A couple of months ago I went to a design seminar held by AIGA here in NYC. I really enjoy getting to be around other designers and hear from successful business leaders in my industry, so I really try to take advantage of these events.
This particular event was for the launching of a new book called Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs by Tim Hoover and Jessica Karle Heltzel. These guys were looking for a way to grow their own business and decided to seek the advice of other successful design entrepreneurs...100 to be exact. Eventually this "100 Days" project took off and became a book.
For the event, they brought in 4 of the featured entrepreneurs from the book and had a simple discussion with them about how they "made it" and now run their businesses. A couple of their stories really stood out to me.
Kate Bingaman-Burt is an illustrator and professor on the West Coast. She decribed that in her late 20's she had major credit card debt and to punish herself, she drew out every single cc statement until it was all paid off. She hated drawing more than anything, but after 2 years she decided she loved it. And now that is her primary art-form.
Peter Buchanan-Smith of Best Made Co. was a designer, but also had a passion for axes, nature and hunting. So he started making axes on the side. His hobby grew into an online business and I absolutely love his products and style. He's one of those inspiring self-made-men who set out to do what he loved. My husband and I actually got to visit his store in Soho this past weekend. So awesome.
While I'm not very familiar with Days.am, I was impressed with what owner Keenan Cummings had to say. Over the course of his design career he tried out all kinds of design jobs in the corporate world. You name it, he did it. And he hated them all. He felt constricted. During this time he started working on some personal projects and blogs. He said that when he got hired for the next job, these small personal projects are what stood out among all his other work, including the corporate stuff. People hiring him were more interested in the type of person/artist he was in his personal work rather than all the corporate-do-this-do-that work. Now he is his own boss and finally satisfied in his work.
Hearing from all of these people really sparked an interest in me to do my own set of projects. Not to show off my work or to get hired somewhere, but for my own peronal gain. We all have those projects or to-do-lists that sit on the back burner in our brain that never get done. I have several of those. So why not just do it and write about it along the way? So starting now I'll be working on 12 different projects... over 12 months (or more maybe?). To easily keep track of it, we'll call it...
...since I'll be attacking art, of course. I have a few ideas down the line of what kind of projects I'd like to work on... paintings, collages, web design, photography, photo album books. All sorts of things that are stored up in my brain and need to get out! Do you have any recommendations of things I can "attack"? Anything you've done before that I just gotta do too?
So this is my goal (clearly marked out for everyone to see!): To get from 0 to 12 projects in 12 months (or more!).
Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts about the 12 Art Attacks!