What with today being January 1 and all, a day ripe with possibilities for beginning new things, I’m kicking off a new "get my creativity flowin’" project for myself: The 3×5 Project. Why 3×5? Because the whole thing centers around three-inch-by-five-inch index cards.
Here’s the deal: Every day during 2008 (stop scoffing!), I plan to do something on a 3×5 unlined index card. That might be a drawing or cartoon, it might be a word I want to use more, it might be an inspirational quote or song lyric… but it will be something done by hand on one side of a 3×5 card.
I’ve got a number of reasons for trying this project out. One is to see if I can make myself stick to some project that I have to do every single day for a year — the day’s card might take me two hours or it might take me five minutes, but I need to stick to doing it every day. Theory has it doing this every day will help build up some semblance of discipline; we shall see.
Two is the hope that by limiting myself to such a small canvas, I’ll actually open up my creativity — I get so overwhelmed by large empty white spaces that I seize up and can’t think of anything to do. Also, I have this terrible tendency never to finish anything I start (ref. "lack of discipline" above). There’s no reason not to finish something so tiny, so I’m hoping to instill a "finish it, dammit" habit in myself.
Two-A: I’m hoping that opening up my creativity will lead me to try new things. Trying something new stylistically can be scary on a large scale, but trying something new in such a small space should be less intimidating.
I’m putting a few rules in place for myself:
- Post a card every day.
- The day’s content must fit entirely on one side of a three-by-five index card.
- No repeating subject matter — if I draw a picture of, say, Harry Potter one day, then I must be Harry Potter-free for the rest of the year (though related subjects are OK, once each). Exception: if I decide to do some sort of series or sequential narrative, that would likely require multiple drawings of the same thing.
- No computer coloring or touch-ups or manipulation of any kind other than standard color correction. What you see is what I scanned.
- No "carding" ahead — each day’s card must be created on the day it’s posted.
Kicking things off, I drew a quickie shot of Superman, because when I don’t know what to draw, I always draw Superman — so I thought doing so might get things cranking a bit and would mean I couldn’t fall back on my familiar crutch and draw him again (see Rule 3 above). So here you go:
Estimated time: 20 minutes or so. Not fantastic, but hey, it’s done, and it’s not too bad for twenty minutes’ time with pencil and pen.
If anyone’s got any suggestions for subject matter or for additional rules or, well, anything, really… bring ‘em on! And wish me luck! Or perseverance. No, wait… luck.