In the beginning of June I shared that I was joining the summer challenge index-card-a-day, an Index Card Art Project open to everyone, and since then I have (almost) daily posted a painted index card to my instagram account and to my Facebook page Studio iHanna. Yay me, right?
Today I’m sharing my thoughts about this project, My Struggles and Success Story, and most of my painted cards. I hope I can inspire you to join is for July, or just start a daily creative practice for yourself, what ever it may be. Summer is a good time to do this, because the weather will help you along by being all bright and happy.
If you want to cultivate a habit, do it without any reservation, till it is firmly established. Until it is so confirmed, until it becomes a part of your character, let there be no exception, no relaxation of effort. Mahavira
I really wish I could say that I paint daily and effortlessly all the time…
…but I’m more about telling the truth than serving up polished ideals that might inspire someone to wrongly aspire for perfection. I can’t do perfection, I don’t believe in it – and I don’t even like that shit.
So truth be told: I have been painting my index cards a few at a time, a couple of times throughout the month, then sharing them daily on social media has been a task big enough for now. I gave myself the rule of “only acrylic paint”, and have kept to it (mostly, with exception for pens and pencil I think). In the beginning I had the idea to write a quote or sentence on each index card too, but I gave up on that. I am not a calligrapher person!
The days when I did take out the acrylic paint bottles, pored out paint and mixed it has been great moments for sure. This month of June I have done this more than all this years previous months combined. So that is a good thing.
And that is exciting to me!
I see my index cards this year as less of a diary and more of an artistic practice for bigger ideas that needs to boil further. But to try to cook up bigger ideas is scary, which makes me wanna quit the trying altogether.
As I see progress I also feel the resistance, big time. I have really been struggling with my Inner Critic a lot this month. I have been aiming for happy and abstract, but every time I try to finish one of the index cards, she tells me it’s not enough. Then I add more dots, strokes or colors, and it looks crowded. Happiness and irritation at the same time. So I move on.
If I start another one and just keep painting, I can look at the other index cards and actually like quite a few of them – but in the moment it’s hard.
I feel like a fraud most of the time, even though at the same time I know that that’s just my ego trying to scare my creativity to silence. I know that.
I try to listen to the comments I’m getting on instagram and facebook (I’m in both the ICAD free group and the ICAD Circle) instead. You guys are so kind, and you’re so my people because you understand my love for color, polka dots and expressing something in this “silly”, yet profound, way.
Thanks for letting me share!
PS: My index cards of 2011 was very much like a diary. I wrote about my day on the back of each card. This year I have only done that a couple of times. Here’s an example:
I wrote about my index card collage process back in 2011 of course, and among other things said (if I may quote myself):
For me, I never follow a specific road and I don’t have many must-happen habits either. Its fairly simple, I sit down and experiment. Sometimes I love what comes out, sometimes I think it looks more like #fail. Either way, then I move on.
More in my 2011 post The Creative process is a crooked road – as true then as it is today.