Saturday, 26 October 2013

The courage to be bad - introducing Art Every Day Month

Do you remember the 1980s TV series 'Fame'?  I love it!  In series 1, episode 4 - 'Alone in the Crowd,' we see the school's musical genius struggling to deal with stage fright and being unable to perform owing to fear of a bad reaction.  Towards the end and after having proved to young Bruno that he won't die even if he does get boo-ed, the music teacher, one Mr Shorofsky, says, "You don't get applause unless you grow.  And you don't grow unless you are courageous enough to be bad."  This really struck a cord with me.

You see, it's the same with other forms of art.  We don't grow, develop and improve if we're so afraid of making mistakes that we don't do anything!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get a bit paralysed when I'm faced with something I find difficult or that I'm not sure I can do well.  That's why I'm pleased that Art Every Day Month is about to start.

Art Every Day Month is co-ordinated by Leah Piken Kolidas, the same lady who runs the Creative Every Day annual challenge.  AEDM is like a miniature version of CED that runs each year in November and it's not just about paint and paper art.  She says:
I define art in the broadest sense. Your daily art might be a painting, or the beginning of one, or it might be a photo, a song, knitting, cooking, chalk drawings with your children, sculpture, poems on napkins, art journaling, crafting, dancing, etc...
So, whatever art means to you, qualifies for the challenge.  Why not join in?
Here are some ideas I had that one could spend a month exploring:

* The four seasons - winter, spring, summer and autumn, or just one of these.
* A stitching style - goldwork, stumpwork, blackwork, crewel
* A yarncraft - learn crochet, try a new knitting stitch each day
* A regional style such as hardanger embroidery, Japanese embroidery, Brazilian work, or even designs inspired by a certain country or even their script - endless ideas in Chinese characters!!

And so on.  There's also paper, pencil and paint-based art and that's something I've really been wanting to improve my meagre skills in for some time.  It's also something that I can really use Mr Shorofsky's wisdom on.  You see, like many people, I'll never improve in my skills and grow as an artist if I don't have the courage to be bad.  The courage to make mistakes.  The courage to 'waste paint and spoil paper' as one of the characters in my favourite Victorian novel, 'The Woman in White' says.  To take the risk of trying something that may not work out as I'd hoped and even look awful!

BUT: It may even look good, or maybe would be better if I tried it like this instead of like that.... However, this can only happen if one has the courage to risk being 'bad' and have a go.

So, what do you think?  Could you too have 'the courage to be bad' and to grow during November and join in the Art Every Day Month challenge next month?  It's a low pressure challenge and there are no forfeits for missing a day. Leah's realistic enough to acknowledge that life rarely goes as planned and that people have more pressing responsibilities than keeping up to a creative challenge.  However, it may give the impetus to have a go.  It will me and I'll be blogging my multiplicity of bad drawings, hopefully including a few passable ones, over on my Art blog.

Here are the latest cross stitch progress photos.  Only the sunflowers, the 'Summer' logo at the bottom and a little bit of top-stitching to be done now and I can get that chart sold and start on 'Autumn'.  Basically, I want to get these two stitched up and finished so that I can sell them in time to have the cash available to spend at the Harrogate Show in 4 weeks' time!!  There isn't really much that I plan to get, but I'd like to have the option to get anything I like the look of, if you see what I mean.=)

Coming back to the list of things that one could spend a month on, I'm thinking of opening up my own challenge during 2014 using topics like these.  Participants would spend a month developing ideas and/or skills in each of 12 areas of textiles and embroidery and then share the results with others.  Does that sound like something you might be interested in?  Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2013


Anna Scott said...

Thanks for the link to Art Every Day of the Month challenge. I am not sure where I will find the time but it sounds like great fun - I might just have to join up too.

Juno said...

Elizabeth, thanks for the link to AED. Your challenge for 2014 sounds really interesting, so count me in. Thanks for being prepared to open up something like this.

Queeniepatch said...

I love the 'summer' cross stitch and your stitches are so neat and tidy.
Brave enough to be bad at something? Well, I agree we need to take risks to grow and explore what we are good at and enjoy doing. A regular routine (a picture a day) is a good way to actually get started and keeping up the challenge.
As for me, I want to finish off WIPs and UFOs before I add another thing. My days are filled with 'duties' and I am constantly being at everyone's beck and call, so I might join in some day - in the future.

Rachel said...

It needn't take long, either - it's possible to do a watercolour in ten minutes, and if you're not panicking and being careful, they often work much better for being freer and a little more slapdash!

Anonymous said...

What divine needlework and so creative and healing ~ thanks, carol ^_^

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Yes, indeed I have the courage to be bad. I remember the first year I did art every day month I had only recently accepted the fact that my art was "real" even if back then it was mostly poetry, writing and theater... and now I've included visual art in a big way.... so much growth, yes... Mr. Shorofsky! :!)

Wendy said...

Again I thought of joining in with the Creative Every Day, but I actually DO do something creative everyday so don't need the prompt!

I would be very interested in joining in your series of challenges next year.