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A Project on Projects: Do It Anyway December

November 22, 2020
A recent mixed media sketch. And a little humor. If you feel this way about projects, maybe it’s best you don’t read today’s post?

 

A couple weeks ago I asked the Tier 3 subscribers on my Patreon Blog what they wanted to talk about in the upcoming webinar. Their responses surprised me: project generation and color theory.

OK the color theory questions weren’t surprising, but the project questions were.

I sat down and started thinking what to do, how to break things up, how to give enough attention to things while not burying everyone in hours and hours of video.

Projects

I’ve written a ton about projects on this blog RozWoundUp. Sadly many of those posts now fall into a category that didn’t make the transfer from another blog platform well. There isn’t time and expertise for me to fix them quickly right now.

But I know many of you have read those posts in real time when they came out. And others of you have been in my Drawing Practice class where project discussion was always handled.

Still there are similar questions about how to generate ideas for projects and set parameters and such. So I asked myself, “What can I do differently?”

I realized I could just jump into the webinar and encourage them all to start a project, of their own devising—I could present suggestions on how to do this, and get them going.

Then of course  “pester” them on the way.

My Goals as a Teacher

As a teacher of drawing and art methods and as a book artist who teaches visual journaling, my big goal has always been to make it habitual for students to access their creativity every day. And I find that projects such as daily drawing and journaling really get that habit set firmly.

It has also always been a goal to encourage students to have independence—so they can work on projects that matter to them, not subjects dictated to them.

I think it helps us understand ourselves and our voice in the world when we put our energy into projects we devise for ourselves. Additionally people who devise their own projects based on things that matter to them have a higher success rate of completion, and a greater satisfaction level at the end of a project.

And of course don’t get me started about the momentum issue!

But if you haven’t been in the habit of setting your own projects it can be difficult to know where to start.

Instead of writing more posts about this topic I decided to talk about it in “step form”; get the Tier 3s to think about it; and get them to launch a project…even though it’s during a pandemic and the holiday season and new year are upon us.

Life is always throwing things at us—fun things, stressful things, commitments, deadlines, etc.

One of the main principles of my approach to drawing and journaling is that there is no perfect time to start, or continue, and of course no perfect time to do a project.

So Saturday in the Tier 3 Webinar I started a project on projects.

I’m mentioning it here in a public post because I know my blog readers and past students may want to join in this process.

Anyone can do that by simply subscribing to this Patreon blog at the Tier 3 level.

But this is something that you want to do as soon as possible if it is something you think you need to work on, because there is already homework that needs to be completed before Thanksgiving, other homework to be completed before November 30, and then of course the project and your “seeking” to be done throughout December.

It’s a one-time thing, we’re doing it now. If you want to join in you can.

Additionally in December and January I’m going to be answering questions about color theory that Tier Three subscribers. I gave them a heads up about this because I thought some of them might like to make some sort of study of color theory their project and dovetail their work with my presentations.

What Is This About?

I want you all to look deeply at what it is you love. I want you to look at the reasons you make art and what you want to say artistically. I want you to say good bye to your internal critic. And most of all I want you to know what it is like to be in questing mode 24/7, while still doing all the “necessary” things that we all need to do—such as cook for ourselves and others, meet family and relationship commitments, work, etc.

This Project on Patreon/Roz-Interim Is an Excuse-Free Environment

In this detail of today’s image you can see how I worked opaquely with watercolor in the hood section of the sketch. Earlier layers were brush pen and watercolor. But I was working on a drawing paper (D&S sketchbook, about 8.5 x 11 inches, from Hahnemühle), and I could tell the paper wouldn’t take more watercolor, so I got out some color pencils. Then when the paper dried out it was time to play with opaque paint and texture. I love it when a plan comes together.

If you’ve taken Drawing Practice, or any of my classes actually, you already know that my classes, and in this case this project, are always excuse-free environments.

That means that there is no grumbling about the weather or the dog eating your work. There is no detailing the difficulty you’re having with a sore toe, constant headaches, or even COVID.

Tier 3 subscribers at Patreon who decide to follow through on this invitation are going to be showing up with their work and letting the work stand on its own (if they decide to post it—it’s not necessary to post). Because they know EVERYONE has difficulties, stresses, and pets who have total disregard for creative works done on paper!

And to talk about that is boring.

But to Do and DISCOVER… Well that’s the most exciting thing there is.

If you have trouble understanding this concept you’ve probably got a really healthy and loud internal critic. That’s something I’m sure we will be talking more about in the weeks to come. I already talked about it in Saturday’s video.

Serendipity

I decided on Friday to handle Saturday’s webinar as the start of a project about projects.

I knew I was on the right track when I was eating my lunch Saturday before the webinar.

I’d turned on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” from the night before. He was interviewing LL Cool J who said, ““You need to be more than curious—SEEK.”

That’s what I’m hoping people will push for in the next few weeks.

I know it will be difficult because of the time of year. That’s why I call this project, “Do It Anyway December.”

How Do You Participate?

You can participate in “Do It Anyway December” by deciding you want to create and work on a project in December, and by signing up for the Tier 3 subscription to the Patreon blog.

But you’ll want to do it soon because the project has already begun.

You’ll be able given access to the Facebook group; you’ll be able to view the Saturday video providing additional instructions for actions you need to complete before Thanksgiving and November 30.

Then during December you’ll be able to post about your project in a “no excuses” environment, working on the concepts of idea generation in general, and on the discovery of topics and themes which mean the most to you and your art.

Artists of any level can participate. You will need to work daily on the generation of ideas and your project as explained in first video. (In fact that’s your first task—arranging your schedule so you make time for your creative life—all by Thanksgiving.)

You don’t have to post on the Facebook group, however it’s there if you want other people to weigh in.

Note: In addition to having access to posts about this project, a subscription to the Tier 3 level of my Patreon blog gets you access to all posts on that blog, including sketching and painting demonstrations.

How to Look at This

I am not doing classes any more. I decided to do this “project” because a bunch of Tier 3 subscribers asked a range of questions that lends itself to this approach.

I look at this as a spontaneous class. It allows me to say some things about projects and idea generation in a different way from how I’ve addressed it before.

It’s not something I’m going to be doing again in one month or two.

This is a response to Tier 3 subscribers; and in 2 months I’m sure they’ll be asking me different questions and we’ll be doing different things.

If this current project on projects is something that interests you I suggest you join in.

Please don’t comment below about how this is something that you would love to do if it were at a different time. We’re all adults and we make choices. I’m choosing to do this now. You get to choose whether or not you join in or not. It’s a big ask, getting people to sit down at this time of year and have a deep dialog with themselves. I think perhaps there has never been a better time.

Three months from now when you think your life is calm enough to do something like this—well, that’s just the point isn’t?

Creativity doesn’t wait for calm. Creativity is something we work with every day. It’s something we “do anyway.” And creativity becomes something that sustains us no matter how stressful or chaotic our lives become.

    • Tyanne
    • November 24, 2020
    Reply

    I just love this painting. It is really fun.
    I am also really inspired by the last two sentences of this post which are going into my journal today

    1. Reply

      Thanks Tyanne. I’m really glad you like this one. I just loved every moment of doing it and wish the computer had not been broken when I sketched it. I’m glad you liked those last two sentences!

    • Jeanne Rogge Steele
    • January 4, 2021
    Reply

    Hello Roz,
    I am cataloging and transcribing the journals of a dear friend, talented artist, who died almost three years ago. She was a fan of yours; was planning to go to Italy with you the summer before she died. I would love to talk with you about the ethical, loving, practical way to preserve her journals — kept over three decades, maybe? Or, if you don’t have time to talk, perhaps you can give me some pointers about (a) copying/scanning the watercolors and pencil art, and (b) other considerations about journal entries. My main goal is not to let this gift she left behind sit on a shelf or get ruined by grandchildren’s spilled milk:-)
    Hope to hear from you, and happy 2021!

    1. Reply

      Jeanne I responded to you via email, thanks for your acknowledgement that you received my note.

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