Art as Part of Life

"Life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude,
then clusters when there is hardly time to breathe."
May Sarton

The index-card-a-day challenge is a gentle way to help you instill a new habit, a good habit, in your daily life. I like to say that it is deceptively simple, just do something on an index card every day for 61 days. That's it! But is that really all there is to it? For example, how do we make time to actually work on our index cards? Do we try to squeeze in the time or do we trade-off something else? If your life is already overflowing with responsibilities, work stuff, kid stuff, roles, jobs, conference calls, relationships, health issues, pain management, volunteer work, meeting Belinda for coffee, tidying up for play dates, picking up a gallon of milk on the way home, helping your child study vocabulary or making a costume from the roman empire, a broken phone screen, folding laundry, what do you do? For me, it was a trade-off.  

A few quotes from A Woman's Guide to a Simpler Life by Andrea Van Steenhouse:

"Simplifying life isn't easy. It requires searching our souls, which can be painful, and changing our priorities, which can be difficult. If we are working not he assumption that if it is right, it ought to be easy, these tasks will be unimaginable."

"A simpler life is one in which the knowledge of what matters dictates all that surrounds us. It is a life lived with the courage to let go of what our hearts know does not belong. It is a more balanced life, not a more expert balancing act."

So it appears to be simple, yet we must make the decision to make a change and allow that new habit to be instilled. And that part is the much more complex. After the first few years of the challenge, participants starting telling me that ICAD had changed their lives. Seriously? Could it be so? Maybe it's not really the art but the benefit of focusing on creative work, taking time for yourself? I want to embrace that, bring it in to our process, to add content this year to broaden the experience. I think that will be one of the important aspects of the challenge in July.

In June, we are all energized and happily creating. And then after about a month it's like... well, there's a lull in the excitement. And that is when we need to remember why on earth we are doing a creative challenge in the first place. What changes do you want to make? And how can a creative practice help us?

Here's an interesting podcast from The Good Life Project about how simple {albeit well-thought} solutions are often the best solutions. It's a bit less than an hour. 

There's a new Index Card Art Zine, a special issue of the Zine, with 100+ ideas for small format art. It's a kick-start for creative endeavors.