This year I’m participating in the 100 Day Project which is an annual event that encourages you to make or do something creative for 100 days straight. You can find all the information about this project here on their website and you can see photos of my project here.
The purpose of the event is to explore your creativity on a daily basis. As an advocate of having a daily artistic practice, this event is the perfect way to get started developing a practice. After 100 days, making art is sure to be something that you’ll look forward to every single day and a habit will definitely have been formed.
The project I’ve chosen to work on over the 100 days is a series of small “stitched fragments” – stories told through stitch, fabric collage and mixed media – which I’ll probably assemble into a handmade journal or book at some point in the future. To see the rest of the series, you can follow me here on Instagram and here on Facebook.
A daily artistic practice is not some mysterious thing, it’s actually a habit that you develop.
To develop a daily artistic habit, all you need to do is show up every day and do the work. The length of time isn’t important – it can be for a few minutes or it can be for a few hours. And the work doesn’t even have to be good, it just has to be done.
The thing with any good habit though, is that if you don’t do it consistently, you lose it. Plus you also lose all the benefits that go along with it. The best way to stay on track is to set yourself up for success.
Give yourself every opportunity to be successful.
From years of experience, I know that when I take the time to plan things out so that it’s easy for me to just show up and do the work, I’m more likely to be successful. So for this particular project I’ve gathered most of the things that I’ll be using and put them on a tray – fabric scraps, sewing supplies, buttons, bits of paper, glue.
A tray makes my workspace portable so I can move it out of the way when I’m not using it and then quickly bring it out again when I’m ready to work. I do this with most of my long-term projects because it just makes things easier and I don’t have to think too much about it every time I show up to do the work.
Being accountable also helps you stay on track, which is why committing to a project like the 100 Day Project and posting regularly on social media, or even sharing with friends if you avoid social media, will definitely help you be more successful.
Having a daily artistic practice is something I really enjoy.
Making art every day reduces my stress and helps me to relax. Sometimes it feels like meditation where time stops and all the noise in my head just drops away. The more art I create, the better I seem to get at it, and more creative ideas seem to flow. It’s a daily refuge from a sometimes chaotic world.
I often use this time to explore new techniques or concepts that often get incorporated into my art, and I fully credit my daily art practice with helping me to define and develop my personal style of art. When you show up every day with the intention to play and explore without judgment, what emerges and evolves is a unique expression of your heart and soul.
A daily artistic practice doesn’t have to be complicated.
You don’t need to make great art every day. I don’t. A lot of what I make ends up in the trash or gets cut up and recycled. I often give things away. I don’t hoard and I have no attachment to what I make because I view it as being a part of the process that helps me to make better art.
If you’re waiting for some divine guidance or some significant piece of inspiration to fall into your lap before you feel like making art, you might as well give up now. That’s not how it works. You need to show up and do the work first, only then will guidance and inspiration get on board to give you a hand.
Schedule an appointment with yourself – and keep it. I have a standing daily appointment written in my planner – even on weekends. My planner and I are very good friends and it helps me to stay organized. However this doesn’t work for everyone, so find a reminder system that works for you and use it.
The best thing about developing a daily artistic practice, is that you can start anytime. Pick a day to begin, and then work at it every day.
I wish you all the best on your creative adventures!