Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five Easy Ways to 365

Yesterday, I told you why you should start a 365 project.  Today, I’d like to give you some ideas how. 

If you’ve followed me this far, I’m guessing you’re at least interested in learning more about it.  Some of you are asking, “What exactly is a 365 Project?”  In the simplest terms, it is any creative endeavor that you exercise every day for one full year – all 365 days.  It could be painting, writing, scrapbooking, photography…the list is endless, but the end result is the same – creating something every day.

I’ve wanted to do a 365 project for quite some time.  But like a lot of you, I am terrified of the actual commitment.  After all, the prospect of doing something (anything) every single day for a whole year is quite daunting, let alone doing something creative.  I’ve dabbled with Lain Ehman’s Layout-A-Day twice now, and it was a real challenge trying to keep up.  That was for just one month!  I even got inspired to start a smash book that I have been putting together in an outdated date book, but it’s not an every-day kind of commitment and I often go weeks without touching it at all.  All the same, I still would like to do a 365 project, and I have a pretty good idea where I’d like to start.

Several years ago, a crafty friend told me about a project she was working on.  She was inspired by a 52-week art journal challenge done by Emily Falconbridge on her Life is Art blog.  Emily used 52 questions as inspiration to create an art journal on a deck of cards.  This project in itself is a great idea, but my friend, Kerry, took it one step further.  She had the idea of combining the 52 questions with a power word .

The idea of a power word is not a new one.  My son’s high school orchestra used power words in a unity circle before every concert.  Each student would share his or her word and the idea was that in unity, all these powerful words come together to make a whole, cohesive orchestra. 

Blogger Christine Kane uses power words in a different way.  She contends that your power words give you intent.  Each year, instead of making New Years resolutions, she does a lot of soul searching and comes up with her Word of the Year.  The word becomes her touchstone to stay focused on what’s important and to remind her of her goals.

So how do you combine a power word with 52 questions?  Easy, just let the power word be your guide to answering the questions each day.  Your answer to the question is the inspiration for the creative work.  It’s really that simple.  Your word could simply be the answer, or for more of a spiritual challenge, you could answer the question and then journal whether or not (or how) that answer fits in with your power word. 

For instance, if my focus for 2013 was going to be Home and my question for the day was “What song do you have on repeat right now?”  What if the answer to my question was Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again?”  Obviously, that song is not about home.  Or maybe it is.  Maybe you feel most at home when you’re on the road.  Maybe you love being on the road, and are trying to balance travel with your duties at home.  Maybe you don’t like going anywhere at all.  Or maybe the song reminds you of the home you grew up in.  Either way, you’ve tied your power word to your question for the day.

Are you intrigued by the concept, but still afraid to commit? Tell me, just what are you afraid of?  What are the dire consequences of failing to stick with a big project?  I’m here to tell you, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  Go on!  Jump right in!  The water’s fine and there are no sharks in this pool!  No one cares if you start and never finish.  No one cares if you get behind and have to catch up.  No one cares if you decide to do a 52-week project instead of 365 days.  Just get started!

Here are 5 simple ideas for you to start your own 365 Project – pick the one that’s right for you!

Five Methods to Create a Year-Long Project:

  1. Project Life:  Project Life is a memory-recording system of scrapbooking that uses photo pocket pages and pre-cut/pre-printed products as a starting point.  All you do is add journaling and photos.  This is a great alternative for someone who wants to do a 365 but doesn’t have a lot of time to commit to their project each day.  You can still follow any 365-day, 52-week, or even Layout-a-Day challenges very easily.
  2. Art Journal:  Use an art journal or Smash Book to express the answers to your daily prompts.  You can use the questions or prompt as part of the art, or you can simply let the artwork do all the talking.  The possibilities are endless.
  3. Layout A Day:  Although Lain Ehman’s LOAD is designed to run in one-month increments several times a year, committing to creating a layout every day is a great way to boost your creativity and get a lot of scrapbooking done.  Or, if 365 is too much for you, do it for one month at a time.
  4. Tags:  In her Life is Art blog, Emily Falconbridge creates her art and poses the question on one side of the tag, and then answers it on the other.  A large ring could hold all the tags together.
  5. A Deck of Cards:  This method lends itself best to a 52-week challenge, but you could still use it for a full year by creating multiple decks.

This year, I will start my 365 project.  I haven’t decided what form it will take, whether it will be 365 days or just 52 weeks of projects, or even whether it will be an art journal or a deck of cards, but I am going to start one.  I hope you’ll consider joining me in this exploration!  I would love to see what you come up with!

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