If you know me then you know that waaay back in January of 2012 I made it my goal to make a piece of art every single day. I have written about this on several occasions and I will link some previous posts just for reference but I guess it is good to remind myself where I started, why I started and where I want to go with this. And if you didn't know my story then this will give you some more info about who I am and why I am challenging myself to make a piece of art every day.
WHERE I started.
I have been an artist all my life. Art was always my favorite class in school. Mrs. Berliner, Mrs. Calcutt and Mrs. Gertz were my middle school, high school and HS tutor respectively and my favorite teachers. I went to college for art, got my BFA in Art Education and Textiles from from East Carolina University (go Pirates!) After teaching high school art and taking two years off to work in a corporate setting when we up and moved cross country, I went right back into the classroom, this time teaching K-2 art while working on my MAEd in Art Education, taking more textile studio classes while I was at it and making that my concentration. I loved that time in graduate school and really felt like I was finding out what I liked to create as an artist...then between working on National Boards, traveling to Japan with a Fulbright group and moving to another state...my art took a backseat.
When we moved I delved right into teaching at my new school, writing my first of many grants and realizing that I was pretty good at it. (I got all the ones I wrote- and boy did we need the money!) I was awarded Teacher of the Year at my school and Middle School Teacher of the Year for the county, two things that really meant so much to me because I had never been at a school longer than two years at that point. I was finally settling in an making my way as an educator, networking within the local and state organizations...the only person I was losing touch with was the artist in me.
So I decided to do something about that- and in January 2012 I committed to making a piece of art every day, and I have been able to keep up with it. Rather than go into it all (I mean, it's all here in the blog- you just need 50 years to read it, lol!) here is the link to my post that summed up my first five years and includes a 'look book' of the work I created during that time frame;
Why I started.
I chose to take on a daily art challenge specifically because it pairs well with my tendency towards extreme structure and love for organization. Some folks are like that- I am. I wanted something that would give me accountability, something tangible, something that I could physically account for at the end of that year. So a daily challenge is what I did. I gotta tell you, finishing that final piece that year was so exhilarating. I really felt like I was on the right path.
And that is why I kept going. Every year I have continued to create those daily pieces within monthly themes, each December 31st feeling that sense of accomplishment that I did what I set out to do. And I feel more like an artist that I ever have in my life, and I feel that it has enriched my teaching, allowing me to be more passionate about teaching art. If you have time check out my last post each year in the blog...I have maintained that same level of joy in this challenge every single year.
Where I want to go with this.
For me, like on a personal level- I'm not sure. I'll tell you when I have completed year 10! I know I just want to keep on going, I love it. I feel like I am truly living my purpose as an artist and educator. I feel like I have been able to develop my 'style' over the years...actually learning that I have a few different styles. I have my 'big eyed' girls, my love of detailed portraits with mixed media backgrounds and text and my fashion illustrations. I have discovered that pencil and watercolor are probably my favorite things, that if I do anything with textiles I turn into a crazed beading machine, that I love to make recycled jewelry and paper dresses...and that when I paint on canvas I am a whole 'nother person that I didn't know. I have learned that I love to incorporate music and quotes into my work as well as art history...and bonus if I can do it with some style and whimsy. I have learned that I love color, bold vibrant color. I love jewel tones and gems and anything sparkly. I love working with mixed media. Sometimes my work has a narrative quality...and I like to spin a yarn literally and figuratively. (that was some nerdy textile humor!) The main thing is I just love to create and the more I create I feel the more I have in me waiting to be expressed. So where do I want to go? Forward- I want to keep making more art.
For others? I want to inspire others to make more art, to take more time to be creative in whatever ways they find the most joy. This ain't just for me, I am taking folks with me on this journey!
Year 7 daily artwork
Initially, that first year I created an inventory/look book of sorts to document my work from the 2012. I ended up going a little crazy that year and going waaaay beyond the 365 daily pieces. (that has actually been the case every year, maybe not on that level, but I always end up making way more than the daily pieces.) I can't remember if I did any more or if the next one was that retrospective collection, but I am not going to stress about making one for this year. I have made a collage when I finish each month and I think that is a better way to go going forward.
Here is my daily work from this year;
(Not shown, recycled jewelry, msc. drawing and painting projects, commissions, 'Angel Drop Art, etc)
Artist and Art Teacher