The 2018 Index-Card-a-Day Challenge
Official Frequently Asked Questions
June 1 to July 31, 2018

The challenge is about the DOING and not the
It is the process of creating each day that matters.

An annual creative challenge
Facilitated by Daisy Yellow
Buy a pack of index cards
♥ draw ♥ doodle ♥ write ♥ collage ♥
♥ paint ♥ haiku ♥ stamp ♥ stitch ♥
61 DAYS : 61 CARDS


 What on earth is ICAD? 

Create something on an index card every day for 61 days. Note your card number [ICAD #1, ICAD #2...] on the reverse of each card. The day YOU start is your official ICAD #1. 

Motto: You do not need to catch up, just start.

The idea is not to multi-task with 99 other things that you are doing, to check the box, to halfheartedly commit. Whether you are a botanist, a physical therapist, a non-fiction writer, a Japanese language tutor, a TV reporter, a java programmer or an oil painter, you can absolutely benefit from the challenge. You do not need to consider yourself an "artist" to participate. I am a self-taught artist, so I do not have any sort of magic foundation in the arts. My background is actually in finance and accounting. And yes, I am one of those people who thinks that everyone is an artist. I will tell you that this is a totally do-able challenge. I've done it for 5 years in a row. It requires work and commitment.

Do we have to use index cards?

YES. Simple materials push you to think in new ways. Index cards are without a doubt "not" the perfect substrate. But they are abundant, so we do not hesitate to pitch them when the work turns into a catastrophe! Get index cards. They can be lined, gridded, plain, neon or dividers or rolodex cards. Most challengers use 3x5" or 4x6" index cards or the metric equivalent thereof. The maximum size for the challenge is 4x6". And yes, gotta be index cards. Not nice paper cut to size. That misses the entire point. We are working with a basic index card, not with a perfect substrate. 

How do I keep track of what's up with ICAD?

  1. Bookmark the 2017 ICAD Index. [New index will be launched mid-May 2018]
  2. Here's the home page and starting point for ICAD
  3. Get the blog feed in your favorite feed reader.
  4. Subscribe to the Daisy Yellow Newsletter.

What About Prompts?

The prompts for each week will be posted weekly on Sundays during the challenge. Find links to all of the prompts from the ICAD Index.

Each week, there's a THEMATIC PROMPT  
{i.e. maps or nature or mark-making} which is fairly broad, like a technique or medium or area of focus.
Each day, there's a TOPICAL PROMPT
{i.e. cartoon, geometric, parasol, zombie}.

Historically, about 57% of challengers follow the prompts. Actually, I don't have the hard scientific data to back that up! But that's my guesstimate! The prompts are 100% optional, so if you like them, you can use them. Or do your own thing. 


How much does it cost?

ICAD is free to participate. If you LOVE the challenge and it makes a difference in your LIFE please hit the Tip Jar!!! ⤵️⤵️⤵️

This blog is ad-free. Contributions help support the endeavors and free year-round content at Daisy Yellow. Your support helps me know that this all matters to you. I'm happy to be an indie blogger.  No sponsors, no sponsored posts, no employees, no fancy sales techniques, no pop-up ads, no tricks. 

Social Stuff

Share your index card creations!!! 1000's of creative people like YOU do the challenge each year! Use the hashtag so that you can find other challengers and say hello. All of that creates a super bunch of fun. 

Instagram Hashtag Use #dyicad2018 to find the ICAD tribe. I'm gypsy999. Our tag for 2017 was #dyicad2017 ⬅️ Go check out >13,700 cards created and shared on instagram alone! Even more in our private FB group. 
Flickr Group I am not kidding -- there are 17,000 ICADs in the group! SEVENTEEN THOUSAND. When I started ICAD in 2011, we convened @ Flickr and a small but mighty group continues to post each year!
ICAD Pinterest Board

Tips & Tricks?

Start brainstorming the materials, themes or techniques you'd like to explore. With a luxurious 61 individual cards to create, you've got endless possibilities. What would you like to learn? To practice? To refine? Where would you like to start? Where would you like to wind up? Anything goes, as long as an index card is your substrate and the card is a component of the design. 

Set aside a small work space and think about what time of day you'll work on your card each day in June and July. Will you work on your card after dinner each evening? At lunch sitting on a park bench? 

If you are traveling, think about what you'll need to take with you and how you'll incorporate art in your travels, your family trip to the beach or business trip to Tokyo. I've traveled for several weeks during each of the past three ICAD challenges. 

Can kids participate?

Definitely! There's an Index-Card-a-Day: Kid Version. My daughters do the challenge each year, in their own way. Get the kids involved! Kids generally like to work on their ICADs in batches, not necessarily one per day.

What is the history of the challenge?

I started index-card-a-day in 2011 on a whim. I was sitting in a cafe and wanted to draw. I happened to have a stack of index cards in the pocket of my backpack and drew some mandalas. I thought that it might be fun to draw a bunch of cards over the course of the summer.  

ICAD began in 2011 with a 92 day challenge.
Since 2012 ICAD has been a 61 day challenge.
2018 marks year EIGHT!!!

Copyright Info

Please respect the work that I have put into developing the challenge, supporting materials & prompts. Do not copy/paste the prompts or Tammy's index cards to your blog or website or distribute in paper or electronic format without permission. The challenge is a labor of love but the content and copyright are that of Daisy Yellow.

Design, content and images © 2011-2018 Tammy Garcia.