Serena and I found each other on Instagram and connected with each other over our shared view of the importance of a creative outlet in our lives. Our first interview is in the weekly article Tales of Two Creatives Part 1. We had more to say so we decided to interview each other a second time, specifically about our respective daily creative challenges where we create every day and document it.
Our next adventure together is a Q&A session to help others start their own unique daily creative challenge to see the benefits for yourself of adding creativity into your life. We will be chatting together on both of our Instagram accounts answering your questions. So ask us anything.
Our Q&A session will be held on Instagram the week of September 5-9, 2016.
Monday, September 5: How to get started
Tuesday, September 6: How to make it doable
Wednesday, September 7: How to make time
Thursday, September 8: How to stay motivated
Friday, September 9: How to use what you learned
We will be answering the questions relating to the daily topics in the afternoon on those days.
You can ask us questions through Instagram comments, email or comments on our blogs. Our contact information is below.
Go ahead and send the questions anytime before that week if you want.
Not on Instagram? That is ok. We will answer the question on Instagram and then email the written responses back to you.
Now, the interview...
How did you find your particular creative challenge?
Serena: In February the author of the Steal Like an Artist Journal challenged readers to do and post a page a day on social media throughout the month of February. I started then and continued working on pages on my own afterwards.
Kathleen: In April 2015, I found out about the 100 Day Project organized by Elle Luna from the Creative Morning website which had a list of good newsletters that they recommended to read. I read about this creative challenge project in one of those newsletters. I had never heard about it but liked the idea. It started in just a few days. I just decided I would do it and jumped in. I had no time to over think it.
Describe your creative challenge.
Serena: The journal is filled with creative prompts that help you put in to practice some of the notes from Steal Like an Artist in different ways such as sketching, writing, brainstorming, scribbling, or playing with your tea. I do or redo a page every day then take time to brainstorm on or fine-tune a project I have based on the idea presented in the journal.
Kathleen: You pick a creative activity to do for 100 days and post a photo or video of it every day on Instagram to the hashtag #The100Dayproject. I selected a doable size of art at 6 inches for improv fabric art. I sewed fabric pieces together to make a daily square. I select a color and design theme for each 25 day series. I sew 25 daily squares into a large 30 inch square piece which is backed with fabric and batting and quilted together.
How do you keep yourself motivated to do it every day?
Serena: I try to treat time in the journal as a treat rather than a chore. It gives me an excuse to play with ideas and actually have something to show for what I come up with. I credit the fact that in the past few months I’ve managed to make a lot more progress on things because I’ve been taking time to create or write every single day, which definitely motivates me to keep going.
Kathleen: At this point it has just become a routine. But initially I set a timer on my phone to create fabric art at the same time every day. I also keep my studio very organized and have the supplies I need all ready to go from when I walk in the studio. The 25 day themes keep it fresh and interesting so I feel like I'm always trying new things and never get bored.
What benefits have you seen from doing this long-term challenge?
Serena: Now I work a little faster (and harder!) on bringing my ideas into actuality. At the beginning of the challenge I’d struggle to come up with answers or on figuring out what I’m really trying to accomplish on a piece, but now things become clearer a little more easily.
Kathleen: My art practice has become a regular habit. I have been so much more prolific. The best part is I enjoy the process. I no longer feel overwhelmed with all my design ideas because I can use it in my daily square that day. I make decisions quicker and take more risks in my art.
Why do you choose to share progress throughout the challenge rather than only results?
Serena: For me sharing is great for figuring out how to progress, what’s working and what’s not, and whether I should continue. I’ve connected with other makers through sharing and hearing their feedback as well as seeing their journeys inspires me to keep going. Sharing your work throughout its stages is one of the most raw and real ways to show what you’re really about.
Kathleen: I have become happy with daily progress. It takes many little steps to make fabric art. By sharing each day's progress I get to feel a sense of accomplishment each day. If I waited to finish a larger piece I would only post once a month which is not enough for me. I like being a part of the community of artists on Instagram.
How long do you plan to continue and what are your next steps?
Serena: I’ll continue the journal until I’ve absolutely exhausted the pages, and I’ll definitely keep creating something every day long after that. I’m currently working on physical versions of ideas I came up with when I first started the challenge. This next part is trying to keep up with myself as I both create new ideas and finish the ones I started in February.
Kathleen: I don't know why I would stop when this daily square system is really working for me. It is easier for me to just continue than to stop and have to start again. I plan to just keep going. I made 250 daily squares in 2015. As of today, I am over 225 in 2016. I see it as I get to do this, not I have to do this.
After reading about our daily creative challenges, what resonates with you? Are you interested in developing your creative side? You have two and a half weeks til the Q&A starts on September 5, so start thinking about your questions.
Find Serena @sirensfinds on Instagram and firstname.lastname@example.org for email. Her website and blog are at sirensfinds.com.
Find Kathleen @blueskyquilter on Instagram and email@example.com for email. My website and blog are at kathleenwarrenstudio.com.