Create something everyday

[shadowed_600 img=””]Create something everyday[/shadowed_600]

A few years ago, I started a 365 photography project. I took a photo everyday. However, after 4 months I quit. I felt like I did it just for the sake of doing it. I didn’t feel I like it taught me anything or added any kind of value to my life. At all. It was just something I did and to be brutally honest, I didn’t know why.

Ever since I stopped, I wondered if I could start something similar again. Earlier this year, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do by the end of 2013. One of those things was starting a 365 again. On the day I published that blogpost, I thought about taking the first out of 365 photos… However days, weeks and even months went by with me not finding a reason to actually start. The whole idea still seemed a bit empty to me.

Then one day, while catching up with my Twitterstream, I saw one of Beeple‘s (Mike Winkelmann) so-called everydays. Everydays are little projects he does everyday (shocking!). Short things, just for the sake of doing it and learning in the process. Initially I thought this was a 365 kind of thing: You know, creating one frame everyday for 1 year. Then I ended up on this page. It said 2354 on the top of the page. He had been doing this for 2354 days straight. He didn’t miss a day in more than 6 years.


I started going over his work and wondered: “Has he really never missed a day? You can’t tell me he went into C4D everyday and created something new and beautiful every single day”. And that’s what sparked my interest: That was it! That’s what I felt like doing to! Create something everyday. It seemed like such a great idea because you create so much stuff over the weeks and you get to discover so much you didn’t know. That’s what I was looking for. This added value beyond just ‘doing something everyday‘. But I was afraid to start because I knew that once you miss a day, you’re prone to missing many more and I just knew there would be days where there’s so much going on, that I just wouldn’t be able to go into Cinema 4D and create a beautiful frame. I became so obsessed with this idea to a point where I tweeted Mike to see if I could ask him a few questions. He invited me to email him and a few days later I got his response.

He really took his time to explain the why and how. What really stuck with me though was this little anecdote: Not too long ago, on the day his wife went into labor. He took 5 minutes out of his day just to create his frame. And although it wasn’t the best of his work, it kept the streak going. In an interview on The Atlantic, he brought up this important quote.

Just showing up is 90% of the battle.

Everything about this email seemed so interesting to me because he takes these everydays way more serious than I expected. The daily frame isn’t as important as the daily challenge of going for it. Keeping the streak going. Learning by not quitting. I thought I might share the answers with you below.

The 5 questions I asked Mike –Beeple- Winkelmann

Ronny: You post something new everyday. Is that something that is a by-product of you doing your job? Or is this part of a hobby? Or is this something you make yourself do to stay creative and try new things? How and why do you manage to pull this off everyday?

Mike: This is mostly just me fucking around for an hour or two. Sometimes it’s a piece of work for someone but usually not. The purpose of this is to make sure you’re learning and getting better everyday. Here’s a little more info on everydays in general:

Ronny: How does your creative process work? Do you just dive into Cinema 4D and click around and see where it takes you? Or do you have a clear picture in your mind about what you want to create next? Or do you base your next work on something you saw in a comic or a still frame in a movie? I know about people doing 365 projects on Instagram but that’s mostly discovering a beautiful something in a world that is already full of spectacular things to see. Creating a new 3D frame out of thin air everyday looks a lot more challenging, so I wonder: how do you fuel this creative process?

Mike: It’s usually a mix of the two. I usually have a vague idea of something I want to try or a new technique I was to explore. The days I have NO idea going in I usually end up with a total pile of crap. A lot of the inspiration comes from places like ffffound, Behance, Pinterest, Abduzeedo, Design you trust, Vimeo, Tumblr, etc…. So much insane shit out there.Gotta be careful to limit your time looking through this shit though because it’s endless.

Ronny: How do you manage the time for these things? Do you take time out of your day to make these things? Or do spend half an hour sitting on the couch toying around while you watch a movie? Just how much of a ‘job’ do you make this for yourself?

Mike: Yes, you absolutely need to MAKE time for this shit. You’re not gonna just happen to do this every single day for 6 years. You gotta decide you’re gonna and stick to it no matter what. My first daughter was just born a month ago… As my wife was in active labor right before we went into the hospital I took 5 minutes to do my pic that day. It was total shit since i spent 5 minutes, but I kept the streak going. You need to not look at this like a job, look at this like your most important job.

Ronny: Have you had days that you didn’t want to create something but forced yourself? Or do you regularly just drop a day when there’s just no time/energy?

Mike: See above answer. I have not missed a single day in over 6 years. MOST days I do not want to do my everyday.

Ronny: Did you every study 3D in school/college/university? How did you end up doing what you do now?

Mike: No, I studied computer programming. Soon I realized that was boring as fuck and started dicking around with graphics stuff. Never underestimate the power of dicking around 😉

I just would like to add that Mike ended his email with the following.

P.S. Start today!!!!!!!111111111111

Ever since I read this email, I can’t imagine finding a valid reason anymore to not being able to make it everyday… This guy was able to push out his frame while his wife was in labor (happy-accident-pun). That’s what I call commitment. I’m nowhere near having kids, so there’s really no reason for me not to create something everyday. If you’d like to see them: I will be posting my #everyday‘s on my Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook page.

Thanks Mike for taking your time to answer this email with so much energy and enthusiasm.
So let’s conclude this post with a motivational message: Start today!!!!!!!!111111111111111


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Ronny is a freelance frontend developer with a wild passion for creativity and a relentless hate against flat design. Ronny spent years as a Flash developer before moving to HTML5 and rediscovering fun and happiness.

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