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June Prompt 2
The second prompt for this month is…
So far this year we've had the chance to work on our prompts in one and two week segments. For “develop” you'll have the opportunity to work in a longer time frame--4 weeks if you'd like!--because following the next check-in is a 2 week rest and catch up period. This is a great time to work on a series, to take a technique or idea you've tried once and expand on it, or learn something new and spend time practicing. And you don't have to work on it everyday, you can spread it out over the 4 weeks and work on a loose and leisurely schedule.
Because I'm interested in just about everything, I tend to jump from one thing to another in my sketchbook--I think that's fine because experimenting is important but there are pages I've made that I'd love to expand on and try more to make more variations or versions! This gives me an opportunity to focus on that.
As always, how you want to spend your time in the upcoming weeks is totally up to you and you can always see how you're feeling along the way and adjust accordingly. Below are ideas for creating a series and other ways you can explore this prompt!

Where do you want to spend your time and what do you want to develop?
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  • Make 10 More. This phrase came from artist Louise Fletcher and the idea is to literally make 10 more (or 20 or 30…) of whatever it is you have created to practice and hone your skills. It's an interesting exercise to see how each iteration changes. She explains more in this email (I love receiving these, you can sign up here.)
  • 365 Days of Self Portraits Louise took the idea of 10 more and did 364 more! Talk about a series! You don't have to do so many days but I wanted to share for inspiration!
  • Or take time to develop just 1 piece. With more time you can focus on something more detailed and intricate, larger in scale, or with many components. Do a little bit each day or schedule time each week to work on this.
  • Develop some film. Incorporate photos in your work (in a collage, as the background layer, to paint or embroidery on) or use the undeveloped film strips if you still have any. 
  • Here are some photo transfer ideas to try: blender pen photo transfer (I wonder if the blender markers I have from brush lettering would work? I'll have to check!), acrylic paint transfer, gelli paint printing (which I've seen some of you do before! :)), packing tape image transfer
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  • Create a series. Look back on the work you've already done this year: is there a page or technique that stands out and you'd want to expand on? Try creating versions in different colors, use the same composition but with different materials, or pick a subject/theme. I've thought about taking my 4 way self portrait and making some of other people, animals, flowers, etc. and I have had plans to take my energy piece and try it with other words (I think this is what I will be working on!)
  • Hone a new skill. Spend some time trying a new style or tool. A formula I like to follow when trying something new is: 1) Spend time playing without any direction at all, 2) Learn the basic techniques 3) Follow a few easy tutorials 4) Try one of the tutorials on your own 5) Create a piece on your own. I've done this in a 7 day period with palette knives and a variation of this with painting clouds and collage techniques however it'd be nice to get to do it at a slower pace!
  • Some other ways to think about develop: grow, evolve, mature, expand, progress, blossom, flourish, begin, emerge, originate, arise.
  • Consider the opposite and decrease, lessen. Use a limited color palette, decrease your work time (add this 1 minute drawing exercise to your daily or weekly routine), allow yourself only a certain amount of materials to work with, pare things down and see where that takes you.
  • Play with layers. Take time to add more on. See how each layer helps to build the piece, how the colors and shapes change, how the style or feel morphs as you add to it. Here's some more info on how to work in layers, add depth with a collage layer, and a list of materials you can use to layer and their properties. Here's another interesting take on layers using paper.
  • Roberta Boffo has added 420 rings to this piece so far! The patience and precision in developing this piece is inspiring!

I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Ira Glass. You've probably heard it before and if you have, I invite you to read it again now, in the current place, mindset, and space that you're in and see how it feels in this present moment. It's great advice for the times you might feel stuck or discouraged and it felt fitting as we develop our creative practice and selves.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” - Ira Glass
I'm excited to see how you connect with this prompt and how you choose to develop it!
Talk to you soon,
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