Between May and August this year, I interviewed 10 artists, makers, painters, musicians, photographers, writers and other creatives about the process of taking part in an intense creative challenge. Some of the people I interviewed, like Heidi Shedlock, had been painting for over 500 days consecutively! Others, like writer John Hutton, wrote a novel in a month! One of the questions I asked each of them was which resources they would recommend for creatives. A number of the podcasts, books and other resources that they mentioned have now become some of my go-to resources for creative inspiration. I've put together the whole list for you right here all in one place
Eloise Bound is an interior architect and artist who I met through Instagram. I reached out to her to chat more about her 100-day creative project titled #100daysofpenandbrush. As well as chatting about her creative processes, we also tackled some pretty intense topics like the connection between creativity and health, creativity and personality, and creativity as a tool for recovery.
I chatted to digital marketer, photographer and film-maker, Charl du Preez, about the photo-a-day challenge he set for himself this year. He's just passed the halfway mark so it was a good time to pause and reflect on topics like perfectionism and letting go, the role of self-discipline in intentional creativity, as well as the daily grind of 'starting again' in order to finish something worthwhile.
Heidi Shedlock is an artist, teacher and mum of two. Over and above her usual creative work, about two years ago Heidi started a daily practice of painting a small postcard sized work and kept going for 568 consecutive days! I spoke to her about how she began her “Paintings in the Post” project, community and accountability, and the ebb and flow of the creative life.
Many of us have hope to improve our art, challenge ourselves, and take our creativity to the next level, but few take the plunge and actually do the hard daily graft it requires. Durban-based games developer and programmer, Gareth Fouche, bit the bullet and drew something every day for a year in an effort to master the art of illustration! In this interview I chat to him about what that process was like, about daily sharing your work online and what he learned about himself along the way.
I chatted to Durban-based illustrator, hand-lettererer and graphic designer Fathima Kathrada about the way she's strategically used 30 day challenges to stretch her creative capacity, to hone her craft and to overcome things some of things we all struggle with, like procrastination.
I borrowed my boyfriend’s ukulele for about 8 months and I started a new instagram account called ‘Littlejulieandukulele’. I used to balance my phone in all sorts of inventive ways until I realised my music stand was a good way to aim it at me. I had to train my pug, Plato, to be okay with not being in the same room as me because I found him very distracting.
I interviewed John Hutton - English teacher, writer and self-published author of Days Ago Diary - about what can happen when you write every day for a month.
Christine Bernard, writer and designer at Flat White Concepts, constantly sets challenges for herself, from yoga to no sugar, to going gluten-free. In this interview though she shares more about her 30 day #animalaugust challenge where she illustrated her way through the alphabet and ended up with a collection of quirky characters.
I'm chatting to writers, painters, poets, illustrators, musicians (and more) about their experience of taking part in a creative challenge. Last week I spoke to Amy about her 365 etching project (you can read her interview over here), and this week I had a wonderful interview with Durban based creative, Liz Sparg, about creative community, newness, illustration and following your nose.
I got hold of Amy van den Bergh, an artist who lives and works in Johannesburg, to talk to her about her current 365 day project, her creative processes, and to hear a bit more of her journey as an artist. Here's how we started out...
Claire: I’m interested to find out more not only about your current output as an artist, but also the internal journey you’ve taken so far, the challenges and and difficulties you’ve faced along the way. Would you be willing to talk a bit about that process?
I got it into my head to chat to artists and makers about their experience of taking part in an ongoing creative challenge - like a 30-day, 100-day or even 365-day thing. In addition to hearing about people's creative journeys, what their goals are, and what prompts them to start, I was really interested in the mental and emotional processes that go into this sort of challenge
"I'm a strike-while-the-iron's-hot kind of girl," was Bridget's response to my studio visit enquiry, so we made a date for that Wednesday morning and hopped on the metro to meet her at her Woodstock studio.
In August, on a bit of a whim and a sniff of inspiration, I decided to run a month long course consisting of daily creative activations for stuck creatives. I put the word out there, and people seemed keen so I jumped right in and designed a daily creative exercise to send out for the month. It grew into something really special, and I ended up not just cheerleading from the sidelines, but really going through my own process of pushing to a new level of concentrated creativity.
An idea. I had an idea to start a project focused on a month of creative activation. I chatted to some of you about it on Facebook and you seemed keen to get involved. Really keen. Why? I know so many people who want to write, paint, draw, sing, create, entrepreneur (?), and get stuff out there but are somehow stuck. How about we do something about that?