Sep 272016

Maker Talk, all the way.

All the buttons!
Now that the 30 Day Button Badge Challenge is completely over and behind me, it is time to look back and glean information from the experience.

The negative points:
1. This first and most obvious thing is that I will NOT be doing a daily Inktober (ink art a day in Oct) project. No way. I might do a weekly, or a series, but not a daily thing.

2. This would be an ideal type of project for a full time artist, not for a person who works a full time job and already has been squeezing her efficiency to eke out every bit of time possible for creative pursuits. After I get home from work, run any needed errands (like groceries, or cat supplies, or yard work), make and eat dinner, I have only a couple hours each week night to be creative in my workshop. I change gears as fast as I can, but my time is limited. Dedicating it to a single project type is terribly restricting to me.

3. I was tired of making buttons before I reached the halfway point. Once I make a few of a thing, I’m done. The next creation usually needs to be significantly different to keep my interest.

4. Needing to have a finished product daily became a THING, almost an obstacle. Sometimes it felt like it couldn’t simply be a bit of art for a button. Nooooo! It must be good, meet a standard, be special or meaningful, quite clever, amazing, etc. A few times I stood in the workshop thinking that all my ideas were rubbish, none of them were “good enough”, and then I had to work past those feelings. It’s a button, for fuck’s sake. Who cares if it is “good” or not?! As sometimes happens, my least favorite one is another’s most favorite. Good is relative.

The positive points:
5. I will NOT be doing a daily Inktober. Yes, this is also a positive point. I’ve learned that I don’t want to wipe out an entire month of creative time and give it to one thing. I am already relieved I won’t be doing Inktober daily, now that I’ve done the buttons. If I want to make ink art for 30 days, I will do it for that reason alone, not for a challenge. I gave the challenge format a shot, but it is not for me and now I know for sure. I am free of it.

6. Good way to form a habit. After a few days, I had a process down pat. The badge station was perfectly useful. The “idea, to art, to scan, to PS sizing, to laser printer, to button, to photo, to PS edit, to upload, to web” process meant noticeable changes in the original visual. That change was my hardest thing to gauge. I figured out how to shoot the photos in a balance of minimal reflected shine and minimal fuss and setup needed. Fuss and setup is the least fun of any project for me.

7. Small artwork took some pressure off. The daily art didn’t need to be big or detailed – in fact, when it was big and detailed, I had to redo them smaller so they’d look okay on the small button sizes. Button badge art is practically a doodle effort. Those seven cat buttons happened in one evening and were actually fun to do; same with the bugs.

8. This daily challenge was a great reason to pull out and use some of my more obscure art supplies. It is easy to fall back on the reliable favorites, like watercolors, any time I’m ready to create. Those NeoColors were fun. Paper collage is obvious, but I seldom do it. It’s nice to use my supplies.

9. I have a lot of finished buttons badges with my work on them! Before, I felt like I wasn’t taking proper advantage of the button presses and my mere handful of original buttons was meager. I wanted to have a number of these things, and now I do. Total success!

My biggest summary is that 30 Day Challenges are not for me. Goals are absolutely for me, I do very well with reasonable goals, but not like the Challenge.

And now my problem is all the buttons I’ve made. Since I made multiplies of each, I’ve got over a hundred buttons taking up my ironing board. I need that ironing board for other things, like ironing while I sew! Smaller sets are being carded and packaged up, but to help get the inventory down, I made an Etsy shop listing: All the Button Badges!
There are only three full sets, so if you want one, get it soon.

And now, back to our regularly expected stuffs.

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