Art-a-Day Movement Inspires Daily Creation in the New Year

Sure, New Year’s brings with it a nudge to adopt resolutions, from doing more of things like exercising and reading and doing less of things like drinking and swearing. But what about ringing in 2020 with a vow to be more creative.

The art-a-day movement crosses all artistic genres

Consider creating a work of art every day. Maybe it’s a drawing, a painting, a poem, a tasty dish, a photograph—anything that stokes your artistic side. If you’re a veteran at the art-a-day movement or if you’re just considering diving in, here’s a bit of guidance to make the most of it.

Forget perfection

Creating something every day keeps staleness and boredom away in whatever your craft. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time and each daily creation certainly does not have to be a masterpiece.

The goal is to simply get out there and do it.

Cape Town-based photographer Wayne Turner says of his photo-a-day project, “The bottom line is that you will keep your creativity, inspiration, and enthusiasm alive while at the same time learning and entertaining others. If you can find a way to make your photography fun and inspiring, it will never die.”

Make it fun—for yourself and others

Dylan Houser, a graphic designer based in Philadelphia, has caught a lot of attention with his daily drawings that he posts on Instagram under #todaysucks19. Each day of 2019, he’s created a pencil drawing under the theme “Today Sucks.” He jokingly highlights mild inconveniences in his life, such as stepping on a ketchup packet or regrettably trying pepper Wheat Thins.

 Artist Dylan Houser has done a drawing every day of 2019, a project he calls #todaysucks19. Each drawing highlights mild inconveniences, such as accidentally grabbing wild blueberry gum when he expected mint. “What a shocking first piece!”

“It’s a fun way to make a theme and brand it. At a glance it might sound negative, but you’ll see it’s more of a joke,” Houser said in an interview with Artistic Fuel.

“I’ve always been much better at digital design than drawing, but this has forced me to draw every day and it’s helped me get better at drawing. You can just see from the beginning of the year to now, my shading has gotten so much better.”

(If you’re in Philadelphia, stop by his art show to see his Today Sucks exhibit: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan 4, at The Gallery at the Globe, 4500 Worth St. in Philadelphia.)

Prepare to notice beauty in the every day

Daily works also create a kind of visual diary for the year. Together, they’re a gallery that tells a story—your story.

Painter Duane Keiser, who’s credited with launching the a-painting-a-day movement, finds the beauty in what most would consider the mundane. His paintings include everyday scenes such as glasses sitting atop a crossword puzzle or a shadow cast by a bicycle.

Duane Keiser Painting
Painter Duane Keiser, who’s credited with launching the a-painting-a-day movement, finds the beauty in what most would consider the mundane, such as powdered doughnuts and crossword puzzles.

He says of his daily works of art, “For me, these paintings are about the pleasure of seeing; of being cognizant of the world around me and pushing to find an alchemy between the paint, my subject and the moment. I view each piece as being part of a single, ongoing work.”

The one-a-day art movement has not only provided a daily nudge for artists worldwide to create, but it’s also helped make art affordable to the masses. Small paintings by artists like Duane Keiser and Nick Jainschigg start at $100; Randel Plowman sells his 4-by-4-inch collages for $25. Almost anyone can take home a bit of these daily inspirations.

Is 365 days too much? Try 30.

If crafting something for 365 days straight seems too daunting, try to at least set aside one month where you’re creating—painting, photographing, drawing, writing or even cooking—every day.

Esther Spurrill-Jones says that she doesn’t believe in writing for 365 days straight. “Writing is not my day job and, even if it was, we all deserve days off and vacations,” she says.

But Spurrill-Jones is a proponent of the monthly projects, like the October Poetry Writing Month. She writes poetry and challenges herself to try her hand at sonnets, triolets and haukus.

She says writing every day is a great discipline and the more you write, the better you get.

“I look back at some of my work from the earlier years of OctPo (October Poetry Writing Month) and, while some of it passes the test of time, most of what I’m writing now is much much better. It is amazing how much practice improves my work.”

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