It's that time again! Tammy, of Daisy Yellow fame, is hosting her third annual index-card-a-day challenge.
Her first challenge started just a few months after I started blogging. I was new and green and eager, and let me tell you, this challenge changed my life. I don't say that lightly. I made an index card every single day from June 1st - October 1st.
It set up a daily creativity habit that lasted well over a year.
It made me figure out how to post pictures to flickr so I could join the flickr ICAD group. Once there, I started connecting with wonderful artists and bloggers who quickly turned into friends. It gave me something to blog about at a time where I had lots of blogging energy, but little blogging fodder. I gained skills and confidence, as an artist, a writer, and member of a community.
This year's challenge runs from June 1st - July 31st. I can't recommend this challenge enough.
And since I already said it so well 2 years ago, I'm re-posting all the things I love about this challenge.
(originally posted July 8, 2011)___________________________________________________________________________________
We're more than a month into the index-card-a-day summer challenge and I absolutely love it. Every once in a while I think "I'm too tired to make a card". But then I remind myself ANYTHING GOES - even a scribble on a white card that says "I'm too tired to make a card". So I sit down to dash something off, and immediately find myself absorbed and energized and I usually end up making something far better than I expected.
The size of the card is so perfect for me. Big pages are intimidating. I love to paint backgrounds, but then what? how to fill them? I don't do a lot of writing in my journals so after a few words and images I'm stuck with "what now?" Never a problem with the index card.
But ohmygod, on the other hand - the inchie? Have you ever tried something that small? I thought I was going to love it because I'm drawn to miniature. Boy was I wrong. I find it nearly impossible to make a piece of art that small. I'm very comfortable making a bigger piece and cutting it into one inch squares, but that's cheating. Creating an original piece of art in that small space just isn't happening. But the index card! ah...the index card. It's just right. Big enough to collage, big enough for a decent background painting, big enough for SOME text. But no cavernous empty spaces. Not as much oddly placed, disjointed images and me scratching my head wondering how to integrate them into a whole.
And it's just stiff enough to withstand globs of paint and glue and layers of paper. But so cheap that if I totally mess it up I have no qualms about pitching it and starting over. And no worries about measuring and cutting to precise sizes (I refuse to pay for those pre-packaged ATCs because really - how hard is it to run some water color paper through the paper trimmer? except it IS kind of a pain in the neck and just one more step to go through before I can actually make something). I love that there's a whole package of them just sitting there on my worktable. If I'm having so much fun with one, I can grab another, and another. No waiting, no measuring, no cutting, no "saving my good paper for something really special"- grab and go.
I love the community of fellow ICADers. The flickr pool is so much fun. Amazing work, huge variety, loads of inspiration and support.
Some cards mean something, some cards don't. Some days it just feels good to smoosh the paint around. Some days it's a full day of stress packed into 3x5 inches. Every day it feels good to take a few minutes to create.
Even the cards that don't mean anything capture a time and a place. They reflect my interests and skills as an artist. I know that I will look back on this collection and have powerful memories of the summer of 2011.
Huge shout out and thanks to Tammy at Daisy Yellow for challenging us, inspiring us, and cheering us on. I'm so glad I'm playing along!