Today's Artist

Estelle Ballot in Paris, France is writing every weekday on her site Today's Artist, an artist to (re)discover each day. She explains, "Today's Artist aims at presenting a contemporary artist each day with a short post and artworks pictures. The idea is to get to know a bit more about art, while providing a bit of inspiration for my readers to happily start their day."

Why did you decide to do this project? I'm the happy and proud Mum of a 4 months old beautiful angel. I took a year off work to spend as much time as I can with her. But as much as I love playing with her and seeing her growing up, I needed some more adult minded project to get me going. And then I realized that, like a lot of people, I love art but I don't know much about it. Writing a blog about art seemed to be a great way to get to know more and to share it with whoever would be interested.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It's quite funny how such a project can take an important part of your life. Of course, my baby girl is my very top priority, but anytime she has a nap, I rush to my computer to get some infos about the next artist to be featured. I usually write and edit posts at night, when she is asleep. This means that each going out night needs to be planned, so that I can prepare a post it in advance. Basically, Today's Artist is getting me very organized...
A surprising thing that I didn't foresee, is that writing about artists is actually giving me the opportunity to meet and/or exchange with gallerists and artists, like Noah. This is very rewarding and it definitely gives me the motivation to keep writing on those nights when I'm tired and really want to go to bed.

See all of Estelle's artists HERE.


Trekessa Austin in Queensland Australia is creating a Page-a-day. She explains, "I have a 365 page book to write something in every day of the year. I am basically doing whatever comes to my head at the time. Mostly I write thoughts I came up with during the day or were relevant to my situation. I also draw, paint, and use other mediums."

Why did you decide to do this project? I think it was a spur of the moment idea I got when I found a 365 page book in a store.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I've become way more creative so far and also more aware about my feelings. Unexpectedly, I have learnt to recognize when I'm about to take an emotional fall and what things trigger it, all through expressing my emotions at the end of every day. It's been a heap of fun as well :)

See all of Trekessa's pages HERE.


Sharon Wall of North East Scotland, UK is doing a yearlong project inspired by my book called Create365...

Why did you decide to do this project? I thought long and hard about themes and maybe next year I will repeat the book using a single idea but for now I really wanted to just be randomly creative. As an adult as I spend so much time encouraging my children to use their imagination and create and I really wanted to document all the different things I tried and saw and experienced in a day. However it was easier to limit this to a single mini project otherwise I might just break the internet with hundreds of post's!

How has it affected your life? I am only a week or so in to the project but I really hope to try new things and develop some technical art skills over the next year. After reading the book I realised that my ideas and creativity could be shared with others I just needed the confidence to get started. I love quirky crafts and art, storytelling and encourging others to use their imagination and play. Friends liking my photos has given me the boost I needed!

Follow Sharon's progress HERE.

365 Guitars - Follow Up

Barbara Parker completed her 365 Guitars project on January 14, 2014 (which was actually 367 days after starting it on January 13, 2013)...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?  The first thing I learned is that I can focus at least 365 times on one thing.  I learned also that the internet is a powerful agent for connecting with the rest of the world - even as I believe it isolates us in some ways.  Through this project I have met the most interesting people - people who are working through their own 365 projects, or whose observations of life fascinate, repel or delight me...but always enlighten me beyond the bounds of my own life.  I have learned much from these interactions that would have never come to my attention without 365 Guitars.

In what ways did the project change your life?  It has made me a more dedicated artist in many ways.  I am able to set goals with some sense that I will actually be able to see them through - if I can make it 365 days, it seems pretty clear that I will be able to get through a morning.  As a result, I am painting more, I am writing more music, and I am just writing more.  It is all to the good.  What I know most certainly as a result of this project is that the world is full of art and beauty.  Absolutely everywhere.

Now what?  I'm not sure.  I'm in this sort of hiatus period where I am almost determined not to think about the next thing - even as I know there is something brewing.  There are indicators, and suppressing them is getting more and more difficult.  I keep an iPad next to the bed so that I am able to capture the random phrases that are escaping from the growing fissures, but all of it has not yet coalesced into something with a name.  I'll let you know when it does.

See all of Barbara's guitars HERE.

Read Barbara's original 365 interview HERE.

The Daily Make

Reanna Alder in Joshua Tree, California is documenting what she devotes her hands to each day in The Daily Make...

Why did you decide to do this project? 
Photographing and sharing my daily projects is a way of acknowledging the making that I do and encouraging myself to do more. I'd been taking a photo a day privately, as a kind of journal, for a year and a half already so I knew I could do it. Then listened to a podcast in which Austin Kleon talked about how he uses social media, and I got a new camera and wanted to learn to take beautiful photos. It was early January, a perfect time to start new things.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It has foregrounded "making" in my day, which has brought me much more focus and productivity, along with a little anxiety. I find myself keeping a list of ideas and planning ahead: What will I make tomorrow? Do I have the supplies for that? What can I squeeze in on a work day?

Knitting has been a really good backup project for busy days, so I'm planning to start a sweater, which I've never done before and probably wouldn't have without the project.

Some of my most popular posts have been about things that felt kinda goofy to me, like the day that I posted about digging holes.

It's also made me realize how repetitive a lot of (my) creative projects are. A quilt takes days and days of doing basically the same thing. That's been interesting to acknowledge (maybe I'm more dedicated than I knew!) and also a photographic challenge, to keep showing the project in fresh ways.

I have a few trips planned for this summer, and keeping the project going while travelling should be very interesting.

Follow Reanna's making HERE.

365 actions to succeed as an author

Amy Morse, author of The Bronze Box (as Amy C Fitzjohn), in Bristol, UK recently completed her Book365 project and is now spending a year on: Operation Author: 365 actions to succeed as an author...


Why did you decide to do this project AND How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?   When I finished Project Book365 at the end of last year, far from being relieved, I was already thinking about the next project from about day 350.

I mind mapped a few ideas and played around with the pro's and con's and eventually settled on:  'Operation Author: 365 actions to succeed as an author'.

On Day 180 of my first 365 project, I achieved a personal goal and ticked something off my Bucket List - I published my first novel.

As any author will tell you, whether you self publish or traditionally publish your book, that's just the beginning.  Writers are expected to handle their own marketing and promotion for their work (unless they're amazingly lucky, can afford to hire a publicist or they are a celebrity).

It's not something that comes easily to many of us.

The key is to make it a habit, part of your daily routine - like brushing your teeth or feeding the cat - take one action every day, even a small one, and eventually you'll be 365% closer to your dream of establishing yourself as a writer - Percentages never were my strong suit, but you get the picture!

I update my Idea-ism blogsite weekly with my seven actions.

Part of taking on a project like this is that you need to share it with others, if you don’t, there is no accountability, except to yourself, and that’s not enough to stay motivated.

By the end of the year, I would like to have raised my profile as a writer and start making some money from writing.  I also hope that my tips, successes and failures can help other writers to overcome their fear of marketing with some simple, practical things to try for themselves.  We're in it together, writers of the world, so let's help each other out.

Follow Amy's new project HERE.
Read her preview 365 interview HERE.

365 selfies

Iza von Eyben in Gothenburg, Sweden is creating 365 selfies...

Why did you decide to do this project? To break my own boundaries. Its a cliche but Sweden is a very narrow-minded country and I'm working every day to not be a part of that mindset.

A way to make every day a dress up day, to say fuck you to all of those who criticize the selfie-phenomenom, to not take the whole "identity-thing" too serious and a chance to be someone new every day.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I've just started but I feel like the love and the response I get gives me energy. Its simply just fun.

See all of Iza's selfies on Tumblr or Instagram.

By Nature

Susanna von Eyben in Gothenburg, Sweden is creating Avnaturen (Swedish for "By Nature") a daily photo project on Instagram...

Why did you decide to do this project? Thanks to the book A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin that inspired me. I think and work a lot with sustainability in my profession as interior architect and I want to be more conscious about what's made of mankind and what is really true natural things around us in daily life.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I just started with one picture taken on each day. I have already found out that during my day in the city it is hard to find, but when I come home in evening in the countryside we have it by nature all around us in everything. I look forward to a year of open mind.

See all of Susanna's photos HERE.

365 Days of Buddha

Diana Estigarribia from New York is creating 365 Days of Buddha.

Why did you decide to do this project? I am a practicing Buddhist, and I was inspired to begin this blog as a way to promote compassion and practice a kind of artistic process-as-meditation.

There was a voice in my head screaming to express itself, but I had no outlet. I’m very engaged with Buddhism and especially with the Tibetan people, but I didn’t have a clue what to do about it. I needed to find a connection between my head and my Buddhist practice and make it physical, because by its very nature meditation and mindfulness is an intangible journey. It begins and ends in your mind. Mindfulness is a daily choice, and it's hard to measure if you're making any progress, especially if you're results oriented (hello, that's me!) rather than process-oriented. In Buddhism it’s about “the path,” and not the destination. You put one foot in front of the other and see what happens, over and over again.

The other real world impetus was enforced change: after nearly a decade at the same company, this recession bit me in the ass and I went from a routine 9 to 5 life to having to figure out how to feed, clothe and shelter myself. So I called up this blog as a way to deal with all that emotional stuff I faced every day, which is why 365 Days of Buddha is both pictures and words that I hope are supportive and helpful.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It's taught me to confront the pre-conceptions I had of being creative. Looking back now, I felt enormous pressure to make something cool or really fantastic—each time it had to be the greatest thing ever. So I'd spend a lot of time thinking about what to make, circling around my living room or kitchen, looking in corners and nooks for inspiration, and sometimes I’d come up with an idea like the 3-D Glasses (on Day 51). I was really happy with that one. But then it was back to, “now what?”

It’s funny to think about today, when before it was all “oh, ha ha, check out the Buddhist looking outside herself for inspiration!” But soon I realized I felt the most free when I could simply sketch or draw the Buddha. Once I made that commitment, it started being fun. By the time I got to Day 195 I was in a real groove, a very odd feeling for me. The groove, especially artistically, has always been very hard for me to locate, and here I was, inside it!

So I've learned to give myself a break, though even at Day 336, I still have to remind myself that I don't need permission to make something, and I definitely don't need approval. I realized how much self-judging there is of what's "good" and what's "crap." But now when I draw a Buddha it doesn't have to look perfect, or professional, it just is.

This is related to a drawing workshop I took a few years ago, a calligraphy class with artist and author Barbara Bash  called “Big Brush.” During a weeklong retreat we created single strokes with an oversized brush, black ink, and poster paper. We were free to take turns coming to the center of the room, kneeling on the floor, and making a stroke. It's meant to capture the mind in that instant: you look down at the paper, pick up the brush, and whoosh! Out it comes. The kicker is once you've made your stroke, you observe it, bow to it, fold up the paper and push it aside. It's finished and that moment is gone. So there's a lot going on about attachment and judgment, and practicing how to be free. I had never approached making something like that before. When I sit down to draw a buddha today, I remember that experience and process.

And I'm also a writer, so I live with The Editor in my brain; the Editor’s favorite tool is The Delete Key, and it’s a very powerful tool. The act of drawing a Buddha everyday is a completely different experience from the other writing and creating I do. There’s no editor, there’s only the drawing, and whatever comes out, I gotta post it that day.

Drawing is hard and I have no training at all in it, though it has been a lifelong wish of mine to be a painter. But having one subject--the Buddha's face--gives me focus. Whatever place I start from, by the time I'm done I feel differently- lighter.

This daily project has re-connected me to things I had put aside for a very long time. I found a black lacquer box and filled it with the dozens of colored pencils and pens, No. 2's, china markers, Sharpies, and highlighters that were lying around the house unused. In the past year I’ve expanded out to an additional two cups that I use to fill with even more pens and pencils. I collect paper and notebooks of all kinds to use. I even bought a cool compact pencil sharpener!

In the beginning it was a struggle to do this every day. Now almost a year later I open my box and shuffle the pencils with my fingers and see which color I want to use today. It's amazing to me that every day the Buddha looks different. It can be purple or green or metallic gold and it's always new. It's a constantly renewing process. I feel like I "get it" now, whatever "it" is.

See all of Diana's Buddhas HERE.

I Doodle on Newspapers

Ankita Shinde in Mumbai, India is spending year on the project I doodle on newspapers...

Why? I like doodling. Don’t like to read the newspapers. That’s why. This blog is an attempt to make me hold the newspaper in my hand everyday to doodle somewhere on it. And read a news or two while I’m at it. Here, I post my everyday doodles on the newspapers.

This is an art experiment. How art can help developing a certain habit. It started as a fun thing and now when I see, I have a lot of fun quirky portraits of people with me, doodled on the newspapers. And I now know a little more of what's happening in the world around me. I had a lot of fun doing this and the project still continues..
Hope you all enjoy!

Why did I decide to do this project? I realised that how much ever I try to cope up with current news, I would fail. I would make a point to hold the newspaper in my hand everyday, do it for a couple of days and then forget. I had even subcribed to news apps in my phone, but didn't help. I thought it was high time I must do something about this and this idea struck.

How has this project affected me? I am surprised how I am so excited every morning to go and grab the newspaper before anyone, to search people's face and decide who is going to get doodled today! :D Although my excitement is purely for doodling, but in the process I happen to read a news or two. And I am so glad that I finally managed to trick myself into reading news daily :)

See all of Ankita's doodles HERE.