Afros 365

Unicia R. Buster in Richmond, Virginia is making Afros365!

She explains, "I am creating an Afro (one of my favorite natural hairstyles worn mostly by African-American people) everyday for a year. I started the day after my birthday (July 26). I came across Skull-A-Day by Noah Scalin by chance while out for my birthday. I was immediately inspired. My goal is to create 365 Afros using different materials or discovering different ways of using familiar materials for each day."

Why did you decide to do this project?  My creativity comes in spurts and usually show up in various art forms. For a month, all I want to do is dance. Then the next month, nothing. And then the following month, I want to sew. It's never anything consistent within a year and my inspiration or motivation comes strong for the first few days and then falls off for weeks. After buying Skull-A-Day, I was inspired not only to create but to stick with it. Having the blog motivates me because I know people are watching - even though they are small in number - and I don't want to disappoint. It holds me accountable. Creating each day takes a bit of pressure off, ironically, because I'm forced to just focus on the moment - not some tedious, way-down-the-road-from-finishing project that easily deters me from completion. I'm also forced to post whatever I come up with, some things being wonderful and some not so wonderful. That has definitely boosted my confidence in my work, especially when people give feedback.

How has doing a daily project affected your life? It has forced me to think outside the box. I work as an art specialist at VCU Health and doing arts and crafts is a part of my job. I visit with patients and their visitors twice a week to do a project. The project has to be something that takes less than 30 minutes to complete, utilizes a minimum amount of materials and results in a pleasant experience (whether they trash it or not). Patients often feel out of control of their situation and this gives them something to have some self-empowerment. Patients, unfortunately, also often are a bit groggy or even grumpy due to their medication and/or situation - understandably so. So, my projects have to be easy to complete but still pleasing to the eye. After being here for 4 years, it's easy to get into a rut and run out of new and fresh ideas. This project has given me that boost. Since starting this project, I've been able to apply some of the creativity to projects with patients. Even projects that seem only appropriate for childhood, turn out to be fun and exciting for patients of all ages (like working with construction paper or painting rocks).

It also has increased quality time with my son. He and I are almost opposites in terms of interests. He loves playing outdoors, soccer, bike riding, playing video games - your typical boy stuff. I on the other hand only enjoy art - dance, drawing, sewing, etc. However with this project, he, on some days, gets more excited about what kind of Afro I'm going to do today than I do. It has surprised me. And some of the techniques I've tried, he's wanted to try as well (like melting crayons).

I can say that this project has brought us a little closer together.

And lastly, this project has taught me that with the proper motivation, I can stick with something for longer than 30 days. I've surprised myself. I thought after a month, I would be unmotivated and kind of forget about it (as I've done with my four other blogs). There have been days, I wasn't able to post (I don't have the internet at home), but I am determined to catch up on the posts even if I have to borrow someone else's computer to do so. One of my other blogs is about doing the Konmari Method (named after Marie Kondo who wrote "The Japanese Art of Tidying Up"). During this process, I have discovered all kinds of materials that I would've never thought of had it not been for this project. Everything I touch, literally, I think "how can I make this into an Afro."

After this project is done, I plan to create a beautiful portfolio of long-term works that I actually complete applying the same motivation and principles.

See all of Unica's afros HERE.

@KellyNoggins Skull Project

C.S. Kennedy in New York City is creating the @KellyNoggins Skull Project, 365 skulls created with Post-it notes and a pen...

Why did you decide to do this project? Some days I have a lot of time to develop and create, while other days I have very little. It's interesting to see how allowance of time directly influences the quality of work.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I love looking for inspiration for the project in everything I do. It helps me see world through a new lens, and because of the subject matter - reminds me of the fragility/value of life.

Follow C.S.'s progress HERE

365 Bikes

Brian Gibbs  in Lydney, UK is making 365 Bikes!

Why do this project? I took part in your workshop in New York and enjoyed the experience so much. I wondered how I might be able to make use of my re-discovered creativity to improve my work and home life. I discussed the workshop with friends and showed them my 30 horses that I’d created in 30 minutes – they encouraged me with great feedback, which inspired me further. I made the decision to start the project when I realized that I might be able to inspire some engineer colleagues to be more innovative and free-thinking if I showed them what I was doing and it’s worked – some of my colleagues have launched ‘Idea of the Week’ – suggestions for new products that we share amongst ourselves and even with potential customers.

How has the project affected my life? First, the amount of interest, encouragement and genuine enthusiasm I’ve experienced in feedback from others has been truly amazing and invigorating. Friends & colleagues who I’ve told about the project have given me new ideas, prompted me when my bike is an hour or 2 late, and been keen to tell others about my project…this is a new experience for me and is immensely rewarding.

I’ve discovered the delights of Instagram and have a growing band of followers, many of whom give me daily encouragement and feedback.

The project has improved my confidence. It still amazes me that people are so interested in my distinctly average art, but they really are and it’s thrilling to have so much support. One or 2 people have even offered to buy pictures from me!

Word of my project has spread amongst colleagues and I’ve been asked about it numerous times. Each time, when I tell them about the workshop, your own story of 365 skulls, and why I’m doing this project, the reaction is brilliant and I usually get another follower (although some are scared of Instagram).

The best thing is that I’ve inspired others to start their own projects. On day 5, I made ‘People Bike’ with 85 colleagues and several of them started their own projects the same day. I’ve even had friends, family and kids creating bikes.

The whole experience has been uplifting and massively rewarding – and it’s only Day 24!

Follow Brian's progress on Instagram at @365Bikes.