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2013: Year of the photograph

In 2013 I set myself a challenge. I can’t recall now why a 365 day personal challenge was a good idea, but clearly it was, because I decided I wanted one.

A 365 Project. A photo a day. Every day. For a year.

The deal I made myself was this; Every day I will use my nice new iPhone to take a photo. I will use Instagram to share that photo across various social media platforms. I must take the photo on the day I post it.

I found it difficult at first. Sometimes I just didn’t know what to take a photograph of, really, my life didn’t seem that visually interesting.

But then I started looking. Really looking. And the world I lived in became more visual, I started to notice things I wouldn’t have before. I experienced the environment around me more.

I had to get over my fear of stopping in the street and taking out my phone to take a picture of… whatever it was. I felt very self conscious about it. But I became emboldened with time and it became easier.

I was proud of myself when the year was over. I had done it. Some of the pictures weren’t that great, but some of them were really nice. Sometimes I took more than one, I started to see so much around me that I kept taking pictures.

On New Years Day I happened to download a new app on my phone. A drawing app called Brushes. It was a lovely little app that was incredibly good with a lot of features for something that was free.

I drew a picture, posted it and asked jokingly “what do people think, an illustration a day?”

Yes, replied people.

Buggerations.

And so.

2014: Year of the illustration

I started a new 365 Project. An illustration a day. Every day. For a year.

The deal I made myself was this; I will use the brushes app on my iPhone to draw an illustration. I will use Instagram to share that photo across various social media platforms. I can draw the picture whenever I like because, quite frankly, having to draw the illustration the day I posted it seemed a little too challenging for me. As long as some illustration got posted every day I was good. To start with I included work in progress samples in addition to the Illustration A Day. As the year wore on I decided that work in progress samples were acceptable as an actual Illustration A Day themselves. At the beginning of the year I also started to post a weekly series called Catfuscious. A series of computer drawn comics about a wise cat. This did not last long. I couldn’t, at that time, sustain an Illustration A Day plus work in progress plus Catfusious comic.

I had thought a Photo A Day was challenging, an Illustration A Day was super hard. Several times during the year I had “I can’t do it!” moments. The time it took me, thinking of ideas; what the hell can I draw now?! But I never gave up, because I wasn’t willing to let myself down. I wanted to do this.

I started by making illustrations of photos I had taken the following year. After a while I hit upon a series of illustrations based on the works of famous artists. Monet, Matisse, Magritte (All the ‘M’s!) Klee, Lichtenstein, Hockney, Pollack, Chegall, Emin… I started learning about new artists, discovering new beautiful works. Trying to mimic their styles through the digital app; charcoal, water colour, gouache, etc, was an incredible challenge. It started to make me want to try this stuff for real. Get my hands on a real paintbrush, splash colours onto an actual canvas. That didn’t happen. But it still might… I worked out that spending a lot of time on an illustration was all well and good, but doing something quick was great too, and a series of line drawings emerged. I liked these because I could bank a few, in one drawing session I would bang out a few quick drawings, and then I could have a few days off.

It made my finger ache a bit.

As the end of the year approached The question started to be asked.

What will you do next year?

Nothing. I thought. I could do nothing!

I mused on ideas with friends. Nothing felt right, but I had a feeling. Writing. I had thought I might blog once a week; a 52 project.

Until New Years Day. When I thought: Haiku. a Haiku A Day.

Damn it.

2015: The year of the word

I found another app; Notegraphy. A lovely app that has beautiful typography. Although, it really could do with more customisation options, I’d really like to be able to alter leading and kerning, font size and so on. But maybe that will come if the developers feel so inclined.

So, I am four days in to my new 365 project.

And because I had thought about it before, I am also going to try blogging once a week too. But you know, don’t hold your breath…

I finally started a tumblr for the 365 projects to go to, and I am slowly loading in the last two years of images.

I have visions of doing a 365 every year till I die… Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

 

What have I learned from all this?

 

That in support my mother will ‘like’ every single one of them.

Thanks mum.

 

One Response to “2015: The year of the word”

  1. Angela Power aka Mum says:

    But of course…I like that you have the commitment to yourself to follow through with your challenges. I’m proud of your determination and yes, I love each and every thing you do…and not just because it’s in my job description. I look forward to the continuation of a daily dose of inspiration and a weekly blog to catch up on your musings. Thank you Daughter.

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