My Daily Design #191

Today it’s my mum’s birthday, so I opened part of her present (some licorice pastels) early to create this design. Happy Birthday mum!

Now that I’m past the half way mark I also thought I’d share an article I wrote for Design Assembly here too.

A Daily Design Project in Progress

On 1 January 2012, I started a crazy project called My Daily Design. It’s a daily project where I design the date in a different way every day during 2012. Since I’ve just passed the half way mark, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the experience so far. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of people interested in my project and get a lot of questions about it, so thought I’d answer some of the most frequent ones here:

Where did you get the idea?

Hopefully everyone’s heard of Jessica Hische and seen her Daily Drop Cap project, where she created a letter every day, going on to create 12 alphabets. As well as her, there are so many other creative people doing exciting daily projects which I kept discovering, so inspired by all these I decided to join in and do my own.

Why the date?
One of the great things about living in New Zealand is that we’re one of the first countries in the world to see in the day. This was the reason I based my project on the date. I also couldn’t find anyone else doing a date theme, so hoped that would give my project a point of difference. On 11/11/11 I realised that after the 12/12/12 a similar pattern wouldn’t happen again in my lifetime, so this also helped give me the push I needed to do it this year.

Are you enjoying yourself?
Or do you ever feel like you want to quit?
When I decided to actually do this project I realised it would be hard, but knew if I put my mind to it I’d be committed and complete it and now I’m over half way through, I believe I will. Some days it is so much fun and I completely enjoy it. Other days not so much. Luckily the good far outweigh the bad. The daily encouragement from my family, friends, people who follow me on twitter and subscribe to my blog really help keep me going!

I’ve also been lucky enough to join in on other projects along the way, including the ‘Be My Real Valentine 2012’ poster project, the ‘What The Frock’ project as part of First Thursdays, and the 100 days project. The 100 days one has been great, seeing others creating daily designs along with me, with the end nearing and wrapping up with an exhibition at the end of this month which I’m looking forward to.

Do you do a design every day or a few at a time?
When I started out on this project I hoped to ‘cheat’ a little bit and prepare a few at a time in advance, but I’ve found myself actually creating most of them at the end of each day, ready for the next day. Some involve more planning and taking photos in the daylight, so I generally try and do these the day before. In the weekends I tend to be a bit more relaxed and often just do them on the day. I find it helps me to stick to a routine and I enjoy the creating process every day, which was also part of the reason why I embarked on this journey.

Do you feel like your work is improving or changing?

Yes, slowly. People have started to comment that they’ve noticed it too, which is nice. Because I purposely create each day in a range of different styles and mediums, I find I don’t have time to develop one specific style, but I like this way of working and the variety keeps it interesting for me. Through this project I’m also beginning to discover and develop my own design style more, and naturally if you practice something every day your skills will improve.

Do you have any favourites so far?

This one’s always hard to answer, as there’s so many now. 10 January was one of my first favourites, and Valentine’s Day is a stand out for me too. Strangely, the first took hardly any time, and the latter I spent many hours over a few days gradually working on.

Obviously, as I’m posting these every single day they’re not all going to be great, and I quickly came to except that. I love hearing other people’s favourites and they often surprise me.

How is the project different to what you thought it would be?
I’m actually enjoying it more than I thought I would. I find myself obsessing over it sometimes, and there have been sleepless nights when I can’t stop thinking about upcoming dates. I don’t have to think of a subject each day, which helps. Randomly I thought I’d never have to ask for the date when filling out forms, but found that hasn’t actually changed. Trying to do new things is sometimes hard and of course there’s never enough hours in the day.

So there it is, my thoughts so far on this project. I’ve got 176 designs to go, with lots of exciting plans for those days! Thanks for your continued support, and I love feedback, so keep it coming.

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