How to Turn Your Daily Creative Project Into a Book

Today's post is guest written by Michelle Taute my friend and my co-author on the book The Design Activist's Handbook... 

I’m not going to lie. My 365 creative project started out as a painful slog. It took me a good month or so to really start hitting my stride. And there was still a little doubting voice lingering around on day 50 going, “Why, exactly, are you making cootie catchers everyday? I mean you’re practically middle-aged.”

Then something rather astounding happened around day 50. One of my Facebook friends, who also happens to be a book editor, asked me if I’d thought about turning all these fun paper fortune-tellers into a craft book. Um, yes, definitely, but I hadn’t thought about it outside the context of wild daydreams.

It took me another six months or so to put together a book proposal, but that simple Facebook note helped me keep going. And a few weeks ago my book, Fold Me Up: 100 Paper Fortune-Tellers for Life’s Pressing Questions, hit bookstores. I’m guessing your daily creative project would make an awesome book, too, so I tapped my wonderful editor at Perigee Books, Meg Leder, for some insider advice and wisdom.

How do you find new book ideas?
I spend time every day reading websites (Brain Pickings, Jezebel, The Toast) and skimming links friends send, looking for ideas that catch my attention. If I find myself spending more than a few minutes on any idea, and if I’m thinking about it for a few hours or days after, it’s usually well worth pursuing. If it’s holding my interest, it will probably hold a fair number of readers’ interest, too.

What really makes a creative project capture your attention? 
 I also look for things I can evangelize about because I flat-out love them. I recently published a nontraditional coloring book called Outside the Lines that features the work of street artists, video game designers, etc., because I have a huge sweet spot for street art. I also published a book from a really fantastic creator—Matthew Buchholz—called Alternate Histories of the World because I had uber-admired his work when I first saw it at Renegade Craft Fairs and the Bust Craftacular.

With Fold Me Up, I have many a fond memory of making fortune-tellers as a kid. The Perigee editorial team did as well. Seeing the proposal sparked a 15-minute nostalgia conversation amidst my colleagues—exactly the type of response you want to provoke in people when you’re thinking about publishing a book. If we’re enthusiastic, it’s likely others will be, too.

What should I know if I’m new to publishing?
People should keep in mind that publishing a book isn’t always easy. You’re taking something you love, and you’re commercializing it, which can be a tough transition. It can be heartbreaking if it doesn’t find the audience you want, but it can also be super validating when someone loves it as much as you do.

How can I improve my odds of landing a book contract? 
People should constantly be thinking about platform, platform, platform. As an author, how can you help spread the word about the book? How can you help us get the book out there? The more of an existing audience you have in place, the better we can help you publish your book.

Are you hoping to turn your 365-project into a book? Or have you done it already? Questions? Comments? Advice?

(My) Artplay at 60 ~ Using the Daily News as Inspiration

Rebecca Grace Jones in Shepherdstown, West Virginia has returned with a new month long daily project (My) Artplay at 60 ~ Using the Daily News as Inspiration

She explains the project as, "Using the cover photo and story of the Washington Post newspaper for inspiration to create a piece of artwork, in image and word, every day in the month of December 2013 and present the results as a show in January 2014"

Why did I decide to do this project and how has doing a daily project affected my life?

As an artist I have two needs ~ 1) the challenge of creating something and
2) someone to show it to.

This means that in the sixty years I’ve been walking around on this earth I’ve not evolved much from the child who would bound out of bed in the morning eager to see what I could scribble together with my crayons and then run to show it to my mother.

As a small child I was able to come up with my own inspiration for crayon scribbles. When I started attending school I learned that it was possible to make things from the suggestions of others. It was also quite satisfying, because then they would acknowledge my accomplishment in the form of a rating system called a “grade”.  This was different from my mother’s reaction in that it might not always be favorable, but the recognition fed me nonetheless.

The challenge of creating something from a presented idea became a puzzle to solve, an activity upon which I thrived. This made me a good art student through graduate school and a decent free-lance illustrator early in my career.

The audience has changed over the years from mother, to teacher, to art director, and now to you, the public. It’s been necessary to evolve, at least to a degree, in order to accept the levels of acknowledgement I receive and continue to produce my art regardless. As a child it’s possible that, if my mother hadn’t gushed over everything I showed her, I might not have pursued the life of an artist. Now, I find I’m able to, well, actually, I need to create things whether you, my audience, like them or not, though, of course, it’s nice when you do. I don’t think I could continue if what I created was being completely ignored, but I am able to find the motivation I need to keep working in even a limited amount of attention.

Having spent 2012 completing the 365 projects from Noah Scalin’s book, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal, where I was given ideas, I find now, that in order to keep up the daily practice of creating, I am in a position of having to make up my own assignments. That’s where this latest project comes in ~ Using the cover photo and story from the Washington Post for inspiration, I find something to draw or collage and write about, either as a synopsis of the story or a poem in haiku form. I enjoy writing, particularly constructing the haiku in its 5-7-5 syllable structure, because of the puzzle-solving element involved.

This project, the working title of which is (My) Artplay at 60 ~ Using the Daily News as Inspiration, gives me the structure of being there every day and presenting me with a challenge of finding something inspiring enough to be creative. When I post the artwork (or artplay) and word-thing on my blog,, I get to see if it has any effect on anyone.

The incentive for this project was an invitation to have a show at the Fire House Gallery in Charles Town, WV for the month of January 2014, during which I will turn 60. It made me want to do something fresh and interesting.

How has this changed my life? It is the difference between getting up in the morning and being presented with a blur of things to do, and bounding out of bed to get the newspaper to see what today’s assignment is, and then to my computer to see if you got, or didn’t get, what I did yesterday. It’s what I need to do.

See all of Rebecca's project HERE.

A Flamingo a Day Keeps the Doctor Away - 365 Flamingos

Christy Wyatt in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is creating A Flamingo a Day Keeps the Doctor Away - 365 Flamingos...

Why did you decide to do this project? I had recently undergone brain surgery, and felt that I needed some type of daily activity, something focused, to help me cope with the recovery process in a positive way. I came across your blog, ordered the book, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal, and thought that this was the perfect outlet for me. I have always found art, and the creating process, to be very healing. This is my form of art therapy, I suppose. Hence, the title of my blog. I love your suggestion to choose a theme, because I tend to get sidetracked very easily, and this provides the focus that I need. I live in a very quirky neighborhood that has taken on the Pink Flamingo as a mascot, and that is what inspired my theme. (this is an article that describes my hood)

How has doing a year long/daily project altered your life? I am only 23 days into it, but it has already had a profound effect on me. It is providing the jolt that I need to keep going, happily keep going, during a particularly difficult time in my life. It keeps my spirits up and helps me to lighten some of the things that I am having to cope with.

One example : A few days ago, I had to go to the emergency room for problems with my VP shunt. I mentioned to my mother and my daughter that I needed to figure a way to get my daily flamingo. My daughter happened to have an ATC that I had made of a flamingo in her wallet. She propped it up on the monitor next to my bed and took a picture with her iphone so that I would have an image to post. My pain level at the time was at about 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. That simple act gave me something else to focus on, distracted me from the pain in my head, and it made a difficult day more bearable. That is what creating daily does for me - it gives my days a positive spin, no matter what obstacles I may face. It puts a smile on my face.

See all of Christy's flamingo's HERE.

A Daily Creativity Journal

Ineke Jansma in The Netherlands was inspired by my book to make A Daily Creativity Journal...

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project because I wanted to be more creative. I had read about your book in a Dutch magazine and decided to buy it. Than after reading it I started on 1 January 2013.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?
  • This project has affected my life, because now I know how important it is for me to be creative. I found out when my website was suddenly disappeared. I have done my best (with help) to built a new website.
  • I sometimes tell people about my website and this is a big step for me: being proud of what I make.
  • I lost my job and that’s not easy to deal with. Because of this I cannot be creative everyday on the other hand I know how important it is for me to be creative. That’s why I have decided this week to continue this project every other day. Also I decided to asked you again to put me on your site with my new website.
  • Your book takes me out of my comfort zone, because I do things I never had thought of by myself. 

See all of Ineke's projects HERE.

365 Days of Ikebana

Keith Stanley in Washington, DC created 365 Days of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging)...

Why did you decide to do this project? My reason for doing this project was motivated by my difficulty in building a body of work, I was creating work sporadically and felt I needed some motivating factor to create more often. So I got a copy of your book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal  and realized on online daily project would really give me a reason to do something daily and hopefully create some expectation to do so. My immediate response was to just leap and begin my project, I knew if I hesitated I would probably not have to courage to do a project like this publicly. From there on out I knew my job was to simply do the work each day, good or bad I had to resist the urge to judge each daily piece and just put it out there regardless.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? One of the nicest things about the project was connecting with other people interested in ikebana or flower arranging. I heard from lots of ikebana students who were inspired by what I was doing, and others seeking information about how they could find an ikebana teacher or class in their area. Readers would often ask about container sources and particular materials I had used, and I enjoyed being able to share my knowledge. I also leaned a lot myself about how to photograph flowers, and saw a big progression in my photography skills.

Recently I had been looking back at the images created during that year, and I realized that I finally had this body of work that I had longed for. It has inspired me once again and am just finishing up my first self published book using some of my favorite ikebana arrangements from the project.  My plan now is to release "365 Days of Ikebana" on

See all of Keith's arrangements HERE.

Make a Day

Nick J. Jones in London, UK is doing a yearlong creative project simply called Make a Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? I've been feeling like I don't create as much as I like and that I work well when I set myself personal deadlines. This is also a good way of learning not to be too overly precious of my work and to just create without thinking that it has to be the best thing I've ever done.

How has the year-long/daily project affected your life?
It's one extra thing I have to do everyday! A lot of the time it seems like a chore but then when I've created something I usually feel quite pleased and refreshed (it's sort of similar to the feeling of going for a run in the morning, you may not want to do it at the time but once you have you feel better because of it). Having to create something daily has also shown me that my imagination is always active and there is always the chance to do something creative.

Follow Nick's progress HERE.

Kirti's Cards

Kirti Ramesh in Plymouth, UK is creating handmade cards daily in her project Kirti’s Cards...

Why did you decide to do this project? I needed something that broke up the routine of being in the labs and writing up reports. This project was planned as a hobby that would get me through my Masters in marine biology. 

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? My project has been going for close to a year now and I love what it has offered me. I have started to see opportunities of card making in everything around me right from newspapers and old envelopes to spices in the kitchen. My project has also given me a lot of confidence in my creativity with its success at table top fairs and local gift shops. I also love the delight that comes with creating new designs and seeing strangers fall in love with them. 

See all of Kirti's cards HERE.

365 Butterflies

Kelly Godlewski in Huntington Beach, California is making 365 Butterflies...

Why did you decide to do this project? I was reading an Etsy article on January 1st that highlighted your book.  I decided to go check out your blog and see what it was all about.  I was really excited about the idea and being January 1st, I decided to jump right in and give it a go.  I enjoying creating many different things and sometimes I don't have the focus or the routine to keep things going.  I thought this would be a great experience.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It has been quite the journey.  I thought two weeks in, How can I keep this up?  Sometimes finding the time is easy and quite enjoyable, while other days it proves to be more difficult.  There is a great sense of accomplishment from completing each day though.  It's nice because my entire family is on board and they ask me if I have completed my butterfly for the day.  They have been great helpers and a couple times they have been part of my composition.  Some of the funnier experiences are butterflies that I have completed at restaurants.  Knowing that I won't have time to complete my butterfly when I get home, I end up playing with my food.  There have been quite the variety of food butterflies, but my most memorable one, not because of the butterfly, is one I created in a nicer restaurant.  In between courses, the bus boy was waiting to clear my plate and I didn't realize it.  Once I finished the butterfly and took my picture, he came over and said nice job.  It was a little embarrassing but also funny.  My girls got a kick out of it.  It's things like that make this journey quite incredible at times.  I have 69 more to go, which still seems like a lot but I am already thinking about continuing on next year. I am enjoying what this process has brought out in me and how I am finding that bit of time to do something extra throughout the day.

See all of Kelly's butterflies HERE.

Home is where the Chaos is - DIY 365

Luna Staple in Bristol, England has returned for a new 365 project dedicated to home-made, home inspired, D.I.Y creative projects called Home is where the Chaos is - DIY 365...

Why did you decide to do this project? After spending a year creating boats I have come to love the sense of daily achievement  I suddenly realized I could finish things if I was determined enough and making things didn't have to take hours, or be particularly stressful. I decided to do another project to keep my creativity going, but this time I'm making things for me. I've been running a failing business with more heart than sense, but now I am ready to step back, reclaim my craft as a hobby and improve the chaos in my life by reinvention, upcycling and organizing.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Already I am feeling the effects in my surroundings, from waking up in a room that no longer screams orange, to eating good, homemade food. I'm finally getting round to all those things I've thought of over the years, so my achievement is more than just making something today, it's making time to do that thing that could so easily be swept under work, chores and other important things. I have really proved my own determination after the boats and through that I have managed to find direction and honing my crafts towards useful, sustainable creations.

See all of Luna's projects HERE.
And see Luna's previous 365 project interview HERE.


Nat Grant in Melbourne, Australia created daily in her project Momentum...

She explains: Every day in 2012 I worked on an experiential blogging project called Momentum, tracing the development of a cumulative, yearlong musical composition. This work, the practical component of my PhD, comprised mixing and re-mixing daily using digital, electronic processing of instrumental and found sound improvisations, field recordings, and pre-existing samples, submitted for this purpose. The project has since grown to include a month-long overseas version as well as four live performance versions.

Day 29 - marble in a ramekin in a bowl of water

Why did you decide to do this project? I have always enjoyed creating large-scale and durational sound works/installations, and the scope of the PhD gave me encouragement to attempt one of this size. Also, I wanted to spend some time reflecting on my compositional processes in order to improve my skills in this area, and I thought that a year would be a decent enough period of time in which to really reflect on my art and my processes and to be able to put into practice any discoveries I made or lessons I learned along the way.

Day 119 - kids on bikes with bells

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Momentum has definitely affected my life and the way I approach lots of things. By practicing making my art every day for a year I have solidified technical skills, and changed how I listen to the world. I thought I already paid a lot of attention to the world around me, but by having to find something new to record every day I paid a LOT more attention and noticed so many more sounds everywhere! And by making something small every day I was able to accomplish a huge amount of work - the task of creating a 4 hour long, 12 movement sound art piece would have seemed really daunting otherwise. And now, I feel like I'm more open to trying things I never have before, like home maintenance or painting or photography, and I know that I'm not "bad" at these things, I've just never spent any time practicing them.

Day 297 - Nat with kettle

Listen to all of Nat's project on her blog HERE or on Soundcloud HERE.

Snake a Day

Brandy Copley in Houston, Texas is creating a Snake a Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? In September I met and was inspired by the fantastic Noah Scalin, who spoke at a class I was attending for my job. I loved the idea of challenging myself to do something very different from my day job, as a creativity tool.  My project parameters: 1) The goal is Process, not Product. The plan is to spark my creativity, to let me see everyday things with fresh eyes, and to enjoy the act of creating something every day. Which means- 2) Some (most?) snakes will not be aesthetically pleasing works of art. In fact, they might stink. I don't care. (See parameter 1 above.) If I took something that never looked like a snake to me before, and I turned it into a snake, home run. So if it is longer than it is tall and has zero legs, I'm good. 3) There will be lots of found objects used. I don't intend to buy much stuff to make my snakes. In general in my life, I'm working to decrease my consumerism and increase my reusing and recycling. So, for example, I do lots of food snakes which will then be snacked on (as a vegetarian who likes cooking I've always got lots of yummy colorful food around). That's it. Just three parameters.

Why snakes? Well, they are pretty simple, geometry wise. I have zero art skills, and could never do something as complex as a skull, or say, a camel. Also, snakes, like skulls, come preloaded with meaning. They creep some people out at the zoo. Entire libraries have been written about their religious symbolism. Voldemort kept one as a pet, and Jim Morrison famously sang about one. But the deal clincher was Henri Rousseau's Snake Charmer. The first time I saw this painting at the d'Orsay (as a 19 year old student in Paris) I fell in love with her. She is Eve charming the serpent, the myth completely turned on its head, the morality tale subverted. She is sensual and frightening, mysterious and darkly alluring. (Here's a link to The Snake Charmer if you don't know it.)  Finally, since my project was inspired by Noah's creepy cool skulls I could hardly do butterflies or unicorns...

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? My project is having a huge positive influence.  First, it is giving me both permission and a reason to enjoy creativity.  I’m a big consumer and fan of art, music, writing and creativity, but I haven’t done anything creative myself since about 3rd grade.  Now I have a reason to play with my food, and modeling clay, and art glass, and Legos, and seashells, and sand, and whatever else I want to.

Second, the project has vastly increased my ability to be present in the moment- to actually see the world around me and not just race by while glued to my laptop or phone.  I’m now free to look at shapes and colors and possible snake making objects every place I go.  Third, I have had some great conversations with people because of the project.  Start making a giant seaweed snake at Dana Point, and the surfers start gathering and chatting with you….it is a great way to meet and chat with new people.  And I’ve learned how to run my little bog (new skill for me.)  Lastly- I guess it is teaching me to be brave.  I wasn’t going to post the snakes at first-as I said I am no artist- I was just going to keep them to myself.  But my coworkers have been so positive about my project that I am now willing to throw it out there.

See all of Brandy's snakes HERE.

A Painting or Drawing a Day

Jill Hejl in Oglesby, Illinois is creating A Painting or Drawing a Day...

Why did you decide to do this project? I had heard about Noah Scalin doing his Skull-A-Day project several years ago and had his book, Skulls.  While I had been making art forever, I decided to get really serious about it in 2012.  Things started happening for me, and I thought, what if I really dedicated myself to this craft of drawing and painting? I wanted to find out so I decided to give myself a Christmas early New Year's Day resolution, if you will.  A promise to make a drawing or a painting a day for one year.  On a serious note, I think I felt unchallenged in my life and job, and wanted to go on this journey for both artistic growth and to fill this void.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It has been one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I started out innocently enough with unlimited time available while on Christmas break (I work at a college).  However, once the full-time job kicked back in, it was another story.  I'd come home, make supper, walk my dog, talk to the man, and suddenly think, it's 9 p.m. and I need to paint a picture and write a blog post.  It was a startling experience to realize, hey, if you're going to do this, you have to have your rear-end in gear and make this a priority!  Believe me, there were times when I'd push that publish button at 11:59 p.m.  During the month of May, my computer crashed, and it took all I had in me keep painting daily even when I couldn't post about it.  I try to include stories and writings with most of the art as well so that added immensely to the time involved, too.

A weird phenomenon developed around Day 40, Day 80, Day 160.  It was strange.  I would hit a wall about those times, and think, I don't think I can go on.  If that doubling effect were to have held steady, I shouldn't have had a problem again until Day 320.  Instead, around about 200, I thought, I don't want to do this anymore.  (I think it really started at the 1/2 way point.  My husband said, "You're on the downhill slide now," but somehow the thought of 6 more months seemed insurmountable.)  That feeling--instead of lifting after 5 or 10 paintings as had happened before, persisted for about 2 months, Day 259 ("The Weight and The Pressure") was probably my lowest point.  I almost felt adrift--what was I doing?  Who even cared?  I still have so far to go--I'm never going to get there!  But I had a couple of friends who would cheer me on.  And I think 3 things kept propelling me:

  1. I had publicly put it out there that I was doing it;
  2. I just continually reminded myself, just do a picture today.  Just one a day.  Whenever I would think of how far I had to go, I would feel overwhelmed and crumble in a heap.  Don't think about the total number--this is my greatest advice!; and
  3. I had made a promise, a commitment to myself.  I wanted to honor that most of all.

Let me put that last sentiment another way.  Someone said to me recently, "But are you having fun doing it?"  To me, the question was almost beside the point.  I thought, are marathon runners having fun running when they hit the wall at mile 21 and feel like you can't go on?  You keep going because of the pure drive to reach your goal.  Anyway, that's the way I feel.  I don't know, maybe others have skipped happily along with no self-doubt of struggle.  This has been my experience while plugging along.

On a happier, sunnier note, here's what I have gained.

I think I have gained better artistic ability.  I feel like I'm a much better artist, and I can better and more quickly access creativity.  I have lived by all those calls of famous people to work daily for your art:  "The Creativity Habit," by Twyla Tharp (a favorite for years and years!); "Do the Work," by Steven Pressfield; "The Artist's Way," by Julia Cameron; "Skulls," by Noah Scalin. 

I pay attention more.  I have written funny pieces of conversations or ideas I've had on scraps of paper and post-it notes for over a decade, and I have always loved nature.  But this project made me become even more aware of what was happening around me.  Everything became fodder for a piece of art.  It almost slows life down by really being aware and creatively curious about everything around me as I tried to come up with new subject matter.

If I was ever doubtful of my artistic ability or how it would be accepted by the world or if I could go on with the project, these were the quotes, posted overhead on my desk, that I would gaze at, inhale deeply, and press "post."  (Ironically, they emanate from my some of my favorite areas of life:  books, music, fashion, and film.)

Barbara Sher's quote saying, "Whatever your dreams are, start taking them very, very, seriously."

Eddie Vedder saying, "It's so important. Everyday we wake up, we're creating our memory.  We have to create the best ones we can, even if for one day.  Find your goals and take them one step at a time.  Your happiness and control form responsibility.  It takes work and you MUST do things yourself.  Don't expect anyone else to do it for you.  Don't feel sorry for yourself.  I've learned that about myself.  I once thought I was under the lion's paw, but when I decided to take on responsibility, I became much more free."

Diane Von Furstenberg's quote by her mother, a holocaust survivor, "Fear is not an option."

I would watch "Julie and Julia" on my Amazon Prime, and remind myself that Julia Child plugged away for 12 YEARS on "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and started over numerous times.

And this one, Marie Forleo from Marie TV:  (paraphrasing) "Don't set yourself up for failure--do one thing at a time."  This one is a biggie--I constantly overcommitted in the past, got frazzled, and then never felt like I fully achieved in any area.  This message and episode came at a crucial moment for me.  I can't overemphasize how her video post really helped me focus, commit, and succeed.

Finally, no matter how much work it took – and this is why you should also do a 365-Day Project – the sense of accomplishment you'll feel, knowing you can follow through, be creatively committed to something and succeed, is incalculable.  You gain confidence in yourself that you can succeed at the next thing if you just work hard enough.  That's the incredible gift Noah has all of us by his example.

See all of Jill's paintings and drawings HERE.

The Nightly Owl

Tanya Green in Fredericksburg, Virginia is creating The Nightly Owl...

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project because I was tired of everything else in my life taking precedence over the things I've always wanted to do, but never gave myself the time to do. I am an art teacher by day and a mom of two highly energetic boys (2 and 4) whenever I'm not working. For the past seven years I've worked with children because I'm passionate about getting them to think creatively and solve problems their way. It's time that I practice what I preach. So much of my energy has gone into my students and my family, that not much creative energy has been left for my own artwork. That has changed now and I'm truly glad that I jumped off the cliff into this crazy creative initiative.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I am only two weeks into doing my yearlong/daily project and I think my body has become acclimated to getting much less sleep than I used to get! To be honest, over the last 15 nights a lot has changed. My family, my students, and people at work have gotten somewhat invested in my journey as well. I'm getting random things donated to me for future owl creations. One co-worker went home during lunch to get me a variety of tea bags to use for Day 13. She was so excited that her tea became art! My students have been checking out the owls too. They love to ask me how I created certain owls. When I tell them that I used my brain and my imagination, some are dumbfounded. After I showed a class my LEGO owl, a student said "Oh there's a kit for that!" My reaction was, "No there is not. I made that up myself!" Hmph...children trying to steal my thunder. Ha ha!

Overall, I am a much happier person. As I go through my work day, I have this sense of accomplishment and anticipation for the next accomplishment that keeps me uplifted and energetic. I'm realizing that "Yes, I can do Art!" After teaching for so long and not necessarily challenging my own creativity and skills, I forgot that I can create. I am amazing myself nightly. Sharing my creations with my students and people I don't even know has been pretty amazing too. My sons even ask to create art when I'm working on a owl. I am one happy "artist" and I feel like I can finally call myself one. Weird, I know!

See all of Tanya's owls HERE.

365 Diamonds

Abigail in the United Kingdom is creating 365 Diamonds...

Why did you decide to do this project? Because I needed a focus for my creativity but didn't know where I was headed. Since leaving University I had struggled with how to make creativity part of my daily life. The format of the project gave me freedom, within a structure, to try things.

I found your 365: A Daily Creativity Journal in a bookshop, bought two copies for my mum and I and then badgered her until she agreed to start it with me! Soon she she was the one badgering me to keep up!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It has forced me to relearn the discipline that I had for my creative skills at University (making Woven textiles). This is very important as all great creativity comes from discipline, hard work and lots of horrible mistakes/versions before something great happens! It has been a wonderful project to share with my mum who is a very talented artist, and without doing it together I think there are many times we both would've given up. Doing this project has helped me address how important my creativity is to me, I don't want it to be a tiny part of my life anymore, I want it to be everything! Currently I'm designing a range of cards and working on my artwork, the next step is to find the shops and galleries that will work with me.

See all of Abigail's Diamonds HERE.

365 Project - Birds

Julie Grimes in the United Kingdom is creating daily in 365 Project - Birds...

Why did you decide to do this project? To support my very talented daughter to get back into a more creative life which is so very important to her. I have such belief in her talents and felt she was stumbling and had lost direction after university. It seemed a small thing to do to show my total support......though it took a bit of badgering on her part to get me going.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Well in the beginning it was no small feat! Every day to produce a bird of some description,......some days it seemed just too much to try and think let alone actually create something which could be put onto my pin board .... As time has gone on I have really got into it and love being creative again, I have accepted that the finished daily bird does not need to be perfect as this is a journey back to creativity not about a polished finished daily piece. The project has stumbled periodically but through it all it was the thought of not letting my daughter down that kept me going, now we neither of us cannot believe we have reached day 200.

We have both grown from the discipline, we have leant on each other, learnt from each other and  through mutual support and encouragement we have both reignited our love of art and the creative process. My daughter, it turns out is more than a very talented artist! She has succeeded in helping me once again find my creative heart. Although Pintrest may not have been the best place to put the daily piece,  the first time one of my birds was re pinned was the most wonderful feeling ever! It was also wonderfully simple to pin birds whilst on holiday!

See all of Julie's birds HERE.

Claire's 365

Claire in San Francisco, CA is creating a daily project inspired by the prompts in my book...

Day 7 -- a stencil. I made it at a concert out of a baseball card and took a picture of the sky.
Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project because I was feeling uninspired and directionless. I knew I wanted to use my brain every day and rebuild the creative muscle I know exists in there somewhere.  When I saw this book, I grabbed it and bought it hoping it would bring me back!

day 5.  this one was hard. i went and borrowed some hockey cards from 1986 from a friend. then i walked around putting them places and asking people to hold them and took pictures. at one point i found a busted newspaper dispenser and went crazy. then i put the rest of the cards on all the cars parked downtown (that was sort of a weird day).

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I have been doing it for 8 days. It is changing me every day. Doing this and being excited about it when I wake up reminded me that I do have focus and energy to work on things that I'm inspired by and interested in. And I am proud of my work, even though it's not expert... It makes me happy.  

day 4.  i went to the grocery store and made this when i got there.  it's a heart made out of peppers.