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.