I wrote this back in October, right after completing the October Project. The project consisted of daily art, photography, and experimentation. I went from creating nothing in my free time, to creating portraits, illustrations, and photographs. If anything, this project proved to me that you do not know your capabilities until you try to achieve something. You’ll hit roadblocks, but you’ll also break through a lot of blocks. I plan to use what I’ve learned from this project for future work. I hope you can take something away from what I’ve learned!
It’s the last day of my project and I just wanted to sit here and think about what I’ve created and what I’ve learned.
What I’ve learned in bullet form:
- Creating daily becomes a creative habit.
- You have more ideas when you’re creating every day.
- Posting consistently online requires a plan! (But it’s worth it.)
- Batch out your tasks ahead of time based on what needs to get done first. For example: scan the entire week’s illustrations every Monday. Edit each illustration for the web every Tuesday. Schedule blog posts for the following week every Friday. Etc.
- Cut up your project into manageable bites. It won’t get done in one sitting, even if that’s your preferred way of creating. But you’ll chip away at it every day and it won’t become overwhelming.
- Create a syllabus of items you want to create for the month and books and articles you’d like to read for inspiration. Stick to it loosely and fall back on it in times of boredom.
- Utilize content management apps like Hootsuite and Buffer to consistently update viewers on what you’re working on.
- Create a list of tasks you’d like to complete. Tack it up somewhere visible. Chip away at it daily.
The Roadblocks and How I Overcame Them
There were some roadblocks along the way. Right before I posted about my Frankenstein giveaway, I set aside a day to create a short trailer promoting the print. It would serve as a practice video for me since I’m new to Premiere. I sketched out a loose storyboard and started filming for it that day. While editing, I realized that even though I had a vision for what I wanted the trailer to look like, I didn’t have music to play in the background. And ever since making my first video and getting dinged on YouTube, I’ve been wary of making the same mistake twice.
I spent the remainder of the evening re-cutting the film to fit two different songs, which both weren’t to my absolute liking. The work went on into the next day. I reshot some things. I tried again. I kept pushing.
It wasn’t until the third morning that I had to give myself a deadline. “If this thing isn’t done by 11am, I have to scrap it and move forward with other projects.” And that’s exactly what ended up happening.
It’s not easy walking away from something. Especially when you think that you’ve already invested so much time into it and you don’t want to waste the investment. But sometimes, it’s necessary. I posted the flyer I made the week before and I used some old footage for gifs and promotional material, and that ended up working just fine. This literally adheres to the idea that “Done is better than Perfect.”
Halloween Giveaway, Day 15/31 – Frankenstein’s Monster Print Giveaway
Prioritizing Family and Work
Prioritizing family and work was another challenge. When you work on creative projects, your workload never ends. You are so invested in your art that you literally ‘bring it home with you.’ Sometimes, your home is your studio, and the line between work and rest is even more blurred. Has anyone else forgotten to go to sleep and instead edited photos into the morning?
I learned that art is a priority, but so is family. I learned that I need to break my tasks into bite sized portions. I made a long list of things that I need to do and I pinned it to my wall. Every morning, I highlight the items that I want to prioritize for that day. Whenever I finish a task, I cross it out. Whatever doesn’t get finished that day simply rolls over to the next day.
Sometimes, I’ve had to put down the day’s task because it wasn’t as important as hanging out with my family. And that’s an amazing lesson to learn.
What I’ve Created in 31 Days (Give or Take a Day)
I went from creating absolutely nothing in my free time, to creating horror portraits, animal studies, ink sketches, and videos. I worked on the beginnings of a manuscript. I hosted a successful art giveaway and opened up an Etsy shop with some prints from my project. I learned how to make a repeating pattern, how to make a cinemagraph, and I did it all while updating this blog daily. I also learned what I want to focus on: illustration; and I’ve signed up for an illustration course hosted by a team of incredibly talented artists at the Oatley Academy.
Poison Apple, Day 25/31 – Poison Apple
The Crow, Day 12/31 – Then and Now
Jack Skellington, Day 9/31 – Nightmare Before Christmas
A Promise, Day 5/31 – A Promise
Frankenstein, Day 8/31 – Frankenstein’s Monster
The Snake, Day 2/31 – The Snake
Time Lapse, Day 19/31 – Watch Me Draw Vincent Price
I plan to design a small book to host all of these creations simply because I love the way it feels to have a printed book of my work. It puts the final touch on a project like this.
It’s good to look back and reflect on what you’ve learned and made when you embark on a project like this one. Since embarking on this project, I’ve spent the past few months working on my photography and building up a portfolio for commercial clients. These next few months will see a return to painting and illustration. Check out my new Etsy shop to shop items from my October Project – Persephone Studio Shop. See more posts from October here.
Thanks for looking!