|Weird Auto-Collage of The January Challenge images|
In my 'end of year' blog post I wrote about the Instagram challenges I'd taken on and how I'd found it a good way of keeping up with a regular creative practice. With this in mind I decided that I'd do 64 Million Artists 'The January Challenge' to kick off 2018. The basic premise is that everybody is creative (something I believe very strongly) and the challenge gives you a prompt/small task everyday to get you thinking and creating. I'm also trying to keep up my daily drawing (so far, so good) so I was hoping that the two might tie in together quite nicely.
|Day 25: Potion|
Solar Dye Jar
|Day 28: No Place like Home|
The challenges were not at all like I expected, I had been expecting more of an artistic challenge but many of the challenges were much more along the creative/try something new line. This is not a bad thing, it just wasn't quite what I expected. Some of the challenges I really didn't enjoy; mainly the ones to do with dancing and noise but what I did like is that all of them made me think. I've enjoyed having a 'focus' each day as often it's been something I wouldn't have come up with myself. I didn't share all of the challenges but I did do them all, even the ones I didn't like. Doing the challenge is definitely good for mindfulness and I think there are a lot of things I've seen and learnt from this challenge that I'll continue to think about and maybe develop going forward.
|Day 10: Paper|
|Day 14: Sink or Swim|
Boat made from baking parchment and yarn
|Day 24: Quote|
Not surprisingly the challenges I enjoyed most were the drawing and making challenges. I particularly enjoyed Day 19: Over my Shoulder challenge which was to draw with your non-dominant hand what you could see over your right shoulder. I really liked this as it made me draw things I wouldn't normally and pushed my drawing practice. I also really liked Day 10 which was to create something from a sheet of paper. I twisted and wrapped a piece of A4 paper to make a little bird, something I've been meaning to experiment with for a while but not got around to so it was nice to have that incentive.
|Day 19: Over my Shoulder|
|Day 2: Five faces in five minutes|
Five 'blind' self portraits
|Day 20: Advert|
I also surprised myself by really enjoying the writing challenges. I like writing and spend quite a lot of time doing it but I rarely do any 'creative' writing. I often write things in my head but I never get them onto paper so I enjoyed the challenges as it gave me a chance to do this. I really enjoyed the challenges involving poetry, as I created 'accidental' poetry and I really love the random, unpredictable nature of the process. For instance, for Day 12 I created a poem using lines from the books by my bed. I chose a line from page 64 (for 64 million artists) and then pages 12,1,20 and 18 to make up the date. The resulting poem was mostly nonsensical but I enjoyed it!
|Day 12: Our Poem|
Abominable is described,
Wearing a pretty painful glove
And over every living thing
Dare to suggest
The most important rule
|Day 23: Blackout Poetry|
Page from a gardening magazine
One of the things that I have enjoyed most about the challenge is seeing how other people have approached things. Part of the aim of the challenge is to share what you do and I've been really inspired by seeing how differently people approach things and I've enjoyed being part of the community, sharing ideas and inspiration and quite a lot of humour. I've enjoyed taking part in this challenge but I must admit that I'm pleased it's finished! I'm looking forward to keeping up with making a little creative time for myself each day but I'm also looking forward to focusing more on my drawing again.
|Day 26: Spirit Animal|
Day 16: Story
The light fades fast, the sunset unseen behind dense banks of cloud drifting at speed across the wide sky. Still she sits, waiting patiently, a solid still point in a spinning world.
Darkness gathers but street lights and headlamps keep it at bay. Waiting still, the world slows a little as curtains close and doors shut.
Then the turn of the key in the lock, the sound she has been waiting for. Slowly, carefully, she gets up and stretches out, ready to greet him. They have stories to share and the world keeps turning.