I like to infuse my summer with creativity, something messy that reminds me of how much I need creativity. It’s especially important when I’m working in an office during the day, to take time in the evening to make something.

Index Card 01

This summer I’ve started a daily project, because daily practice is the best. I wanted to write about it here before the site crashed, but better a bit late than never, as they say. And if you haven’t heard about this idea it’s not too late to start a summer project right now (or ever)…

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Index Card Daily

I’ve filled a index cards with collage + paint each day since May 30th. The idea comes from Tammy who will be doing this 6 days a week the entire summer for her Index-Card-A-Day Project (#ICAD on twitter and flickr) – a free and fun summer project that anyone can join.

I already know that a daily creative thing is something I enjoy doing, because I did a Daily Art Card for a whole year in 2009. It’s a well tested concept that I know I love.

I already had a pile of thrifted index cards laying around so it was just a matter of minutes before I had adopted this project. And I’m not alone. It has taken off with a lot of people filling index cards this month!

Thrifted pile of Index Cards

I also have two different sets of harder in-between tabbed cards, that I’m not sure how to use yet. Maybe if I bind my index cards into a spiral bound book I can use the tabs as dividers between the months? Your ideas are welcome.

I wasn’t very happy with the two first collages (that I did in May), but then I played with paint on top of the collage and found a style I like better. I want to continue to explore it, and use those smallish images and bits of paper that I hoard (I can’t throw away pretty papers!).

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Daily Writing on the back

I’ve written a poem-like diary entry at the back of each card and that appeals to me even more than the front. With the writing on the back this project has become a documentation, a daily meditation of the day, a diary project. I love that kind of thing. And it also means I’m doing these cards for me, not for framing, display or selling. They are my summer. My Summer Project.

There is so little space on an index card that my writing style changes, and becomes something not like me. Shorter, maybe even sweeter. More poetic at least. I love when that happens. Format is important!

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Try a new format

A new format (notepad, canvas, index cards, room) makes us think in new ways, resulting in new outcome. This surprises me all the time when I try a new format. When I change my diary format or choose a big Art Journal, my ideas change too. So I say go big, huge, or go small, try tiny. Draw in squares, or use round papers… In the 21 Secrets Class there was a woman showing us how to tape brown paper to a wall and paint on that. Huge doodles are very different from ink pen ones beside the phone… Sit outside, or try creating in a different environment this summer; sketch in a car, air port, cafe, the library, at a friends house, a garden, or on top of a mountain. Have fun!

Index Card-A-Day Button Anyway, a daily creative practice is good for your health, so cultivate one! Now. Index Cards are super fun to play with, ready to go with you everywhere on summer adventures. I’m not filing my index cards away, I’m filling them with summer thoughts!

Can’t you feel the fun of it already? Join us, if you are so inclined. I’d love to see what you do with yours.