Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Daily art 2018: post mortem 2

As I wrote on Monday, the main thing I didn't like about my 2018 daily art project was that it was too varied and thus too hard to keep track of.  No neat file boxes with everything in order.

I also am mad at myself that sometimes I didn't get the day's art done on that very day.  I've always permitted more or less slippage to fit into real life -- always those days when you're in transit for 29 hours straight or sick in bed or have six house guests or need to attend a wedding and you just can't fit in daily art. 

When I sent daily postcards to my mother, I often mailed or even wrote them late, but  that it was OK because who knew when the post office would actually deliver them.  One year when I was posting daily photos, some from my archives, I did two weeks worth in advance, allowing Blogger to post them each day, because I was going to be in Antarctica and out of internet touch.  When I did daily quilt blocks, it took until February the following year before I finally figured out how to illustrate the last day of my trip to Yellowstone National Park.  The only year I religiously did the daily art every day was 2010, where I took a photo each day.  Many times I raced around the house at 11:30 pm searching for something to photograph.  Some of those photos were lame, but I like the fact that I kept the rules more than I regret the weak showing.

In 2018 I let myself get behind too often, and each time you get behind it gets easier to rationalize getting behind again.

I also went wrong in 2018 by not documenting my work until a long time later.  I did write things down in my ledger as I did them, but didn't scan or photograph some of the work until a few weeks ago.  Bad move!  I don't know how many people visited my Daily Art blog last year, but they would have been appalled by how little current art was posted.  And it was way more work to get things organized and posted at the end of the year than if I had kept up with the task week by week.

Finally, last year it took more time than I should have devoted to daily art, especially days when I drew maps in my sketchbook or did bookbinding.  People often ask me how long I spend each day on these projects, and I say anywhere from five minutes (for a kissoff day) to two hours (if I take my sketchbook along to a meeting and work on it all afternoon in between talking and snacking).  I liked working on my maps, and so I didn't begrudge the time, but in retrospect I spent a LOT of hours last year on maps and what I have to show for it doesn't seem worth the final happiness-per-hour ratio.

this imaginary city map took a LOT of time
And of course, spending too much time each day made it easier to rationalize falling behind, easier to neglect documentation.

Lessons learned: This year I swear I will do both my daily arts on the very day.  No excuses.  I will scan and post them every week.  At least that's my plan.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! I've always wanted to do a daily art project, but I feel I don't have enough control of my day-to-day to commit to it. Then again, I guess that speaks to the "rules" of the project; how might I define my daily project and what are my objectives. Interesting to read your thoughts on the matter.