues in nature before, but realized that there is still a lot more to learn. My family was affected in that they learned to accept my daily going to the tree. Sometimes I would ask my husband to take the little detour so I could take the picture of the day. If the sun broke through unexpectedly on a particular day my husband had learned to read the bounce of my step on the stairs as indicating whether I was going to see the tree... The Daily Mail project has heightened my awareness about what we see when we care to look, and what we overlook when we just trod through life. And it was interesting to get to know a person mainly through e-mails and pictures. That was the best art project of my entire life!

See all of Uta's projects HERE.

[BONUS] 180 Days of Art

I recently gave the keynote address at the Virginia Arts Education Association's annual conference and afterwards was given this lovely limited edition book by Roderick Rhodes...

Roderick, an elementary school art teacher, spent the 2003-2004 school year creating a daily art project. For 180 days he created small squares of art in six-piece panels, based on his experiences each week working with over 700 students!

The Daily Tree

Claudia Bear in Torrance, California is creating The Daily Tree...

Why did you decide to do this project? I got your book a few weeks ago based on a recommendation from my daughter's teacher.  As soon as I started looking through the book, I had so many ideas in my head, I knew I had to start a project right away.  I chose the tree theme because I love drawing, painting and photographing trees.  There's something about the branching shape of a tree that intrigues me.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm only on day 12 of my project, but I'm trying very hard to make this a true, DAILY project.  I'm usually such a planner, that my natural tendency would be to make a bunch of projects ahead of time and then stay ahead of schedule for the whole year.  My daughter even asked me "Mom, are you going to make some extras ahead of time, in case you get sick or something?"

Well, sure enough, I ended up getting sick during the very first week of my project, but I still stuck to my daily schedule.  For some people, the discipline of a 365 project might be to avoid "falling behind."  In my case, it's a different kind of discipline - learning to hold back and to wait a day to complete a project!

See all of Claudia's trees on her blog or on Facebook.