My 365 day project will die soon

Mordid title: check. 

On my birthday, October 1st I commited to the vague plan of "making something cool" each day for the next 365 days. Like any plan it was a product of my current situation and mindset. I was feeling reawakened by design, and felt that I hadn't been myself the last year (I hadn't been regularly creating). I was excited, enthused, unhappy at work and so I had my plan to reinvigorate my creativity and that of anyone who was interested (my great friend India was a key supporter). 

Now creating every day is pretty normal; sometimes a chore but fortunately more often a delight (yeah I said designing is sometimes a chore...so what). 

But soon its all going to 'end'. I won't HAVE to create each day after September 30th. Everything must come to an end, but so far it hasn't troubled me. I expect the absense of creation will really strike me in October. 

3-6-5! So long. 

3-6-5! So long. 

What have I enjoyed?

The obvious one is that I will have made a lot of cool shit. Sure there was some duds (that's life) but I made some really cool stuff. I look different now. Before I feel like I was known for iconography but mostly had a single style. Now I feel like an illustrator as well as a designer; I've got much better and my style is more developed and varied. 

That's a win. I got my website set up at the start of the year and with #Create365 I've helped flesh it out and show off the type of creative I am. When I look back I get a sense of 'woah'. 

The @lemonpickledesigns channel has over 600 posts, which is pretty damn cool; it's great to see the 'proof' of the time I put into the project. 

Throughout the year of creation I've taken on some pretty awesome challenges. I did 2 months of daily (and exhausting) animation. I did 36daysoftype and 21palettechallenge. I'm really happy I did those and doing them with other designers was so much fun. 

On the instagram channel there were a number of regular followers who would often like the work, and post occassional comments. I rarely called these people out but I always recognised them. It was nice having a group of solid supporters. To be worth a space in someone's feed is a nice feeling! 


What was shit?

The worst part was perhaps the days when I was really demotivated. The expectation that I MUST create would overrule me and I would get down to it. Sometimes I would really get into it but the feeling of not wanting to, and knowing that I must was one I liked to rebel against. 

Creative block; what else. That's never fun. Or posting something crap; that wasn't a true representation of what I could do. 

Making a dud. Some days life was too crazy, or my effort didn't seem to amount to much and I would upload something less intersting than I would like. Yet I was treating each day as part of the experiment; I wasn't trying to impress anyone and so some days I would upload something that didn't set the world on fire (we've all been there). 

I guess another negative is that the instagram didn't achieve worldwide recognition...but then again I never expected it too. Different contributors and me changing my style all the while meant that we were always 'upsetting' our audience. But I always think first and foremost you must create for yourself and anything else is an unexpected bonus. If you create for yourself; how can you be dissapointed?

 

What have I learned?

I've learned...that I need a break (bahahaha). 

I think I've realised how much fun it is doing design challenges with others; and how that kind of collaboration can really push you to make cool stuff. So one-off collaboration of multi-week creation challenges is something I'll definitely revisit. I'd like to do something a bit different mind - maybe reach out to some instagram designers and propose collaboration.  In fact doing this with photographers would be great too (as I like photography). 

In all seriousness; I'm looking forwards to a break from daily creation. I might do other things. I might write more. I might do online courses and I hope to still create at least weekly (maybe less things, but each a little more in depth). 

After periods of growth I think it's good to have a period of rest. I'm looking forwards to recharging and gaining a better idea of what challenges I should do next. I ususally believe that the more creativity you use, the more you have. But that doesn't mean that 

 

Phew. Just 6 more days to go.

Did I create everyday? Nah. It would be nice to claim I managed it but life is really crazy at times and there were probably a dozen times when I had to catch up. But its the overall intend that matters; missing a day was the exception. 

I think in the future I'd love to keep creating, but try and change my energy towards creating fewer designs, but which are more thought out and complex.