Coffee Art

Quintin Watkins of Atlanta, GA is exploring the many ways to portray themes of energy, conversation, and late night studies in his year-long, daily challenge to create a wide range of coffee art.

Why did you decide to do this project? It is a project that has been on my mind for years as inspired by Noah Scalin. At first, I wanted to do flowers, but I am not good at drawing flowers, so I was not confident at the time to go through with it. Over time and completing three years of Inktober, I felt more confident to commit to a longer challenge.

The theme of coffee was inspired by my love for it and how it got me through so many late night art sessions in college. Not to mention, coffee is a wonderful beverage with its wide range of flavors and brew techniques.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I know that doing the daily Inktober challenge in October is usually super hectic especially with so much going on that month. I find a greater appreciation for time management and finding ways to think quick for a daily prompt executing an idea.

To see more of Quintin's Coffee 366 project, follow him on Instagram @quimawa!

Special Anniversary Offer!

I'm celebrating the start of my third year on Patreon this month! 
In honor of this milestone I'm launching exclusive special offer starting today. The first 75 people who sign up as my one of my patrons before February 29th will get a rare signed & numbered limited edition letterpress print of my Ornament(al) Skull, which was created as part of my original Skull-A-Day project!  

Why sign up to be my supporter on Patreon?
Patreon is a way for creators to make more meaningful direct relationships with fans of their work. As the social media landscape becomes more fractured and difficult to navigate I'm putting my focus on sharing my process and inspiration with my supporters through this more intimate platform. On my Patreon page I have an exclusive feed, where you get behind-the-scenes look at the work I'm making as well as other content available nowhere else!

Here's what one of my supporters had to say about her experience:
"I have absolutely loved backing Noah on Patreon. First and foremost, I was able to support him month-to-month to create a work of art that I would never have been able to afford otherwise. I highly recommend that those who crave original art and might not have enough funds to go out and buy the piece of their dreams consider the monthly commission option. For the cost of a meal out (with wine :–) for two once a month, you can own a first-class work of art after a year and a half. Good for the waistline and the soul! Second, I love seeing how creative people think. I enjoy watching Noah at work and listening to him interview other artists. I believe that creative approaches will yield important answers to the world's problems. I am, therefore, most happy to support the blossoming of creative thinking and actions."
– Constance Del Nero

Don't miss out on this limited time offer, find out more HERE.

p.s. When I hit 100 supporters on Patreon I'll also be giving away an original piece of art to one randomly selected Patron! 

A Pastel A Day

Susan Singer of Richmond, VA is creating a pastel painting (at 6" x 9" or 9" x 6") daily for her project    A Pastel A Day...

1. Why did you decide to do this project?  
I had several reasons for deciding to do this project, some of which are very personal, some financial, some impulsive. When I decided to begin the project, I was 4 weeks into a 10-week separation process from my husband. I was exhausted, run down, drained, chronically angry and frustrated and resentful - you know, the reasons people separate from their previously beloved spouses. Anyway, I needed something to help me get my energy back. I have always been an incredibly energetic person, full of enthusiasm and projects and ideas and creativity, but my marriage had sapped that out of me, and I wanted it back. When thinking about what I could do besides the project I was already working on (The Eyes Project which Noah modeled for), I thought about a Pastel a Day. It could be good because it would give me something to focus on, something simple and concrete to do each day to get me into the studio and make me draw. It would be a commitment to myself which I would also make public so I would be forced to do it. And perhaps I could even sell some pieces and make some much needed money. So on January 1st, I began putting the pieces in place for it to happen, and on January 3rd I published the first one.

2. How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  
The reality of doing a Pastel a Day has been a bit different than my idealization of it was. First, it's more work: I do the artwork (sometimes I do 3-4 at one sitting, but shhh! don't tell anyone!), then I photograph it, crop it, etc. Then, I post it on eBay where I also write a little story to go with it. Afterwards, I go to Mailchimp where I create a post to send out the next morning to my mailing list (which has grown from 0 to 43 over the course of a month! Very proud! Though I'd really like it to be 100 times that large!). Mailchimp automates sending to Facebook and Instagram as well so that helps a bit, though in the morning I have to post to my personal FB account as Mailchimp only posts to my art account. During the day I sometimes have to answer people's questions about the piece or like their comments - i.e. social media maintenance. I would say I spend between 1-2.5 hours a day on the project between creating the piece (the quickest part) and marketing it. When it sells, I have to package it and take it to the post office as well, which is another 45 minutes. That's a lot of work for $65! But I assume that over time the auctions will get heated and the pieces will sell for more, so I'm in it for the long term.

The project has given me the energy and drive I was looking for when I started it. The night my husband moved out, I wasn't exactly in the mood to draw, but I was really glad to feel the need to do so. It took me out to the studio and got me in front of the easel which was the absolute best place for me to be at the time. 

I've also really appreciated the feedback I've gotten. I've sold over half the pieces and have gotten 3 commissions so far because of the work I've done. That's very helpful! And each time I hear the eBay whoosh on my phone, I get a thrill knowing someone has bid on a piece! It's fun and makes me happy!

I love that I'm getting my work out into the world in a way I haven't done so before. I've shown and sold lots of work, but doing it daily and posting it every day is a different thing than building up to a huge show once a year; one night's huge opening then the attendant crash afterwards as all the hard work is over and done! And people seem to be enjoying it. Friends comment frequently that they enjoy opening the emails and seeing beauty first thing in the morning.

In July I'll be spending a month in Iceland and am hoping to create small landscapes from there each day as a way to memorialize my travels. That's one of the greatest things about this project - I decided at the start that I wouldn't just stick with subjects that were "more likely to sell". Instead I decided to do whatever the heck I wanted to and to not worry about whether they sold or not. As a consequence, I've done some abstracts I might not have tried before and used colors I wouldn't have thought to use if I were commercially motivated. It's fun and exciting and daring and I'm really glad I'm doing it!

See more of Susan's project on Facebook!

Are you part of my team?

Just a reminder, that if you like the work I make (including the interviews I do for this site) you should really check out what I'm doing over on my Patreon page. It's a private community where I share my process and practices, most of which is totally exclusive content! Find out more HERE.

Join us for our February Creative Sprint!

'The Inspiration is Everywhere' February Creative Sprint Challenge kicks off today!⁠⠀

Join Michelle, your February Creative Sprint host, as she takes over our Instagram stories and brings us along as she works through the first prompt of the month!⁠ Follow her creativity @michelle.genders

Follow us on Instagram @creativesprint and don't forget to sign up for this month's 30 day Creative Sprint Here!