365 Crystals

Kelly St. Claire in Richmond, Virginia is documenting 365 Crystals. She explains, "My project is a study in crystals. I am exploring all aspects of the mineral kingdom, from their vibrant colors, to healing lore, and magickal properties. Each day I will either post detailed information, a story, a poem (all accompanied by lovely images.)"

Why did you decide to do this project? I am a lifelong crystal enthusiast as well as a certified crystal healer. I use crystals daily to help myself as well as others. I am so hungry to learn as much as I can about each stone I decide to work with. I was running into the same information out there and was really interested in getting to know their properties and gifts personally, and develop a unique relationship with meanings revealed to me in creative ways rather than just from books. I also wanted to have a project that would stretch me in ways that will help me not only jumpstart my creativity, but to add to my knowledge about each crystal. In other words, I LOVE crystals and am passionate about them. I want to spread the love through my project!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  I have done one before which was about the tarot and haiku. It was 365 Days of Tarot and Verse. Each day i would generate a photo and a haiku about a Tarot card, it was awesome to be able to follow my life by reading my haiku and the cards chosen, and to push through on those days when I did not feel like writing. It was an invaluable lesson for me. This time I am pacing myself a bit more, not expecting brilliance every day, it is teaching me to temper myself and to not be such a perfectionist (which is huge for me.)  In my last project I learned that even when I feel uninspired, if I push through and do it anyway, when I look back on it, magic has occurred, the entry has more depth and meaning than I thought and my creative muscles were loosened up through regular use!

Read about all of Kelly's crystals HERE.

Iens Way

Ineke Jansma in the Netherlands is creating a daily creativity project inspired by my book...

Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do a project since I have read your book about a month ago. It is difficult to find a project doing a whole year. That’s why I decided to start with the ideas in your book.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  They bring me out of my comfort zone and I think I learn the most if I do so. I will loose my job about half a month and that’s hard to accept. That’s why I decided to start a project for a year starting on 1 January.

See all of Ineke's projects HERE.

Down The Rabbit Hole

Megan Carrell in Muncie, Indiana is going Down the Rabbit Hole...

She explains, "My starting inspiration is Alice in Wonderland. It's a subject that is easy for me to elaborate on and obsess over, for sure! However, I wanted to make this project flexible instead of stressful, so the subject is welcome to interpretation and deviation. I use both 2-D and 3-D mediums; all of them are then posted on the photo site Flickr."

Why did you decide to do this project? Well, you would think being a full-time graphic design student is enough art for one person. Apparently not.  After getting 365: A Daily Creativity Journal for Christmas a few years ago, I was inspired to try a year-long project. This is actually my third official project attempt (and my eighth unofficial one), but I'm hoping that with more experience and more publicity I'll be able to stick to it this time around!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I'm definitely still figuring out how to balance my time and priorities. This project is teaching me how to better my time management and, much more importantly, how to better myself as an artist. I've also learned a lot about myself. One of my biggest discoveries is that I LOVE to play with my food! Also, my non-dominant hand is surprisingly ambidextrous.

See all of Megan's creations HERE.

365 Birds Project

Eduardo Silva Franco in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil is doing a 365 BIRDS PROJECT.

He explains, "The 365 Birds Project, is a personal project that consists in recording and writing about 365 species of birds in one year. That is, I need to push myself to register somehow [observation with the naked eye; observation with binoculars, photographic, sound recording] 365 species and, every day, create a post describing how was the recording and writing a little about the animal . Obviously, I do not need to observe the bird species on the post, which would be virtually impossible. Example, if on 01/01/13 I made a birding and record 30 species, will have at least 30 posts guaranteed. Over time and with the records repeating itself, I have to force myself to seek new species, increasing the level of difficulty of the project."

"It may seem easy suddenly to be the same, but just to get an idea in Belo Horizonte / MG are 347 species of birds recorded [historical documents, published works and direct observations]. Even though I watch all kinds of town, which is surely impossible because some are not seen in years, I could not achieve the ultimate goal of the project. So, I need to make some trips, short or long, to enable the record of 365 birds."

Why did you decide to do this project? The Birds 365 Project grew out of a sum of inspirations that came from projects and conversations of friends.

About the desire to write about birdwatching or birding [birding] on a blog, appeared after his friend Daniel Esser, who writes absurdly well and treats the subject with a special affection, start telling "tales" of our wanderings in search of birds. His blog, PEGANDO PASSARINHO, is indeed a great place for beginners quickly fall in love for the activity.

About the choice of format design, I opted for the 365 days / species in a conversation with his friend Marcelo Goes, who also has a blog, BLOG DO INTERCÂMBIO. It's worth checking, has received some awards!

Also, some time ago that I needed to organize my record of birds. The paperwork [but extremely necessary] just reducing my time dedicated to studies and technical side of birding. I thought nothing would be better than a great challenge to have reasons to come back to enjoy birding!

I hope throughout this project inspire more and more people to engage the birdwatching!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? The project is phenomenal and I am very happy with the returns with praise from all followers. My family is getting involved too. It was a challenging choice and I will get!

Follow all of Eduardo's birds HERE.

Riff a Day

Paul Redling at the Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology is composing a Riff a Day...

I decided to do this project to give myself a composition challenge.  I want to stretch my abilities as a musician, and hope to see major improvement by the end of the year.

I think that it gives me a good creative outlet to never forget my art.  I noticed a lot of the past year was spent wasting my time, so I decided all of those extra hours could be put towards something fun.  I figured January 1st was as good a day to start it as any, if not better. 

Listen to all of Paul's riff's HERE.

Let Go of Preciousness

Need some motivation in 2013? Here are the first two videos in an ongoing series on the keys to getting Unstuck that I recently created...

Want more? Check out my book Unstuck: 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing.

And stay tuned for additional videos in this series in the coming weeks!

1000 Free Pieces of Art

Noah Zark in Israel is making 1000 Free Pieces of Art in 2013!...

Why did you decide to do this project? I had been doing free art for many years now but never really thought much of it... I never even signed my name. I had recently started selling artwork online with the idea of selling original artwork (not prints) at an affordable price. I went to an event at a gallery for the artist "My Dog Sighs" who inspired me to take this concept of free art a bit more seriously. On the way out of the show I happened upon 2 pieces of free art by "My Dog Sighs" and the feeling that it gave me to find it was awesome. I knew I wanted to be a part of making people feel that as well.

Over the next few weeks I dropped a few pieces here and there. On New Year's Eve I had an idea of challenging myself to do an entire year of spreading free art. I settled on a nice round number of 1000 pieces figuring that it would round off to about 20 pieces a week. It is a huge undertaking but I must say that I am very excited and cannot wait to see what 2013 brings us all. :)

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Well so far I have only been doing this for 2 days but I must say that the response has been uncanny. I have met people in town and online that are very happy with the concept and I am just happy to be spreading art and hopefully a bit of joy :)

See all of Noah's art HERE.

Going Analogue

Ian Rosenfeldt in Toronto, Canada spent 2012 going analogue, with one painting a day, for 365 days...

Why did you decide to do this project?  Let me highlight the essence...I've got a full time job and I'm working on my Masters of Science (in creativity, innovation and change leadership. Spending so much time in front of a computer for work and school meant that whatever free time I did have, I was loath to spend it watching tv... I decided that painting was a way to add some mindful and deliberate incubation and meditative activity to my already jam-packed day.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? 3 huge A-HA moments for me:
  1. the unexpected bonus of a stronger memory...being able to recall the thoughts between the brushstrokes, even from work 12 months old.
  2. the drive towards self directed challenge does not end after 366 paintings...it is merely cultivated and stronger than ever before.
  3. the effect this project has had on others...very mind blowing and quite humbling.
I would love to share this with your audience, especially since I believe it shows that you don't have to have a huge artistic talent in order to undertake an artistic challenges. Just create your intent, and embrace the ambiguity of the challenge. You never know where it might lead.

Read more of Ian's story and reflections is HERE. And see all of his paintings on his blog HERE.

365 Days of Pugs Follow-Up

Isabelle spent all of 2013 making 365 Pugs...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? A new skill, though I would say "skill" is a bit of a stretch, is digital drawing. Since I can't draw, (looking back at some of the early pugs, I would say that they've gotten a tiny bit better) it's great to have the digital undo button.  As for lessons learned, there are a few: I have the perseverance to do a project a day, the creativity to adhere to most of the assignments and still make them pug-related, and to have fun and not take it too seriously. Oh, and how to get a pug to do just about anything.

In what ways did the project change your life? It gave me an outlet for a long-untapped creative side. Blogging the project also opened up a whole world of creative and interesting who I wouldn't of found otherwise and built a global network of pug-lovers.

Now what? I will definitely keep doing some sort of project routinely.  Right now, I'm thinking it will be a primarily photo based weekly project, still focusing on but not solely related to pugs.  Since it will be more photography based, I plan on learning more about digital photo editing. 

Read her original 365 interview HERE.

See all of Isabelle's pugs on her blog HERE and also in this fun video she made...

My 365 EyeDeas

Barb Buchanan in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is doing a daily project about eyes and tentacles she calls My 365 EyeDeas.

Why did you decide to do this project?  I decided to do this project the moment I picked up Noah Scalin's book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal and had a look through it.  I had been procrastinating doing my art on a more regular basis and when I read this book it inspired me to become creative once again...I really needed this boost and I am very excited about the personal challenge!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I started a Blog a couple of days ago with an intro to my project and today I started my first art work ....I am at the very beginning and thrilled to find out where my art takes me, even if it's just in improving my various skills and techniques (many that I have sadly lost over the years) or leads me elsewhere.....

See all of Barb's EyeDeas HERE.

A Creative Year Follow-Up

 Rebecca Grace Jones completed her daily project A Creative Year on December 30th of 2012...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? AND In what ways did the project change your life? I need to put these two questions together, because what I learned doing this project is what led to the changes in how I perceive things about myself and my work.

In terms of skills, when I look back at the year of work, I have to say it surprises me how many different materials and approaches these assignments propelled me to use. I’m not sure I realized how interested I was in doing 3-dimensional objects, even large pieces and things like mobiles. So I’ve developed a confidence in my abilities I hadn’t felt the support for before.

But I think the biggest lesson learned, and the biggest change that lesson led to, had a lot to do with the involvement of social media with the project, to the point that I wonder how this experience would have been different if I’d been making these thing alone on a desert island. There is a self-instilled vulnerability to putting work out there for the universe to see. And this is work that was slapped together in a day! Ignoring all the professional-artist baggage with its perfectionism and reputation-at-stake locked inside. The funny thing about this is (and here’s one of the big lessons) the things I did labor over to make perfect and as impressive as possible were generally ignored in comparison to some of the more spontaneous and quickly produced pieces. That should tell me something, huh? And then there’s the issue of depending on the responses from friends and “colleagues” for affirmation of what one is doing. Not necessarily a good thing. Many of us do it. Many of us need it. But ultimately the audience we need to please is one ~ ourselves. Another big lesson. I have a wonderful artist friend who, when asked How do you know when the piece you are working on is finished?, replies When it makes me happy. 

Now what? I know now how much being creative for the sake of creativity can be. I appreciate how the act of making something can be an every day practice that enriches my life. Very cool to carry that attitude into the work I have already planned, and am already working on, for the future. In the past few days I’ve been playing with a series of small colored pencil drawings that were inspired by my Day 363 project! I know I’m on the right track because I love them. There are a lot of daily projects I want to revisit and incorporate into my 'serious' work.

In a few weeks I’ll be doing a presentation/workshop featuring my 365 projects at a local gallery which will also involve getting the participants started on creativity projects of their own, with future get-togethers for show and tell.

As usual, I’ll be preparing work for various shows during the year, the first of which is the American Craft Council show in February. I'd like to think my approach to the work I do for this show will be different than it was last year, making sure that what I’m making makes me happy first, and then trusting that it might make somebody else happy, too.

Read Rebecca's original 365 interview HERE.

See all of Rebecca's projects from her year HERE.

And here's a nice video of all 365 of Rebecca's projects...

Create Something, Anything...

Kellie Patton in Toledo, Ohio recently completed a yearlong project she called Create Something, Anything...

Why did you decide to do this project? Suffering from a very long creative dry spell, I was in desperate need of a kick in the pants. I ran across your book on Amazon, read a few reviews and made the purchase.  And before I even opened the book, I was ready to get started. And I did…start without opening the book, that is…with my own rules and no theme or common thread. I just needed to make something.

I started off slowly and within a few days, wondered how I could ever keep it up. But I had told too many people I was going to try, so I had to do it.

Throughout the project, I joked that the book was so great that one didn’t need to open it; it worked, somehow, even it was just on the couch next to you.

And I made something every day. I started out with simple post cards on  my lap in front of the TV and it grew from there. When the weather warmed, I moved to the garage to my bench (which was lucky to see some action every four or five months, before) and made jewelry. When I was stuck for ideas, I did what artist Chuck Close had said…make the same thing again and again and eventually it will grow from there. And it did.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? This project has really and truly changed my life.  Besides making me realize that I did have the discipline to do it, my ideas came more freely and my skills improved (imagine that!). When I made something every day, I didn’t have time to obsess over one thing and leave it unfinished for weeks and weeks. If it wasn’t working, it was finished then, And I moved onto the next. I learned that I didn’t need to like everything I did. When you are working every day, sometimes things are successful and sometimes they’re not. And that is okay.

I had put myself in a place to feel isolated and suddenly I felt the need to be around other artists and creative types, and I signed up for workshops at a local supply store. Because I’d been working on stuff, I felt like a participant again, not someone standing on the sidelines, cheering others on and thinking about what I used to do. I had something to talk about!

And because the book advised to document this journey, I had to get over my fear of what others would think of my work. I blogged and occasionally posted my entries onto my FaceBook page. Sounds kind of simple, but it was a HUGE step for me. I forgot to worry about what people would think.

This fall, I participated in several local shows with my “Spare Parts” jewelry. I hadn’t done a show in at least seven or eight years. And because I made stuff every day, I had tons of jewelry to show and sell, no preshow jitters and last minute crap thrown together….and it was well received and the shows were successful.

(I swear, I think after this, I could quit seeing my therapist!)

See all of Kellie's creations HERE.


A Bookmark A Day for 365 Days

Lauralyn Sciretta in Tucson, Arizona is making A Bookmark A Day for 365 Days...

Why did you decide to do this project? I broke my right shoulder in three places a few months ago falling backwards off of a step ladder.  It was the most pain I have suffered (even after childbirth).   I was in a sling and after a couple of weeks I was only allowed to move my wrist/hand.  My doctor suggested to practice writing.  I prefer to draw instead.  So, I picked up my Micron pens and started making cards and bookmarks.  It was the best therapy ever.  It has now been four months of daily physical therapy to attempt to get mobility back.   I was just allowed to add two-pound weights to my exercises.  I do physical therapy twice a day at home.  So, I could have had my project be physical therapy every day for 365 days, but that is painful and I wanted something to offset it.  I love reading, so bookmarks are a natural choice for me.  This project allows my to give myself permission every day for creative play time and I consider it as art therapy and as important to my healing and well-being as the physical therapy!

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I have just started the project but I have really been inspired and have had my creative juices flowing with ideas. I ended up combining my love of cards and bookmarks to some very cute bookmark cards that I am just now starting to sell locally.  I hope to start an online store too.  I immediately realized that I have to be more organized if I want to accomplish anything daily.  I have had a stash of goodies and art tools that have been sitting idle.  Now I get to play with everything and finally get to use some of this stuff.  I love creating with stuff I have on hand.

See all of Lauralyn's bookmarks HERE.