30dayCollageI learned a lot of things while making art every day for a month.

One day is both more and less time than I thought. I can do so much more if I use every minute, and don’t procrastinate or worry about what to make and how it’s going to come out, and whether I should do it this way, or that way…

Making a piece a day gets me past the perfection paralysis, and gets my mind and fingers limber again. Just Do It isn’t a half bad mantra ;)

Sometimes I just need to start… I may end up sculpting something ugly or completely different, but just the process of putting clay down gets me headed in the right direction, and I often end up with something really cool.

It also really helps if I have my sculpting area organized, clay pre-conditioned and laid out on the tiles ready to go.

But there were times that I really needed to take a few days or a week and a half including 2 full weekends (the kraken or the sea turtle) and then I felt rushed, or had to whip out a quick experiment for the days in between. I’d like to do this again, but allow myself more time. I’m thinking progress every day, but allowing a week to complete a piece.

For one thing, I have a day job, and you have to go grocery shopping and do laundry eventually ;)

I found I do my best work when I don’t force it. If I take a subject as it comes to me naturally, and don’t try to go too simple or too complicated, or a specific style, it seems to flow better.

There were a couple times where I tried to go cute and almost cartoonish (due to time crunch and trying to hurry) and it simply didn’t work out because it didn’t suit my style or the subject. If it ends up that way naturally, like the flying pig, it’s fine, but even then I ended up adding more detail to the pig than I had planned, and it came out better that way.

I need to make sure that I either finish or scrape things periodically.

I got a lot of satisfaction from finishing work. Especially work that had been hanging around in a “limbo” stage while I thought about it.

And I found out that I had lost a piece I really liked – it was 90% done but I’d put it on top of the oven, out of the way while I thought about how I wanted to finish it. I didn’t realize the top of the oven gets hot enough to partially bake the clay and it cracked all over like a dry mud flat…

So… It was a very good experience and I will do it again. And I’m going to try to apply some of these lessons to my day to day art practice.

 

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