“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.” ~ William H. Murray
In a previous article, 10 tips to launch… I address some of the emotional aspects of deciding on your project and preparing for it. In this article I will provide information, resources and time management ideas for those who have made the decision to commit to a daily creation project for one year.
DO YOU LOVE IT?
If you’ve chosen both a growth edge and something that you truly love, this will sustain you. Since your daily creation practice is as much of an art form to organize as the pieces themselves, this love will get through many days when you feel less than organized. Part of the freedom of this project is that you get to decide your limits, editing powers, goals and rules around the one stake in the ground rule: the daily ritual of making something.
If on the other hand, you have a big idea you want to make in a year that leaves little margin for error. That’s a different project. That’s a job. As I complete 365 paintings this month from 2013, 75% of the paintings are for the slush pile. But 100% of the growth is usable. So if you love it and it’s you’re best non-judgemental friend, you are in for a wonderful ride. Congrats for committing. That’s the most important part.
HAVE YOU DECIDED TO SHARE IT PUBLICLY?
If so, again congrats! That was the hardest part of my decision. I knew there would be days when I felt sick to my stomach about posting them. And on those days my audience was respectfully silent. On the other hand, on the days that felt great to post, the feedback was all day from all directions. A celebration of life indeed! Clear feedback, live is very powerful for growth as an artist. Blogging your daily creations and creating a method for people to subscribe is a fast and easy way to share and gathering a following.
WordPress and Tumblr. If you aren’t techie or you would like not to hire a professional there are ways to quickly and easily. WordPress provides several free themes and Tumblr has a large creative community that follows one another. If you aren’t finding a theme you like, you can purchase a WP theme at themeforest. Hosting and domain are available through various companies. Just do a bit of research and make sure you are able to contact someone on the phone should anything go wrong. Go Daddy for it’s not so great reputation is actually very good with customer support. And purchase enough space for your uploads.
If you need coding expertise, I highly recommend Jess at MicroMedia Design Studio. She helped me with some customization for the 365 project.
For image resolution. I scanned my art for print and output to the lowest resolution possible for my blog. Given the amount of images I was posting, the load rate could be slowed down by larger resolution images. You can also take photos of your work. But use an image program to get the resolution as low as possible while still showing your work well.
Mailchimp is my favorite newsletter service. Great customer support. Tons of wonderful features for sharing and social networking.
NOTE: Any technical question you have can simply be googled and you will have your answer. It just takes a bit of patience. But the resources are all there for you.
ORGANIZATION CAN BE FUN
Since this is a new project, and a large one at that, see if you might want to take some risks from the get go. Study your space and daily patterns. Many of us are mitigating family, jobs, pets and a myriad of daily tasks. I was very nervous about about the days when I was slicing in the daily painting in the thin crack of space between these events. I run a full time business. I’m creative directing and I’m the face between clients, designers, developers. If any ball drops I need to pick it up on deadline. To succeed painting daily, I needed to be organized and ready from the start.
Ask yourself what you need to set up and where? It’s best that you don’t have to clean up afterwards—a designated space. I did several practice runs in the two weeks beforehand as I was setting up the blog. I knew I would paint in both watercolor and acrylic. I purchased moleskin watercolor bound books. I thought in the beginning I would fill 12 of them. By the second month I found them limiting and heavy. I wanted the flexibility of paper on my table. I had organized my weekends for 2 hours to clean, refresh, rethink the studio. Similar to organizing to cook ahead for the week. During the 2 hours I studied other artists websites and their supplies and ordered what I needed. By Sunday I was ready for the next week. The organization and materials were in constant re-examination mode. I learned so much from this process.
What is it for you? What makes you feel grounded and ready to work? What do you need weekly to keep it fresh?
I also spent time with my favorite organizer, Linda Samuels. Oh So Organized. Her guest speakers and articles are very rich and creative. Organizing and protecting the creative space creates momentum for those days when it seems impossible to sit, get present and go. It’s your physical support system.
STAYING ON TRACK
There are going to be the inevitable day here or there when you really can’t do it. Things happen in life. Unexpected things. I was lucky and was able to meet all but one day. That one day I was very sick with a fever. I cheated and posted a past painting and let my audience know. I’ll make that up this month. It’s not wrong to miss a day or so. It’s just that what happens is that it’s easier and easier to miss more days and then we can feel bad, rationalize it away but somehow feel a bit defeated. Once inspired and feeling possible turned to something else that doesn’t feel so great. You really can do this. Especially if you have committed – you know it on some level. And it’s worth it. I can’t describe how incredible it feels. But for me it’s been life changing. That’s another article coming in January.
Staying on track came down to one thing, commitment to finish and knowing it was going to feel really great. Also a bit of stubbornness. The thought, well, if I can’t do what I really love for an hour a day, then there is something fundamentally wrong with this life design. I guess I wanted the design to start there and evolve.
VISUALIZE THE CELEBRATION AT THE END
This is the fun part. Your friends/family join you at the end. How do you feel? Is there anything missing? Anything you wished you had put in place or planned differently? Your gut likely has some inkling now. So be ruthless and put it in place ahead of time. That way, that party is going to be fantastic! Chink, chink.
Share, share, share. People love it. It makes them think and reach. We all have these secret desires we feels we can’t do. That it’s extravagant or just doesn’t fit. I love what Barbara Sher says: Cry. Let it out. There is likely 25% of the stuff you do everyday that is simply about control. The control you may or may not even agree with; that was taught. Cry. Edit. Cry. Let go. Resume. Be true.
Okay that last sentence was from me.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY. Let me know how it goes.