Index-Card-a-Day 2014 challenge, post mortem

The finished beast.

The finished beast.

As I wrote in my previous entry, for the entire months of June and July, I participated in the art challenge Index-Card-a-Day, a.k.a. ICAD, run by the pretty and interesting website Daisy Yellow. The point of the challenge is to just create, spew out some art, nothing grand, nothing precious, just art, everyday, for two months. This is why the challenge involves using simple, cheap index cards as the base for this art-making. For exactly 61 days, you pick up art supplies and you put them to paper. There are prompts, which are not compulsory, and you have at it for 61 days.

I learned of this challenge through an internet friend I have known now for almost a decade whom I know as DIYSara, who also did the challenge this year, as she did on other occasions as well. I met DIYSara on the forums of, a site devoted to making one's own planners, instead of using pre-made ones.* We both drifted of the forums five years ago or so, but I met her again on Flickr and later on Twitter. I admire her true talent, and her extensive pen collection. She's nice too.

Since I was going to be going to and fro a lot in June, and was going to be away for most of July, I decided to use another base for ICAD than index cards. I had an unused Japanese pocket notebook from Moleskine (bought back when the company were still known as Modo i Modo and produced their stuff in Italy). I did not know what to do with it. It dawned on me that it was the perfect medium. Which it, I would not have to worry about losing cards or bending them, since they were all attached and had a hardcover! My other worry was that I did not know if I was going to have internet access when away in July. It turned out I was without any cell phone connectivity, so I was not far off. I wanted to use the ICAD 2014 prompts, but they were released once a week; what if I had no access at all? To alleviate this issue, I copied and dated every page of the note book, exactly 61 of them, with the prompts from another Daisy Yellow challenge, Paper-a-Day. And I was set!

I enjoyed this challenge tremendously. I have experimented with techniques I hardly ever use, like collage or hand-made stamping, and used some of the art supplies I use the least, like acrylics. It was cool! The results are rather interesting too.

If you take a look at my #ICAD2014 on Flickr, the first thing that strikes any observer is how much I loosened up over the course of the 61 days. My drawings at first were tight and simple. Boring even. Stifled. Then as the weeks go by, I found myself loosening up, falling into an ease of creation that shows through the pages. By the end, I was enjoying myself a lot and it shows. From cynical, the humour in my pages transforms to whimsy.

Nevertheless, the views on my set show that the page that was preferred most is from mid-challenge. I do have to admit, it's pretty funny.

I certainly will be doing ICAD2015 and I plan on using the 2014 prompts later. In the mean time, I'm doing 61 days of Slow Journaling in another Japanese sketchbook I just purchased for that very purpose.

In the meantime, here are two  favorites for ICAD2014.

* I don't know about you, but I used to throw out three quarters of the pages of the loose leaf planners I bought and never could find a bound planner that I really liked. The weekly planners from Moleskine are nice, but expensive and finite. By printing one's own planners, one can print exactly what one needs, in the form that one needs, with the extras one wishes, then decorate it like there is no tomorrow. I have blogged about this back on LiveJournal, but who cares about LiveJournal?

From the archives: I went digital (2009)

"Slow Journaling", jour 1

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