Friday, April 1, 2011

Best Year Ever.

This is a bit late - but here goes. So a bit over a year ago, I got an email about a participatory art project - which are always hard for me to resist. The rules were simple:  

1.    Decide to have THE BEST YEAR EVER!!!
2.       Find a notebook and fill it with the number one best thing you do each day for the whole year.  (for example -- the best thing I did today was think of this idea!) You can do one sentence updates, like twitter, or longer narratives or even drawings.  It needs to be done on paper and should be kept private throughout the year. 

While I liked the idea because of its positive, optimistic take on things, I was concerned that this would go the way of many projects I've started (especially journals) - I'm eager at first, but then life happens and I don't have the time and motivation to commit to them on an ongoing basis. 

A year later I'm proud to say that, unbelievably, I completed it! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!

Although I wasn't able to put something in it everyday at the end of the day, I did keep track of what happened, and then when I had time I would catch up on everything I was backlogged on. Somedays I did collages, some drawings, other days I just scrawled something down, whatever it took to reach the bare minimum. Mandated creativity and reflection is an interesting exercise. It reminds me of the project Natalie had to complete her art major in college, she had to produce some huge amount of drawings, but they didn't each have to be some huge masterpiece. It seemed to be more about the process of just pushing yourself to keep creating, pushing through it, the quantity seemed overwhelming at first, but then you get into a flow and some of the stuff you make is awesome, some if it is terrible, some forgettable and sometimes something totally new comes out of it. It was also interesting to push myself to think of something positive for each day - even if it was just "I survived the day." Another friend Alana related it to an exercise she has done where she takes time out of the day to think of what she is grateful for - another important way to step back and look at life.

Okay enough pondering, I'm just impressed with myself that I finished - even the girl who started the project didn't get around to finishing! I feel like this project really was some of the impetus for my renewed dedication to craftiness. And it's a pretty amazing way to take stock of the last year. Coming soon: I want to do some data analysis with accompanying graphs in regards to reoccurring themes from the year.

But for now (until I can scan more), here's the cover:

1 comment:

Lissa said...

Are you sure this isn't another of those April Fool's Tricks!