Cup 365 of 365. 1st June 2017

Dayglo Finale

Prompt: make something LOUD!

With a definite nod to Mica Scalin, of course, here’s the fluorescent finale of my #Make365 project.

Throughout a project like this, you have a pipedream that the final piece of work will be amazing. A talisman of perfection to strive towards. What do we have here? Well, something pretty raw, not fantastically pretty hand-lettering and probably not all that it could be. But that’s life, right?

I wouldn’t have traded the circumstances for anything else. It was the start of June 2017. I was away on holiday with my family, staying in a fairly basic Youth Hostel on the South Downs Way.

As we were back-packing, I couldn’t bring lots of heavy art materials with me. So this was what I had. Memories of a glorious three days spending time with nature and the people I love. A communal carpet as backdrop, a bunch of fluorescent price-tags nabbed from WHSmith, a Papermate Flair and a strong desire to cross the Finishing Line without being too contrived and manicured.

I think one of the major lessons that you get from a long-term creative project is that you have to make it fit and make it work. You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your daily life, responsibilities or create daily masterpieces. Sure, some greater artists do in fact do this and treat it as a vocation.

However, if you are an ordinary person looking for some enrichment or a side-hustle, you can’t allow self-doubt or other basic obstacles, real or imagined, get in your way.

Ultimately, you are doing this for yourself to discover more about what makes your heart sing. It’s rewarding to catch people’s attention occasionally. It’s incredibly unhealthy to get dependent on that attention, or to wonder if people are quietly questioning your abilities and your motives. This stops you moving forward, trying new things, and discovering important new things about yourself.

I confess, one thing that irritated me a little bit, when I finished the Make 365 in June is people asking “Well…What’s Next?”

Their intentions were positive. However, it made me feel deflated. I had just spent a year consistently creating and publishing something new every day. I’d achieved this big thing. I wanted the time and space to reflect on the journey I had made.

The process of blogging and documenting all these pieces has certainly had its ups and downs, but I am very happy to have completed the full cycle. I now have a gallery of all the work and most of the thinking behind them, all recorded in one place. I hope those of you reading this blog have enjoyed a glimpse behind the curtain of my #Make365. Most of all, I hope that a few people develop the curiosity, desire and courage to continue to create throughout their adult life. Creating things is not the monopoly of artists, inventors and students. It’s a very human and fundamental skill which needs to be coaxed and kindled.

Bad art happens, but it doesn’t stop good art happening.

Everyone has a spark. They just need to find it and nurture it. You won’t find it, if you don’t try or go looking.

Keep trying, keep searching and enjoy the journey.

Kate McGhee
London, 2017.