Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The daily card, week 5

Welcome to week 5! I still love this project. Especially because I've realized that it's like mandatory, small-scale art journaling. I have always loved the idea of art journaling, but the whole artiness of it, combined with the fact that I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, made it feel paralyzing. The fact that I have to create and express something every day has freed me up to make things that are not great. And as a result, I end up loving most of what I make.

The "now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good" card (a quote from John Steinbeck's East of Eden) pretty much nails it. When I sat down to make that card, I felt like I was out of ideas for the first time this year. I was about to paint a card white and write "I am out of ideas" when that quote popped into my head. It perfectly summed up the project and the reminder that not everything I make has to be brilliant.

I love this batch. The "MEPI is the bane of my existence" card is one of my favorites. For those of you whose day jobs don't involve supporting democracy in the Middle East, just know that MEPI is an office in the State Department focused on assistance to the region. I have no beef with them in general, but I had spent most of the workday wrestling with their tricky budget and reporting templates, so this was the sentiment that best summarized the day. I get a huge kick out of this card - I love the tongue-in-cheek effect of using a girly design to express a mundane bureaucratic frustration. And I like the idea that scrapbooking and art journaling doesn't always have to be days at the zoo and deep dark feelings - career ups and downs are fair game too.

The "with time you will see if I am a real artist or not" card was made after I finally saw Exit Through the Gift Shop. It's a line from Thierry Guetta, who pulls together a hugely popular but somewhat derivative street art show after studying under Banksy. He makes the point that creativity isn't a one-off show or event, it's a process over time. I love the line in the context of the movie, and I love how it applies to this project. A month of cards is cool, but keeping it up is what will make me a creative person. Creativity unfolding over time? Count me in.

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