So "Index Card A Day" is a project of love that Tammy Garcia hosts over at Daisy Yellow ICAD every June and July. It's free to anyone interested in joining in, and thousands of creative people do. The cards above are the first seven I completed.
The idea is simple. Get yourself a pack of index cards and make it a daily practice to make something on one card. Every day for 61 days beginning June 1st and ending July 31st. And truly, the act of creating these cards is simple. Just make something—quick—without the pressure of precious. These are cheap pieces of paper. They are not meant to BE anything special. Their power lies in the doing, not in the final product. (For a complete overview, see Tammy's ICAD FAQ page—and btw, if you would like to do ICAD, don't feel like you "missed" the start date—just start and do as many as there are days left in the project.)
Last year I made it half way, just up until Moving Day and then I'm afraid I couldn't FIND my index cards until well after the end of July. But I got a sense of what the project can do for my creative practice—so this year? I'm in to the end. 61 days of ICAD. (This, by the way, is my one project for this time period. Cycling is still going strong.)
I will share ICAD once a week, seven cards at a time. I found out last year that I really stretch as I challenge myself to come up with a different composition using different materials and techniques every day, and this year I'd like to document what happens—and hopefully inspire you to think about stretching yourself, too.
Three things you should know:
First, you'll see on the ICAD FAQ page that there are very few rules. You have to use an index card because the whole point of the project is to use index cards (see the "whys" on her FAQ page), but size of index card is up to you. I use the slightly larger 4"X6" cards. I like the slightly larger, slightly more square shape (or at least it feels more square).
Second, we are free to make ANYTHING on these cards from day to day and we are not required to follow the optional prompts. I choose to follow the prompts. Tammy sets up her optional prompts to include a Weekly Theme and a Daily Prompt. So this week, for instance, the theme was "text". So each day for seven days, I tried to incorporate text in some way as I created a composition for the daily prompt.
Third, I do think clarifying your goals for this project is key. By asking myself what I want to get out of ICAD this year, I am working for something and I am motivated to continue.
My goals for this project are simple:
- I want to stretch my creative muscle to develop my capacity think more outside the box...
- I want to experiment with many different materials and techniques because I'd really like to gain some self understanding about my favorite or most intuitive mode of expression. Right now, I don't know. Do I like be abstract or representational? Do I like to paint (which medium) or draw? Which techniques do I love the most? I'm hoping ICAD shows me something about my preferences...my style.
- I want to challenge myself to maintain a creative practice even when life gets busy—and on the road. This week we're celebrating my daughter's graduation in Santa Barbara and mid July we'll be traveling to Maui for our niece's wedding. To date, I'm never able to juggle busy/family/travel and my art making. Guess what always falls to the bottom of priorities? We'll see if I can hold onto this simple and small time commitment of an index card a day regardless...
Okay. With all that being said, let's get into the project!
ICAD Week One
DAY ONE: text-prism
As you can see, I made a prism out of text on a scrap of watercolor(ed) paper. Then, I tried to "refact" this important word through the prism of art—like light.
Day Two: text-circus tent
Hmmm. Well I used text in the crazy doodled words incorporated within this abstract collaged version of a circus tent. It's an interesting idea, though not such a successful execution. But oh well—it's just an index card!
Day Three: text -hello my name is...
So this was my idea: It's interesting to me that we peel and stick those standard "Hello my name is" sticky labels onto our nice clothes at conventions and workshops and such—right over our hearts. And the truth is we are putting our hearts on the line each time we introduce ourselves to strangers (or at least I feel that way)...I guess we kind of hope/are kind of scared that the label gets peeled off to see the heart below...
Well, I wrote out all the ingredients to what I consider to be a happy, successful life. And then I cut it into puzzle pieces...because after all so many of us are trying to find all the pieces of the puzzle. I probably should have left one piece out, come to think of it, to represent the fact that all of us are missing at least one piece to the puzzle. Oh well - next!
Day Five: text-galaxy
Fun and quick: cut up a page of text into tiny little pieces. Dribble glue across the card...and then drop the little stars all over the page. Shake like using glitter to dislodge the unstuck ones. Now we have an alphabet galaxy...I thought white (like light) was an appropriate backdrop to the galaxy that language draws us into...
Day Six: text-nail polish
I considered using nail polish as a medium...but I wanted to draw something and I decided to draw three colors of nail polish that i am considering to match a dress I'm wearing this weekend to the graduation...on a text background of course! I'm happy with this one. I like it very much.
Day seven: text-yellow
I was at a loss at first. "Yellow" is such a broad prompt. But then I asked myself, what does yellow make you feel? Easy! Paint the card in yellow. Create a quick (text) mask out of card stock, spray ink...wha la!
Okay - so fun week. I definitely stretched and experimented. Some more successful than others...and now I'm on to making my index card for today...hope you're inspired to do some, too!