Completing cards for last week marks the almost halfway point of the Daily Yellow Index Card A Day Challenge. One month down, one month to go.
This week, finally—finally—I actually created one card each day!
As I've reported before, up until this week of the challenge I didn't create every day. Life was busy around here in June (as it was every other month of the year!) and I ended up skipping days and then playing catch up when I could find some time. So I feel some kind of personal victory this week in meeting the daily challenge.
What was the difference? Well, I probably did have a little more time than the weeks before, which were filled with preparing for, traveling to and coming home from Elyssa's graduation and re-integrating her and her stuff (and our new kitten) into our not so big house.
But I also think that maybe I let myself cop out when life gets busy. I mean, yes, days are filled with work and schedules and other people, and it's not possible to work on my art when I'm doing something else.
But what about in between? The reason I am participating in ICAD, as I said at the beginning, is to not only stretch my creativity and experiment with different mediums and techniques, but to make art making a daily habit. I want to find a way to fit in at least a little creativity every day of my life. If it's important to me—and I've clearly made the decision that it is—why don't I grab that 20 or 30 minutes at the beginning, middle or end of the day when I can?
This week, having done it, it occurs to me that normally I have a set of criteria I hadn't consciously articulated before, but it's there, for when I do and don't art.
First, I must have energy—I avoid being creative if I'm tired or stressed.
Second, I typically insist on an expanse of time free of distraction. If I'm scheduled to be somewhere or do something soon, I can't seem to stop in the now.
And finally, I really, really like to finish what I begin, which can be a whole piece or just whatever portion I've set out to complete. In other words, I don't want to stop before I'm ready.
Since it's not always easy to find a nice long period of time free of distraction when I'm feeling energized and I know someone won't pull me away from what I'm doing mid stride...I don't art every day.
But this week I tossed my criteria and adjusted expectations. Ahh. I allowed myself to sit down every day even for if I only had a little time. And I allowed myself to begin but not necessarily finish...all I had to do is start a card each day to fulfill the challenge.
And what do you know, when the inevitable distraction came up, I left and came back, even if the next day, continued, finished, started a new card...and seven days later I had been creative every day.
Such simple insights. Such unconscious and unnecessary blocks! Now let's see if I can bring what I learned into my life...
So the other bit of news is that I'm officially struggling with the themes and prompts. I entered this years challenge with the idea that I would push my creativity by working within the theme-prompt constraints. And now it's an official struggle! So I'll tell you more when I share my cards below, but I'll just say now that starting with week five cards (which I'm now in the middle of creating and will share next week), I'm changing up how I approach the theme-prompts. I'll talk about that next week (which I know just leaves you on the edge of your seat!)
So with no further adieu..
This week the theme was (ugh) Rainbow.
Day One: Rainbow - Beach Umbrella
Hmmm, such lovely sand and sea. Not! I used Tombow markers which are water soluble and come in all six rainbow colors...
Day Two: Rainbow - Star Wars
What, you say? How is this Star Wars? Well, let me tell you a little secret. I don't really like Star Wars. Wizard of Oz is way more up my alley when it comes to Epic Hero Journeys—and The Odyssey. But. I do LOVE the whole idea of the Hero's Journey, how the structure of the hero's story speaks to our individual lives in such powerful ways, how we are each on a hero's journey.
So because I couldn't think of anything for this prompt I didn't like, I ended up doing a little research on Star Wars, learned how it was created and how a whole Star Wars Universe has since been created and continues to be created...and I realized that while it might not be my favorite Hero Journey, Star Wars is powerful to a whole lot of people, especially male people...and then I started thinking about how we are in bad need of a new female Epic Hero(ine)...and how maybe the female hero's journey is different from the male journey...so anyway, see the connection now? (Notice all six colors of the rainbow...)
Day Three: Rainbow - Brown
I was beginning to crave something abstract at this point so I began with a mad rainbow background, broke it up with brown checkerboard-like squares, and then repeating white line patterns on the squares to ground them.
Day Four: Rainbow-Maple Leaf
I really wasn't feeling maple leaf in June. And combine that with rainbow? Well, it might not be pretty but I did try a new technique. I got some small maple leaves from our tree in the back and I inked them in different colors of the rainbow and then stamped them onto the page. It actually kind of worked, technique wise. I pasted two of the leaves onto the card. Hopefully matte medium will preserve them. Another experiment but will have to see.
Day Five: Rainbow-magnifying glass
Pretty bad drawing of a dragonfly, but the magnifying glass part is cool, I think. I used micron pens and then rubbed gelatos over them...
The yellow pen really popped—as you can see up close below, it's almost metallic—good thing to know and try again, I think...
Day Six: Rainbow-Album Cover
By this card I was officially hating the prompts.. Album cover? Don't even ask what I did, here. I don't even know. Ugly!
Day Seven: Robot
Well, it may not LOOK like a robot too much, maybe more like R2-D2 (I just can't get away from Star Wars!)...but it was a fun process. Again, I made a watercolor rainbow background and then I used the cover of scotch tape (I traced one cover and cut it out to make the second) as a mask while I used spray ink over the rest of the card. Added a few details in white...okay, not that great--but again, fun!
As you can see, I wasn't exactly inspired by the theme and prompts this week...so as I said, I'll be changing it up next week. Stay tuned!