Creating art every day can be both exciting and daunting. At its best, it brings a sense of purpose and fulfillment to the artist’s life, allowing them to explore their creativity in new and exciting ways. However, this level of commitment can also be a double-edged sword, as the pressure to produce high-quality work can lead to burnout and creative blocks. In this article, we explore the promise and peril of creating art every day for a year, examining the benefits and pitfalls, as well as strategies for staying inspired and motivated throughout the creative process. Whether you’re an aspiring artist looking to challenge yourself or a seasoned professional seeking to push your boundaries, this article offers valuable insights to help you make the most of your everyday art-making.
Unlocking True Artistic Growth Through Daily Practice
The creative journey is a challenging one, where the pressure to produce work each day can be overwhelming, and the pursuit of perfection can often hold artists back. But what if daily practice is the key to unlocking true artistic growth? This is the philosophy of artists Noah Kalina, Jonathan Mann, and Justin Aversano, who have each committed themselves to daily art projects that have shaped their lives and their relationships with themselves and their communities. Their stories offer valuable lessons that can benefit any artist’s creative endeavors and daily life.
Noah Kalina’s Everyday
Noah Kalina is a photographer and artist best known for his Everyday series, a self-portrait project that spans decades. Kalina began taking a daily photo of himself at the age of 19, and now, at 42, has captured over 8,400 self-portraits. He first shared these images in a timelapse on YouTube six years after he began the project, and since then, several other videos have garnered over 45.7 million views.
Kalina’s success didn’t come overnight, however; he credits years of dedicated work to achieving the world’s attention. He believes that the project’s success comes from both its simplicity and the relatability that comes with doing something over and over again. Kalina added a new dimension to the project with the launch of everyday.photo, an interactive gallery of his Everyday collection.
Kalina remains committed to the Everyday project, stating, “There’s always the question with projects like this of ‘when does it end?’ I’m not really obsessed with doing it. I just started it, and at this point, it makes no sense to stop. And I think we all know how this ultimately ends.”
Jonathan Mann’s Song a Day
Jonathan Mann is a singer-songwriter and internet sensation known for his 14-year commitment to his Song a Day project. Mann writes and records a new original song every day, mints it as an NFT, pairs it with an illustration, and auctions it for 24 hours. His consistency has earned him tens of thousands of followers and established him as a leading voice for daily practice and artistic self-expression.
Mann’s success comes from his willingness to embrace imperfections and let go of expectations. He notes, “You never know what will happen when you sit down to make something. But the key is giving myself leeway, giving myself space to just let the song be whatever it needs to be that day. Whatever there is room for. Not putting too much pressure on myself.”
Like Kalina, Mann reminds himself that his Song a Day project is just a part of who he is, stating, “If you strip everything away, somewhere in there is the true ‘me,’ and that has nothing to do with being a father, a son, a husband, a song-a-day guy, an NFT bro, a musician, a Bob Dylan fan, etc.”
Justin Aversano’s Every Day is a Gift
Photographer, curator, creative director, and social entrepreneur Justin Aversano created Every Day is a Gift, a polaroid collection capturing different people celebrating their birthdays, taken every day over a year. The project led Aversano to wander the streets holding an “Is it your birthday?” sign daily.
While the pursuit may seem daunting, Aversano found that the benefits were plentiful, stating, “After the shutter clicks, there’s a relief, a calmness. The camera can create that feeling when you have an idea like this.” He embraced imperfection during the project, taking only one shot per day, regardless of the result.
Aversano found his daily practice taught him to “learn to live with the things you hate, learn to live with the things you think make you fail, and when you look at them and confront them, that’s actually what makes you better, that’s actually what makes you more diligent in your craft.”
The Bottom Line
The stories of Kalina, Mann, and Aversano demonstrate that daily practice can lead to artistic growth and personal discovery. By embracing imperfection and committing to the process, artists can unlock new levels of creativity and self-expression. As Kalina puts it, “doing something over and over again is inherently fascinating to others,” and with dedication and persistence, artists can achieve their own personal success.