The 7th annual challenge starts June 1, 2017.
while you are waiting
grab a journal and start
the Prompt60 Prompts
or the Muse30 Prompts

The Official List of Frequently Asked Questions
The 2017 Index-Card-a-Day Challenge
June 1 to July 31, 2017

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?

Starting June 1, 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 to 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. But it will be worth it!

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. 

What do we do with our index cards?

This is up to you. Anything goes. Make flash cards to teach yourself Russian. Paint with acrylic paints. Drip india ink. Dye with espresso. Practice origami folds. Stitch. Sketch. Doodle. Stamp. Collage. Cut up weave the pieces back together. Write Haiku poems. Document your paint collection. 

How do I keep track of what on earth is going on with ICAD?

  1. Each year, I develop a fresh ICAD Index with links to everything ICAD. There will be a new index for 2017.
  2. Here's the home page and starting point for ICAD. It's also really pretty. 
  3. Get the blog feed in your favorite feed reader.
  4. Subscribe to the monthly Daisy Yellow Newsletter.

How can I participate?

Share your index card creations on social media. 1000's of folks doing the challenge will do the same. All of that creates a super bunch of fun. Use tags #dyicad2016 and #icad2016 {next year we'll use #dyicad2017 and #icad2017}

Instagram: Find me at gypsy999 on instagram.

Inspiration & Insight & Ideas

  1. Get the ICAD Kick-Start Guide
  2. Get 101+ Ideas for Index Card Art.
  3. Get an authentic, organic, digital, heirloom ICAD badge
“As so often happens, the thing left undone tires you most of all, you only feel rested when it has been accomplished.” 
José Saramago

Are there prompts?

The prompts for each week will be posted weekly.
You can find links to all of the prompts from the ICAD Index.

Each week, there's a THEMATIC PROMPT  {i.e. maps or nature or pens/pencils} which is fairly broad, like a technique or medium or a general topic.

Each day, there's a TOPICAL PROMPT {i.e. cartoon, geometric, parasol, zombie}.

Historically, about 52% of challengers follow the prompts. 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 not. 

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.

How much does it cost?

ICAD is FREE. If you find value in the content, prompts, tutorials & challenges at Daisy Yellow, please contribute to the Tip Jar. Any amount is appreciated! Contributions help support the endeavors and free content here at Daisy Yellow. 

How Do I Register?

There's no registration required! 

What should I do with my cards?

Stack them up and take a photograph! Experience the sense of accomplishment! There is no goal other than finishing the challenge, creating 61 cards in 61 days. Investing time in YOURSELF and your ART PRACTICE is the win here, not the finished work! What matters is NOT collecting a bunch of index card creations but that daily bit of creativity on a blank canvas which is not precious.

You will eventually find a purpose for your cards. You can give your cards as gifts, attach them to your art journal, write poetry on the back, make an inspiration wall with your cards, tack them to a cork board, put them on the fridge with little neon magnets, sew them into a quilt, file them in a collaged recipe box, collect them in a binder or photo album, mail them to friends. Poke holes in your ICADs and place them on a huge metal jump ring. I promise that you don't need to know what you'll do with your cards. We don't need to know what we will do with our art. It is the EXPERIENCE that makes the difference, not the stack of cards. 

Any other tips?

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. 

ICAD is free to participate, but it is not free to bring it to you. There are months of work behind-the-scenes. If you find value in the challenge - if it has made a difference in the way that you approach your creative work - please consider purchasing a Zine or contributing to the Tip Jar. These things make a big difference and help 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. Thank you to the folks who have contributed to the Daisy Yellow Tip Jar {aka the coffee fund}. It means a great deal and helps me know that my work makes a difference in your life. 

What is the history of the index-card-a-day 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.

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 © 2011-2017 Tammy Garcia.