Creative Jumpstart
Art Journal Every Day: Two New Tape Bound Junque Journals

Second Floor Challenge: Wrapping Up

Header2

In March 2012, I wrote:

I no longer wanted to be swept along.  I was spending so much time and energy getting work done (class samples, instructions, assignments from manufacturers or magazines, etc.) that I hadn't been taking the time to experiment and play and fail.  And I was scared that I was getting stuck in an artistic rut doing the same old things over and over because I knew they would work.

I happen to be a great believer that all success rises from the ashes of failure.  Mediocrity is all you get if you never fail.  And yet it would be irresponsible of me to push myself to the point where something might fail when I'm working on an assignment or a class sample.  Failure requires freedom and I knew I needed to set aside some free time....

...I believe that in one year, we'll all be better artists with a whole bag of new tricks.  As the old saying goes, a year from now you'll wish you had started today.  I'm hopeful that this project will inspire lots of people to take the time to experiment and push themselves a little further. 

Well, we didn't quite make it a full year with the challenge, but Nat and I had a good time encouraging each other (and hopefully you) to "take it to the Second Floor."  Here's a look back at what I made:

Challenge #1: Gold Paint

Gelliprinting

Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #2: Use Something New

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #3: Truth

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #4: Circles

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #5: Found Object

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #6: Use a Pencil

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #7: Just Five Items

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #8: 3 or More Stamps

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #9: Embossing Powders

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #10: White Cardstock

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Challenge #11: All Six Primary & Secondary Colors

image from balzerdesigns.typepad.com
Read about what I did.

Read about what Nat did.

Here are some of the wonderful things that came out of the Second Floor Challenges for me:

  • I have 100% and without question internalized the whole notion of "taking it to the Second Floor."  No matter the project, I always look to see how I can push it further.  In fact, in later challenges this became a bit of an issue as my comfort zone kept expanding and I wasn't sure how crazy I'd have to get to fulfill the challenge!
  • I now consistently make time to create art for "no reason" and just to play.  And I've even gotten much more comfortable with sharing my failures.  After all, the only true failure is not trying.
  • The Second Floor challenge helped me to fall in love with my Gelli Plate, create some awesome and uncomfortable paintings, reconnect to beading, and open my mind to possibilities I hadn't even considered.
  • I learned a lot about myself as an artist.  Look at this collection of work.  I see a distinct style -- even across so many different formats.  I love color, pattern, circles, and a slightly off-center composition.

I'm so glad to have spent the past nine months engaged in pushing myself to try harder and leap without looking.  I know those are lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my artistic life.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Comments