New In LOU

Meena Khalili is creating a year-long daily drawing series inspired by her first year in Louisville, Kentucky called New In LOU... 


Why did you decide to do this project? I'm new here.
In the last three years I've moved four times across three states. As a travelogue illustrator and designer-of-things, the best way for me to get to know a new place is to draw it. New in LOU is a year-long drawing series inspired by my first year living in Louisville, Kentucky.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? 

I’ve discovered my new home: Did you know Louisville celebrates its weirdness? This city is rich with personality around every turn. I’ve lived in DC, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee. I came to Louisville for work without knowing much more about the city than the Kentucky Derby.

I’ve become more dexterous and resolute: The ritual of drawing every day has strengthened my visual skills in myriad ways and made me more decisive about my content. I work full time as a professor of design and run my own practice, so there is simply no time to “hem and haw” over position, content, and layout. The drawing must get done, but it should also be interesting, so if I’ve done the job right, you may even be captivated for a minute.

I’ve become more observant: As much as I can, I try to adventure to places I’ve not discovered in my new city. But some days it’s the same old routine, and those are the days that are hardest. I try to be more observant of the things I may have passed over the day before. I see the mundane things (my shoes, flowers, old cars, shotgun homes) and they become an object fascination, even sparking their own micro-series’ within the greater New In LOU series.

See all of Meena's creations on Instagram and archived on her site HERE




Want to experience the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

365 Portraits 2017

Photographer Bill Wadman in Brooklyn, New York is making 365 Portraits 2017...

Why did you decide to do this project? I'm making portraits every day because it forces me to produce work constantly and subsequently keeps depression at bay. Also, it's been ten years since my original 365 Portraits project which started my professional photography career. So at about 11:40PM on New Years Eve I thought I'd jump in with both feet to do it again and so registered the @wadman365 Instagram account. Mostly new subjects plus a handful of alumni from the first set ten years later. It's just fun to spend some time getting to know new people and see where each new connection takes me. Plus it keeps me from reading too much about current events I have no control over. I guess that's a multi-level justification.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Ah well, since I've been through this before a number of times I knew what to expect. The biggest hurdle for me is the fact that I need a constant flow of new and dependable subjects because I must shoot and post every day. Logistics, scheduling, coming up with new and interesting ideas and compositions either beforehand or on the spot. All while juggling the next few day's people. It's a lot of balls in the air simultaneously. But I'm never upset that I have to shoot. It's more like getting my fix for the day. So I head to each one with a spring in my step.

The time commitment is certainly a big part of it and I feel that between the project and my paid editorial and commercial work, I don't have very many free minutes in each day. I should probably give the medal to my very understanding and supportive wife who has to deal with the daily ups/downs/sideways.

However the people I get to meet, the places we shoot, and collaborations I make are the best part. It's the experience of being with another person that's the prize. The portrait at the end of it is just the artifact of the experience. A couple week ago for example I ended up on the balcony on the 19th floor at the corner of the iconic Flatiron Building here in NYC. I was shooting a book editor whose offices are in the building and the big boss was out of town on business so we got to use his office. A place that few and certainly I would likely never have gotten to visit. It's a testament to the power of people and connections and the unpredictable collisions that can result.

See all of Bill's portraits HERE.


Want to see the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

Everyday Skulls

With the 10th anniversary of my original Skull-A-Day project approaching I was excited to discover this new take on the concept on Instagram recently!

Brandon Geist in Coney Island, NY is creating Everyday Skulls...

Why did you decide to do this project?
At the end of last year I left my job running RollingStone.com, completely burnt out and in desperate need of a breather. One thing in particular that I missed in the hecticness of that job was any time, energy and brain power to be artistically creative, so as way of kicking starting my creative juices, I came up with this project for myself. I've always doodled skulls in spare moments and meetings, etc., so my original thought was to draw a skull a day, but that seemed too obvious and too in my wheelhouse, and so thinking about it a little more, I came up with this concept. The concept was also loosely inspired by Helen Altman's "Spice Skulls" piece, which I saw a number of years ago at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC; thinking about a daily skull art project for myself reminded me of that piece, which helped direct me to the Everyday Skulls idea.

The general rules are that the mediums should be something mundane and everyday and not purchased explicitly for the project, and also that any particular skull should be made solely from that one medium, some of the skulls push the lines a little in terms of this rule, but in general, I've tried pretty hard to abide by it because, in many ways, the constraints are what bring out the most creativity in the project.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It's been mostly fun, but occasionally feels almost like a job that I need to get done. (The number of times I've realized I haven't made a skull yet at 11:30 p.m. and scrambled to get one done...) And as I've gone on, it's definitely gotten a lot harder 1) as obvious mediums are used up, and 2) as my own standards for entries increase (I've rejected more than a few skulls as just not good enough). It has been fun, though, especially as my 5-year-old daughter has gotten interested, in helping think up mediums and make actual skulls...but mostly in consuming the skulls made in edible mediums. Seeing friend and family get caught up in the project has been cool, too, and also seeing some of my more artistic friends surprised by my dedication to my project and the creativity of it (one such friend described it as "borderline insanity"—in a complimentary way) has been fun. Maybe more than anything it's changed the way I look at the world: Now I see skulls everywhere.

See all of Brandon's skulls HERE.


Want to see the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.



My Shack

Sheri Ogburn in Richmond, Virginia is creating daily in her My Shack project... 


Why did you decide to do this project?
Choosing to do a Shack every day was a personal choice for me. A shack is representative of a persons heart & soul. Shacks are a place where one dwells. And shacks, like people, aren't always in the best shape and in need of lots of tender loving care. By making a shack everyday I am able to reflect on the needs of those around me yet not neglecting my own.

I'm newer to the art world after raising a family for the past 30+ years! I knew I needed to do art as its something I've always wanted to do since I was a little girl. I typically paint from photos and realized that is not the type of artist I desire to be!!! So I set out on a journey to discover who I am as an artist. My motto has been Ask, Seek, Knock which led me to meet Noah, the author of rediscovering creativity (and Make 365 and Creative Sprint)., Noah, in my opinion, is waking up creativity in everyone around the world. Not knowing what I was fully getting myself into I just had to jump on board!! No regrets! 



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I am just 68 days into the project of making Shacks every day. The first notable effect was happiness!!! I realized I could spend hours on this and happy was my countenance! The second notable effect was the realization that when your time and resources are limited your creativity is really pushed and awesome things happen!! Like good unexpected art ideas! The third effect is learning to let go of the perfectionism ruler, myself, and embracing the mistakes. Putting the art out there in the world for all to see even though my head screams its not the "best" of my ability. The fourth most surprising effect was I began to really identify and feel for people who actually live in shacks in the real world and also for the homeless. I wasn't anticipating that kind of connection. And it gives me a curiosity as to how much it will change me as a person once the 365 days has been completed. Stay tuned!!

See all of Sheri's shack's HERE.


Want to see the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.


#100daysofstories

Zainab Zaheer in NYC is creating #100daysofstories...

DAY SIXTEEN: "Go ahead," he said, "it's a prayer wheel. Spin it and watch your dreams fly through the universe." "What do I pray for?" "You pray for happiness, girl." Tentative, she stepped up to it. What would she wish for, if this actually worked? That she could stay in this city for the rest of her life. That she could breathe in the skyscrapers and weird art, the trench coats and jazz nights. That she found peace - she didn't even really know what meant yet, but it had to be something like a warm summer morning, with soft pillows and pancakes and sandals. Or maybe it was like watching Sex and the City with her best friend, mixed with a cold winter evening, or sitting by a window looking out at the cityscape, with warm tea and fuzzy pajamas. The definition of happiness eluded her, a light she couldn't quite catch in her palm. Her fingers brushed against the rough edge of the wheel, the pieces of mirror cool to the touch. Light danced across face. The room was a kaleidoscope of her thoughts and dreams and she was here in it, trying to catch a feeling. Why couldn't she think of what her one wish would be? Maybe, she thought, it was because she already was happier than she'd ever been, and contentment was the greatest happiness of all. She gripped the wheel firmly with the pads of her fingers and pushed, sending the room into a tizzy of fluttering lights. "Alhumdolilah." #100daysofstories This photo was taken at an art show in the old #VanityFair @vanityfair offices at #timessquarenyc @timessquarenyc
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Why did you decide to do this project? 
#100daysofstories is a way for me to challenge myself and my audience to talk about things that matter - hate crime, discrimination, mean girls, the troubles couples face, the beauty of love - real issues, in a bite-sized, interesting way. So that’s what I do - write a new short story every day, for 100 days.

I decided to do the project because I wanted a short-form way to reach out and engage with my readers about the feelings that make up each of our lives. I wanted to grow as a writer, and push myself to create new situations, new characters, and make people feel, in short form.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It’s made me think in a different way for sure. I find myself looking at the most mundane things and finding stories that could come out of them. I’ll see an object and wonder about the last person that used it, see a place and imagine the last person to be there. It’s invigorating.

Read all of Zainab's stories HERE

DAY TEN: Twenty nine minutes to show time. Twenty nine minutes until she would be standing on a red velvet stage, staring out at a crowd of minds and bodies that would form an opinion. An opinion on whether or not she was worth their time, whether or not the stories she told spoke to them, whether or not it mattered that she was singing her life to them, at them, into their hearts. "Have you rehearsed?" She had. Until every chord rang in her mind. Asleep, awake - it didn't matter. The words were laced between her thoughts, burned into the backs of her eyes, pumping through her bloodstream, printed on her skin. They were her words. They told her story. Twenty two minutes to show time. Twenty two minutes to three cameras pointing at her, their red blink-blink making her permanent, making that moment last, making it re-playable, re-judgeable, re-maybe-loveable. Her dress was on. All the right bits were tucked and trussed and trimmed and shaped. Fifteen minutes to when the band played the first chord. Fifteen minutes to the first strum of a guitar. Fifteen minutes and she still couldn't get this freaking eyeliner on. Ten minutes. Everyone was rushing around. She held hands and prayed. She laughed and posed and did some last minute smiling. Two minutes left until she walked through that velvet curtain. Two minutes left until she told these strangers about every haunting she'd turned into song. Every scary night and angry day, every bottle and breath that she had poured into words and notes and chords and love. The lights went on. Showtime. #100daysofstories #showtime Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend @raeganagram perform her first full length show in #nyc🗽 Make sure you take a look at her work. Photo taken on an iPhone 7, at 15 Central Park West.
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DAY EIGHTEEN: He looked at the face on the floor. Visible only from a few angles, the pile of raggedy hand-me-downs looked a little like his mother. Maybe he was just hallucinating. He'd almost walked by the installation, thinking it was one of those weird modern art abstract things his thick head wouldn't understand anyway, but the artist had caught his eye. He had ushered him to the right spot, told him to stand right there and take a photo. And then there is was. Saved in his phone. A face made out of tattered jeans and washed-too-many-times whites that were now yellow. "All from the donation bin," the artist said. "Just whatever was left behind." What was left behind was exactly what he's grown up wearing. The foster home never had enough money for them to have new clothes, and he'd spent years nicking the cool shirts from Hot Topic, stuffing them under his jacket. Now shirts just like those were tied up and twisted into this. The fabric that made her mouth looked like the patchwork bedspread they'd made for their DIY bedroom redesign that one Christmas. "A family activity" his mum had said, trying to get everyone excited. Her hair was his mothers hair - bad dye jobs and not enough money to go to the salon. She'd always smell strongly of bleach and chemical when she'd try to give herself a new look. Her eyes were his mothers eyes, beautiful but dead inside. Weather-worn and beautiful. He wiped a tear from his cheek quickly. Grown men didn't cry in public. Grown men didn't miss their mum. #100daysofstories #springbreakartfair @springbreakartfair Note: This artwork, titled "Sight Specific" is by artist Noah Scalin #noahscalin @noahscalin and was a piece I really enjoyed seeing at Spring / Break Art Fair in NYC, 2017. Today's story is my own work and does not reflect Noah Scalin's perspective. Thanks to @raegansealy for inviting me. :)
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Want to see the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

 

Mannequin a Day

Ana Miller (aka Neon Ninelives) in Sydney, Australia is creating Mannequin a Day, during her pregnancy. It's a daily photography project, centering on her mannequin Magenta...


Why did you decide to do this project? Inspired by your work & comments on your blog for others to get cracking via Skull-A-Day and after the realisation I can’t work on my other project (revamping a pre-loved Barbie doll house, ‘M’ rated as it’s out there) as it requires a lot of glue gun action.


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? My shiny new project has brought back my creative mojo! My head is continually buzzing with ideas, each day is a full spectrum of go go with a spoonful of obsession! Plus it’s helping me forget about the complications with my pregnancy so it’s all the colours of the rainbow. I feel this project will also intertwine with other projects in terms of revisiting areas that had question marks.

See all of Ana's creations HERE


Want to see the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

Cup A Day

Kate McGhee in South London, UK is creating a Cup A Day...



Why did you decide to do this project? When I started, I was a veteran of two Creative Sprints. I was completely sold on the benefits of having a daily creative practice. On my second #CreativeSprint, I stuck to a single theme. Despite my natural preference for freedom, flexibility and spontaneity, I enjoyed it even more. So, I knew I wanted to try a #Make365, but was keen to find a single theme that would keep me interested and inspired for a whole year.



Why cups? A couple of months went by, and my theme of cups found me. I have a fondness for ceramic design, especially from the 1920s. I love speciality teas, coffees and traditional afternoon tea. Cups are so ubiquitous and I felt the subject ought to spark lots of different creative ideas.

I’ve not told anyone this, but a minor first-world disappointment of mine is cafés that serve coffee in glassware, so to have a year-long homage to cups, proper cups, seemed even more appropriate. 



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I’ve met a host of lovely new people, both online and IRL; particularly those completing their own 365 projects. It’s a very supportive environment and you learn a lot from each other, if you take the time to look at others’ projects. I’ve become more involved with creative members of my local community, which is terrific. I’ve pulled some out-of-character stunts during Make 365 such as crowd-sourcing ideas for milestone Instagram posts, like my 100th post, encouraging people from around the world to help me celebrate my birthday by making celebratory cups and starting up a Sunday Guest Cup slot.

I’m not a professionally trained artist or photographer. I come to this from a business and marketing background; so it’s been great to strip off the suit, so to speak, really tune into my creative side, and adjust my commercial/analytical instincts. I’ve also used tons of different art materials/media and been far more experimental and risk-taking in my approach. After doing this for several months, undertaking other major projects seems much less daunting.


I’ve modified my tempo consciously. When you lead a busy life, it’s easy to side-line the moments for creativity. However, the more creating you do, the faster you become and the less you feel stuck for ideas, and this translates to other problem-solving areas too. I genuinely see it as a valuable brain workout. It opens up pathways that you’d never get to, if you just carried on with your normal routine.

I love the fact that the rest of my family seems to have caught the creating bug too. My husband started his own Make 365, my 9 year-old daughter is flourishing as an artist and my 5-year old son is into model-making. After being reluctant to even pick up a pencil, he has started producing wonderful work. Seeing creative contagion take hold of others is very rewarding.

See all of Kate's cups on her site HERE or on Instagram

Want to see the benefits of your own daily practice? Get the new book Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity.

Book Release Party

Celebrate the release of Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity in Richmond, Virginia.

Our first official book release event is at Chop Suey Books on Tuesday, March 28 from 6-7pm. Hope to see you there!



Book Release party with Noah Scalin & Mica Scalin
Tuesday, March 28
6-7pm
2913 W. Cary St. Richmond, VA




Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges To Jumpstart Your Creativity!

I'm pleased to announce that my next book is coming out in April 2017 from Voyageur Press!

The book was co-written with my sister Mica and is an expansion of the Creative Sprint public art game we've been running for the past few years!


Pre-order your copy today! 



A Drop of CleanEnergy A Day

One of the things that I try to stress to people taking on a yearlong daily project is that, while they're life-changing, they can also be hard work! Just like going to the gym, it takes time & effort and you aren't always going to want to do it. However the great thing about a daily creativity practice is that no matter how long you go there are still profound lessons to be learned! This story from a recent participant in one of my corporate workshops is a great example.

–Noah

John Bottomley based in Aix-en-Provence & London decided to give a 365 project a shot after hearing about my own Skull-A-Day project. He called it A drop of CleanEnergy a day...



Why did you decide to do this project? Because I was inspired by you & your skull stories! Plus I’m a huge proponent of trying new stuff to keep the brain learning, growing and creating. (the ole “use it or lose it” concept). My aim is to educate my 3 kids (and others!) regarding Clean Energy. The concept is evolving – along with as much creativity as I can muster on the art side.




How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? 
I hit a bump originally based on problems with technology, but quickly realized my subject was too limited AND crazy travel/schedule at work made it more of a task than enjoyment. What did I take away in my brief experiment? Looking at materials/objects differently. And one of your core concepts is to be different & to experiment. I haven't given up, but will post irregularly, not daily, when inspired.

See what John is making on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.



The Art Prescription


Beverly Dyer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is creating The Art Prescription: a daily dose of art and haiku!

Why did you decide to do this project? During December 2010 I found myself experiencing increased life stressors and taking long lonely walks. During these walks I would write a haiku about what I found inspiring. Then I would do a piece of art to go along with the haiku. My daily haiku and art is now so ritualistic that I hold that time sacred. It's been healing for me and since my goal as a nurse/artist has always been to promote the therapeutic benefits of art, the mission behind the Art Prescription fits my philosophy on life. After a stressful day at my nursing job, I am able to turn my mood and brain chemistry around with my daily art prescription!



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Creating a haiku and art everyday has become such an integral part of my life that I find the words come to me throughout the day. I go about my day with inquisitive observation on life, nature, and people. These short poems always feel like a gift. Somedays my art is literally on an index card, others I do medium to large paintings. Creating every day has pushed me to explore multiple mediums, like sewing onto my journal pages. I now have about 650 followers and the joy of meeting other creativea across the globe is fabulous and in itself a trigger for ideas. My husband and I enjoy hiking and birdwatching, and he is patient while I often pause on the trail to make a sketch or write a few words. My hope is always to provide a dose of art and haiku to anyone who needs it!!

See all of Beverly's daily work HERE.



Afros365 Follow-up

Unicia R. Buster completed her Afros365 project on July 25, 2016... 


What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project? I learned how to needle-felt, create stencils using a hot glue gun and glue sticks, and create with almost anything.


In what ways did the project change your life? During this year-long journey, I discovered ingenuity and willpower. I didn't realize I had them in me, especially seeing all of the unfinished projects laying around my home. I also realized that my work affects other people in a positive and encouraging way. This is life-changing indeed. I have found my love for art again.


Now what? I have started an adult coloring book (I've already drawn 25 pages) which sprung from this project. I have applied to a local gallery for an art exhibition of new work and I am on Day 4 of Declutter 365 of which I am applying the same ingenuity and willpower to declutter and reinvent my home space. I did a poll for a new 365 creativity journey and the results for a theme were tied between natural hair, locs and my echo-line drawings. I plan to do a combination of all three and start that in September.

Read Unicia's original 365 interview HERE.

See all of Unicia's afros HERE






#Kawaii365

Daryl Januszewski in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada is creating daily in her #Kawaii365 project!

She explains, "Each day, I draw a simple Japanese cartoon-style face on something random, or I make one of out craft supplies and leave it in a public place to be found and documented by the finder. I want others to stop and smile, and take a moment out of an otherwise hectic day. It feels good to see people light up."



Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project because I feel all this pent up creative energy inside my soul, waiting to get out. I have loved doodling smileys on things since I was a toddler, but as a pre-teen I fell in love with Japanese cartoons like Sailor Moon and developed an interest in anime and manga.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Though I've only been doing this for a month, I am already excited about the next 11 ahead. I have become more confident and more apt to talk to strangers in malls and coffee shops about this and share little gifts with them. I have become a more open-minded thinker as well, doing things I wouldn't have thought of before (like creating a digital kawaii face out of symbols, or making 'pillows' with faces out of paper towels).

See all of Daryl's projects HERE


365 Days of Origami

Ruth Thompson in Columbia, Maryland is making 365 Days of Origami...



Why did you decide to do this project? I decided to do this project after reading an article in the Washington Post Magazine about people doing 356-day projects and finding the Make Something 356 blog soon after that. I’ve done other creative challenges like NaNoWriMo and knitting 14 pairs of mittens for 2014 (it’s harder than it sounds) before, so I thought it would be interesting to do a year long project that was different from my normal creative work as a graphic designer.

I picked origami because I don't have any prior experience folding paper. There are hundreds of models and crease patterns from the traditional to abstract available, so I knew I wouldn’t get bored folding origami either.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? Folding origami every day has taught me to deal with frustration better. It takes patience and a steady hand to fold origami, so I have learned to stay calm and not tear the paper. Even simple models have to be folded precisely. I’m also learning how to take better photos.

See all of Ruth's origami HERE