< 5 days + 2 sessions/day = 10 design artifacts

A personal design challenge to end/start the year.

So I have a bit of time left on my holiday vacation and I need to do something to challenge my creative self. In thinking, about it, I remembered my friend Gilbert's recent 10 days/10 designs experiment. It was inspiring to me as he went through and did those designs.

Creative expression can have a richer experience with constraints. So I'm going to give myself 2 sessions a day (starting yesterday) for an hour and a half for the next five days. At the end of each session, I will have some kind of artifact. What exactly it will be is unknown, but the result will be posted and I'll try to write up a little bit about each piece I do.

Off we go!

Day 1, Session 1: Longfellow’s I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas carols. But I didn't know the history of it until I decided do a simple design for the poem, not the song. Turns out it was a very strong statement against the ravages of the Civil War, and an outward expression of Longfellow’s sadness over one of his sons joining the Union Army and subsequently being injured in battle. Read more about it over on Wikipedia.

5D10D-Design-1 Poem
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem

Day 1, Session 2: Tardis

Admittedly, Dr. Who is a wonderfully fun escape for me, except when the Stone Angels visit. The whump, whump of the Tardis arriving is one of those inexplicable thrills to hear. I've wanted to take a stab and doing a single line style icon and the Tardis seemed like a great chance to try.

5D10D-Design-2 Tardis Outline
Tardis. Outline style.

Day 2, Session 3: Happy New Year!

Handlettering is very challenging. Here's my take for a New Year’s greeting. The colors were drawn from the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Horse.

5D10D-Design-3 Happy New Year
Happy New Year! Hand-lettered type.

Day 2, Session 4: #Fail

Failure is a possible outcome. With it being NYE and all, my mind had a hard time settling on something. Next session should be better.

5D10D-Design-4 Failure
Not every session will be successful. This one wasn't.

Day 3, Session 5: Ambitious beginnings

There’s been a Munny on my shelf for a while now, and for this session I decided to do something with him. A quick search for vinyl mods led me to a steampunk and dragons. As it turns out, modding a Munny takes longer than 90 minutes, so I will be continuing working on this until I'm finished. But I took a couple of shots to show my progress so far.

5D10D-Design-5-beginning Starting something ambitious
The start of something ambitious…
5D10D-Design-5-end Progress after 90 minutes.
Progress after 90 minutes.

Day 3, Session 6: Details, details

This is turning out to be lots of fun and time consuming. During the break, the I baked the body and arms. During this last session, I completed the horns and details the hooves and claws and started working on the remainder of the face. Still working out the details as I go.

5D10D-Design-6 Adding details
Adding details. Progress after 3 hours.

Day 4, Session 7: More details

Detailing the sculpt continues with the knees and a little spiny-like thing on the back, ears and scraping the face I had last session. Moving onto the face for the my final pass before sanding and painting.

5D10D-Design-7 More details
Adding more details. Fresh from baking in the oven. Progress after 4.5 hours.

Day 4, Session 8: Face sculpt

Go most of the way through the face. It’s not exactly what I was thinking it would be, but it’s been fun. And the kids have gotten into the action today too, that’s my 8 year-old’s vinyl piggy bank being modded in the background.

Gonna break from my structure and keep working on this the remainder of today. Tomorrow I’ll move on to another design.

5D10D-Design-8 Face sculpt
Sculpting the face. Progress after 6 hours.

Day 5: Family time

So this day was spent playing with my kids and having fun with them. As a result I missed both sessions. But I fully enjoyed my time.


Personally, this not-so-little experiment qualifies as a success. It may not be some major, world changing success—but it is a personally significant one because it gave me enough of a jolt to get me started going again creatively.

Looking back on this, it’s safe to say it was too much of a time commitment. But the need generated for me to fill the time fully kickstarted me and allowed the chance for some fun work I have wanted to do for too long. My major takeaway from the week is a new goal of creating some kind of art/design/writing object each day. Session times will be start with a much saner 30 minutes—with the option of extending them if a particular project piques my interest and if there is time.

Thank you for following me along on this little adventure. Hopefully it has inspired you to go do your own creative projects.

Oh, and I will post a picture of my finished Munny sculpt when it’s completed.

UPDATE (Aug 2, 2014)

So I just finished it, but figured I'd share a few photos of my progress.

Starting to paint
Still painting
Done painting
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