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Creativity October 26, 2014

#15MinArt – 15 Minutes of Art a Day for 30 Days

Today I am launching a daily art project that quite honestly I wanted to do for purely selfish reasons. I’m going to spend 15 minutes on art once a day for 30 straight days, posting the results to Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #15MinArt. I wanted an excuse to be more disciplined, an excuse to play with my watercolors, and excuse to have fun with art without a monetary gain attached to it. Now that I’m doing more artwork on a professional basis, I need to actively nurture time for art just for the sake of art. I know myself well enough to know I need to be proactive against burnout (I once went about 7 years without doing any visual art because I wasn’t proactive enough to keep myself from hating it).

I posted the above image on Instagram and Facebook the other day, fully expecting all of one person to join me. I was genuinely, pleasantly surprised to see a whole lot more than one person interested in taking on this challenge, too! What started as a selfish goal quickly turned into a community building project, one that I cannot wait to start. Suddenly the reasons for doing this became a lot bigger than me. So I wanted to write a post about why I’m doing this in the hopes that even more people might hear about this and want to join in on the action.

In addition to the goals stated above, I really wanted to dive deeper into being a more public artist. I’ve been extremely private about my art over the years, mostly because what ends up on paper rarely lives up to the ideas I had in my head when I started. My perfectionism can be great for pushing my skills, but is horrible for my confidence and and pure enjoyment of the process. So just to hold myself accountable, here are the reasons I am taking on my own #15MinArt Challenge:

  • To be more transparent with my artwork, in the hopes of judging less and enjoying more
  • To push my skills, in the hopes of finding new ways of creating in less time
  • To push my creativity, in the hopes that I can get better at coming up with cool ideas under pressure
  • To be less perfectionistic: by forcing myself to post every day, even when I absolutely know that more than half of what I create I will end up hating.

As I thought more about the project, and all the ways I could potentially stretch the ways that “15 minutes” is spent per day, I wanted to set some rules for myself. These don’t have to be your rules. They are mine, though, so that I can get as much out of this project as I can. And I want to make my own rules public so that I can’t ‘cheat’ myself. Mostly, I’m setting these rules and writing this post because this project is already intimidating me, and I haven’t even started yet. The “What Ifs” rolling around in my brain are already eating away at my creative inspiration. I just need to get this shit out there and get on with it. I know there will be gifts to be found, and I can’t find those gifts if I let myself off the hook or chicken out.

My #15MinArt Rules:

  1. I will set a timer for 15 minutes and stop immediately when the timer goes off.
  2. I give myself permission to spend time planning that doesn’t count towards the 15 minutes. I can’t get much done if I need time to set up paints/easels etc.
  3. I give myself permission to hit pause if I need drying time, to go to the bathroom, etc. But I CANNOT stop the clock to do more ‘composing’ in my head. Once I start, I’m committed to finish no matter what.
  4. It is OK to use printed materials or repurpose parts of old works.
  5. There are no do-overs or start-overs due to mistakes. I will force myself to work with what I have, and try to make something beautiful out of unintended course changes.
  6. If more rules need to be made as this project progresses, then I can add them as needed.

Your #15MinArt Rules:

I anticipate getting some questions along the way about how to participate if you want to join in. Here are my thoughts about what will make this a great group project for all:

  1. You can jump in at any point – you don’t have to do the full 30 days.
  2. The art has to be yours – though collage work or using clip art is fine, the end result is on your shoulders.
  3. All artistic mediums are welcome.
  4. Straight photographs don’t count, but those with heavy retouching or Photoshopping are OK.

Community #15MinArt Rules:

Since this has quickly turned into a group project, I hope ya’ll will play nice with each other.

  1. Please don’t criticize unless the artist has asked for constructive suggestions about their work.
  2. Please DO share and promote each others posts as you see fit – we’re doing this to encourage each other!

I can’t think of much else to add – though if you have something to say, please chime in on the comments! Now I’m off for Day 1 – I’m a little nervous, OK a LOT nervous… but let’s make this happen! 🙂

  • Crystal Foth
    Crystal Foth
    October 29, 2014

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting me to paint again. I’ve painted all of about 1 painting since my daughter was born – she’s now 6! Taking the time to just paint and create is something I’m looking forward to each day. The 15 min. time limit is making it easier for me to confront painting without tons of expectations. Otherwise I get stuck in my head and have the perfectionist need to make a “great” painting and not just make art for the sake of making art. I find I have to just trust my gut with the limited time and paint a bit more intuitively which I love. Thank you again for such great inspiration! So far – I’m 3 days in and still going!! <3

  • Wendy
    October 29, 2014

    You bring up such an amazingly important point about having to trust your intuition to finish the painting while on the 15 minute time limit. I wholeheartedly agree, and hadn’t noticed what a huge gift that is until you mentioned it! So thank YOU! <3

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  • angela
    May 27, 2015

    I love this concept I’m not an artist but a colorist. I’m going to do the challenge