#UNRULY365 ... my creative challenge for 2018


In 2017 I painted every, single day. I started the year out thinking there was no way I could follow through on my commitment to creating every day. As the days and weeks progressed and I didn't miss a day, I felt the most empowered I have in years. It was a powerful reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to.

This isn't a new revelation. I've always known this, but somewhere along the way, I forgot. I lost faith in myself and though creating something each day was originally about just creating, it turned into a daily reminder that I can commit to myself and make things happen. I can do hard things. I can make sacrifices for the things I want. Yes, I painted every day, but it was so much more than that. It was completely transformative. I couldn’t have told you a year ago, but this was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I'm not the same person who started this 365 days ago. I’m braver. I’m stronger. I believe in myself in a way I didn’t a year ago. I’m bolder. I’m more open. And I’m a better artist.

So, it's no surprise that as 2017 ended, I felt a little sad. I was grieving the end of my Year of Creative Habits and I knew I wanted to do extend my daily creative practice beyond 2017. But, I didn't want to do exactly the same things. 

As I was coming up with ideas for 2018, I kept coming back to the idea that I wanted (needed) something that stretched me in a way I haven't been stretched yet. I wanted to see tremendous growth at the end of 2018. This is what I came up with: #UNRULY365.

What is #UNRULY365? For starters, it's about being UNRULY. For so long, I have been paralyzed by rules and doing what other people tell me is okay or right. No more. I'm going to do what I want to do. Fuck rules. Fuck what everyone else is doing. Fuck the establishment. I am an artist. What I create has value. I don't need other people to tell me I'm worthy or my work is meaningful. I am and it is. I'm creating something every single day and I'm listing it to be sold. I'm going to stretch myself, put myself out there and actively sell work. 

Here are the specifics of what I'll be doing for #UNRULY365:

  • One piece of art each day of 2018
  • Each piece will be 11x17
  • Each piece will be listed on my website and Instagram to be sold. 
  • They will be listed the day after creation.
  • Each piece will sell for $100.
  • Each piece will ship for free.
  • At the end of each month, I'll donate 10 percent of my sales to This is My Brave, an organization that is working to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues through storytelling.
  • Finally, I'll be writing on daily on this blog about how the healing power of my art practice, how my art has saved me. 

How's that for ambitious, bold and UNRULY? When I told my daughter my plan, she said: "But won't that stress you out?" Yes, it might. But it will also force me to stretch myself and make hard choices about how I want to spend my time. There were plenty of times in 2017 when I felt stressed out by the pressure of painting daily. But I also felt empowered when I figured out how to make it work.

Am I nervous or scared? Hell yes! I'm scared people will laugh at me. I'm scared no one will buy my art. I'm scared I've overcommitted. I'm all kinds of scared. But if I don't leap now, when will I? And I need this. I need to stretch myself and grow. 

Here's to an UNRULY 2018.