I had a conversation with a buddy today. He's also an artist and we were discussing how difficult it is to actually make art; rather, we talked about how hard it is to squeeze art-making into our already packed schedules.
I shared with him a realization I had a few years ago, but hadn't ever actually found a way to implement it. At that time, it occurred to me that the reason I was able to be prolific with art-making while in college was because - in part - I had due dates in order to complete projects. At the time, I actually tried to make this happen, but without any real motivation (in this case, a grade), there was nothing to keep me from altering the "due date" at my personal convenience.
As we spoke, it became clear that this entire project is - among many other things - a daily due date over a year's time. Most of the time I look forward to making my self-portrait each day, but sometimes it truly is nothing more than an obligation. But making the artwork available to the world each day has built in the motivation to never try to put off the completion of each day's portrait until tomorrow..or the next day...or the next. And that has made a world of difference in my output as an artist.
#243 June 20, 2011, Charcoal and acrylic on illustration board