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Giving yourself 30 deadlines in 30 days can help unleash your creativity.
I always tell people that I couldn’t draw to save my life, which is pretty much true. But last year, in an attempt to teach myself, I decided to draw one house per day as part of the 30 Days Project.
I came upon this idea because drawing scares me, and the only positive experience I could remember about putting pencil to paper was when I was in elementary school and my teacher took the class outside to draw the houses of our neighbourhood.
I wouldn’t say that my house drawings are anything to write home about, but participating in the project helped me with some of my fear around illustration. In the end, I started scanning the pencil drawings and digitally colouring them in, which looked pretty cute. I was even commissioned (and paid!) to create several houses for people as wedding gifts, housewarmings, and anniversary presents. To see all thirty of my drawings from last year check out my flickr page. And to view the work of all the artists from last year visit the Thirty Days Project website.
Thirty Days Project 2010 illustrations. (Image: Jackie Dives)
This year, to take it up a notch, I’m going to do one drawing exercise per day from the book the Creative License, by Danny Gregory.
Starting June 1, 2011, the Thirty Days Project turns on the pressure with thirty daily deadlines. By establishing deadlines, even artificial ones, the act of creation is given a higher priority in the hierarchy of everyday activities. Re-prioritizing daily tasks is often difficult at first, but becomes easier over the thirty days.
The aim is to get something made by the end of the day. It may not be your best work, but it will give you experience with re-organizing your life to make creating art a priority. Something you are accustomed to doing may end up being squeezed out in order to make room for your creative work. This may be for the better.
You may end up with thirty new pieces from which to expand, or even enough for a show, an album or a book of poetry. At the very least it will have you organizing your time in order to create. Whatever the cost of making art every day may be, you will know it by the end of the thirty days.
The medium is yours to choose. Simply register (it’s free), create, and post your progress daily on the website.
If you give this a try and find it’s something that really works for you, have a gander at Noah Scalin’s book, 365: A Daily Creative Journal. The book offers 365 project prompts to kick start your creativity, plus plenty of room for journaling, sketching, and jotting down ideas. Learn how to choose your subject and document your work, and see examples from other artists and crafters who took the 365 challenge.