Ever heard of a 365 project? It’s like a New Year’s resolution, but instead of vowing to workout or eat healthier, you improve or learn a new skill. What is a 365 project? Simply put, it started with photo enthusiasts and it’s a commitment to taking one photograph every day for an entire year—every day, no exceptions.
365 beyond photography
And lately, I’ve seen different interpretations of 365 projects that go beyond photography—like daily drawings, writing and design. I’ve found it inspiring and I encourage people to try it out—it’s a unique challenge, and you will undoubtedly learn something new.
The intent of a 365 project is to improve or learn a craft, but the results will be much more. While it’s true that pushing yourself to do one creative endeavor each and every day is challenging, the return on your investment is well worth the commitment.
“Committing to a daily creative practice keeps our creativity engaged,
with the benefit of a small time capsule at the end of the year.
And, with the technology literally at our fingertips,
it’s as easy as picking up the phone.”
Pat Phalon, SVP Creative @ Primacy.
Fresh perspective served daily
The practice will make you look at the world or think differently, pulling inspiration from every sound, smell, thought, or interaction. It will make generating and appreciating art an everyday event. Here are some thoughts on how to get your project going:
- Technology can play a big role—your smartphone can be used as a camera to improve your composition skills or be used to photograph your daily art. There are apps like 1 Second Everyday to make your daily ritual easier to execute. Or, try Photo 365 (only on iOS) to organize your photos.
- Share and inspire. Social media and hashtags will allow you to share your work with a larger community that can encourage you to continue, and perhaps inspire others to take on a similar project.
- Baby steps. Start by taking just a few minutes a day to build the habit. Or simply commit to a shorter time frame. Tracey Tassinari, an Associate Graphic Designer at Primacy, committed to completing a 100-day summer Instagram project with original art and video work reflecting her daily emotions. If you can complete the entire 365 days, you’ll achieve an impressive goal and learn a lot—improving your skills, and your portfolio, along the way.
- Choose a theme. Use a central thematic or unifying idea to help focus your project; it can be as ambitious as learning photography…as specific as hand lettering typography…or as simple as capturing something new on your walk to work. Check out Brian McWilliam’s daily walk in Boston, for inspiration. Whatever you choose to do for your 365 project, be sure it’s something within reason and possible—your project shouldn’t be a burden, it should be fun. Push your limits, but keep it realistic.
Talk the talk and walk the walk
I’m a photographer and started a 365 project almost 9 years ago. I take a photo a day, pair it with a quote, and post them to my blog. At the end of every year I create a custom 200-page photo book that I distribute to my multiple family members and relatives.
It’s still a daily challenge, that sometimes can feel like a bit of a burden, but when I lack the motivation, I just think back to why I started my project in the first place. I think about the hundreds of photos and wonderful moments that never would have captured – some of them are best images in my portfolio.
I know first-hand how much a commitment a 365 project is, but I also know how rewarding it is. I’ve not only improved my photography and editing skills, but I’ve learned how to be regimented. It is my proudest accomplishment to date.