Thursday, July 28, 2016

29 Days Project: An Update

I previously mentioned that for the month of July, I chose not to make a collection of 10 pieces, but rather create a piece every day and give it away on my Instagram page.  Today is day 28 and I only have two more pieces to go!

Here's some of the work I have created this month, along with some thoughts on this experience.  First, this was an exhausting task.  Some days, I was able to figure out the direction I was going to go for several days at a time.  This made it not so scary when I woke up in the morning and thought, "what am I going to do today?!".  Most days, I didn't have a clue what I was going to do.  While this was extremely frightening, it gave me the opportunity to prove that I could generate ideas on demand, if need be.  Now, not all the ideas were good, but I figured that completing something was much, much better than giving up and not doing anything.  

Having so little time to start and complete a piece meant that I didn't not have very much time for indecision.  When I got an idea on what to do or what direction to take with a piece, I let myself stew on it for a few minutes and then I got to work.  I decided early on in this project that I was not going to let indecision paralyze me.

This process of quick decisions led me to create some unexpected work.  So, imagine, I'm staring at a blank piece of paper.  I have no idea what I want to do.  I grab my water colors because, why not?  I pick whatever colors I'm feeling.  I put them down.  I kind of like the abstract look of it and I stop.  I let it dry.  It's clearly not complete.  Now what?  I grab my pens.  I scroll through designs in my head.  I stare at it.  I ask it, "what do you want to be?!".  I stare some more.  I get a hint of an idea.  I look through my pens, trying to find the right color, the right point size.  I hesitate some more.  I look up when the sunset is.  I calculate how long it will take me to do.  I stare at it some more.  I uncap my pen and get to work.  When I finally finish, I love it, but if I had known, I would have done this differently and maybe tried that...  That's what the process was like for the majority of the days.  Sometimes, I did take it farther and continued with the same idea the next day.  Some of this pieces I know is just the beginning to a whole future collection.

This project was also an excellent opportunity for me to try out some ideas of collections that I've had for awhile.  The opportunity was twofold.  1.  I was able to try it and identify some difficulties and work out the logistics on a smaller scale.  2.  I was able to gauge a reaction of the desirability of the idea in my audience.  Now, I don't create work just on what other's want me to create, but for these few ideas that I find interesting, but don't necessarily set my soul on fire, it was nice to see how people felt about it.

I also loved the opportunity to connect with my Instagram followers more.  To win a piece, all I required to enter was a comment answering whatever easy question I asked.  I didn't want this process to be all gimmicky.  If they wanted to repost the photo, great!  If they wanted to tag someone, awesome! If all they wanted was the free art, then just comment!  This whole project was to give back, not bribe people for publicity.

It was fun! It was exhausting! It was stressful! I have a good start on today's piece, but nothing concrete on what I'll be doing tomorrow, so that will be an adventure!

  I'll probably do this again... but not for awhile!

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