And In The End

So, after a year, I feel like I should have something profound to say about 2020 Vision, the self-directed project that had me posting 800×800 pixel images on here each weekday of the year. After a year, though, it’s become so second nature that profundity feels almost impossible.

The basic idea behind it was that, essentially, improvising a daily image — going in with no plan, no preparation, and no expectation most of all, and just seeing what happened — would become both an exercise in unlocking something in my head creatively and a discipline thing that would get me over the hump in my brain that has made me second-guess any image making intent I’ve had since art school two decades earlier. (They fuck you up, those higher education establishments, they may not mean to, but they do.)

I’m not entirely sure the plan worked out, to be honest. At multiple times, the image making felt more of an obligation than a creative exercise, and something that I resented, or something close to it. I never actually got to the point of disliking the project, but I certainly got close a few times, especially on days where my workload got so heavy that I was all too aware that I had far too many other things that I should be doing instead. Things that would, you know, actually help pay my bills.

Yet I kept going, in part because I said that I would and I didn’t want to back down, and in part because it became a habit through sheer repetition. That felt like a problem in its own right; surely there was something wrong with continuing purely because of momentum and the creative version of muscle memory…? Or perhaps not; this was something I went into purposefully without expectation, so maybe any outcome was the right one.

The end is in sight now; as of Friday, a new year begins and 2020 is done. The project will be over, and I’ll stop making daily images. The question I haven’t really answered for myself yet is, will I keep making and posting them on an irregular basis, just because?

Making Plans In Public To Make Myself Say Yes

A random idea that I’m posting here in the hopes that it’ll prompt me to actually do it next year. I was reading the Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything book the other week, and there’s mention in there about how the company — really, its founder, Aaron James Draplin — approaches the corporate website, which could best be described by the phrase, “As if it was his personal zine from the 1980s,” which I respect the hell out of.

One thing he mentions — followed by a few pages of examples — is the graphic of the day, which is literally what it sounds like: each day, there’s a different graphic on the site, created by someone at DDC. I read that, and I thought, I want to try that.

Kind of.

One of the things I’ve done this year has been keep up this site in a more organized, intentional way. It was a discipline and an experiment at once; I came into 2019 a different person than I’d been and in a different life, and there was something about actually writing for myself here that felt like an important part of that — of rediscovering what I’d write here, given that chance, but also, of doing something for myself. I knew my limits, so I didn’t try to do daily posts, but I also knew how lazy I was and how easily I’d give up without structure, so I decided I would try to post three times a week. That seemed reasonable.

(I keep forgetting that this wasn’t a New Year thing for me; I started midway through January, for some reason.)

Anyway, so I’m thinking I’ll try to do a graphic of the workday thing, running Monday through Friday each week through all of next year, with the following rules to make things easier for me:

  • The graphics can be old or new.
  • The graphics might be photos, sketches, graphics or whatever else I decide. A visual element of some kind.
  • The graphics don’t have to be by me, although ideally they’d predominantly be.

I figure that I’ve had enough fun doing the THR graphics weekly — and that it’s been refreshing enough creatively — that this could be something good for me. If I choose to actually do it. I even have a name for the series, if it happens: 2020 Vision. Because, you see, it’d run through 2020.

Now. Let’s wait to see if I actually end up doing it.