I'm 24 days into the 61-day Index Card A Day challenge, otherwise known as ICAD. There is no grand plan or award at the end of the challenge, simply that anyone participating makes a little daily art on an index card, one card a day for sixty-one days.
So far, I've collaged, painted, water colored, used markers, pencils, cut out book text, rubber stamped, and sorted through a not-insignificant amount of art supplies to use, that I'd otherwise forgotten about.
The cards typically take me just a few minutes to complete, committing to spend no more than 15-minutes on a card, often, and usually, having to just let it be what it is, whether I'm finished or like it. It's good therapy for learning to embrace imperfection, of which I need quite a lot. And in the mutually-beneficial spirit of sharing and also continuing to clean out the studio to just get rid of stuff, I've been turning them into post cards and sending them to a friend who didn't ask for them but is getting them all, anyway. One day at a time as I finish and mail them.
It's certainly been an inspiring pursuit. The thousand-plus people participating are at all skill levels, using a mind-boggling number of different mediums and techniques which have inspired me to stretch and try new things myself. I am a better Creative just for spending a few short minutes a day to get a little bit of color and markings down or a crappy index card.
And some aren't even visual artists. Several are writers using their card a day to write snippets of a longer story or just streams of consciousness. Anyone can participate, doing anything, so long as it's on an index card and they do it each day.
Importantly, though, it's lit a fire. I haven't been this creatively juiced for a long, long time. At 24 days in, I've now got a habit that starts with the daily card and then leads onto other creative endeavors. I have a Black Bear Film FestivalArt Bear I'm working on again this year, a Delaware Valley Arts AllianceRiverfest poster, several sculptures I'm working on in cement, and fabricating two costumes of 'armor' out of foam for and upcoming party.
And now it's leaching over into some writing projects for me, the first of which is a short story based on a phrase I used for one of the earlier ICAD cards, "the Golden Bowl, irreparably broken". It sets the mind ablaze, right? So I also reached out to an writer friend to see what he could do with the prompt, too.
Julie Cameron, the artist and author of "The Artist's Way" talks about the lulls between creative bursts and likens it to filling a well, one that you can then continue to dip into to fuel the creative spark. The well has apparently been filled.