Streaking for Art’s Sake
I love my creative life—I wake up in the morning, make coffee, help the kids out the door to school, and at that moment the routine in my life ends. For the rest of the day, I could be setting some type for a new poster, carving a block for a print commission, working on paintings for a solo show, or putting together an application for a future public art call. The diversity and unpredictability of my days bring me a lot of satisfaction, but there are times it can feel hard to see the thread that connects them all.
With the rise of social media, we have seen a growth in designated months that challenge and encourage people to invest in a particular activity for 30 days. We all know about Movember of course, and Sober October but there are more: like Inktober for illustrators, and the new-to-me idea of MerMay—apparently drawing a mermaid every day for a month is considered personal growth, and why shouldn’t it be?
Being that my life is hard to fit into any kind of box, I’ve always shied away from monthly challenges because I know they will be tough to implement in my life. I’ve avoided making New Year’s resolutions for the same reason: what’s the point if you know it’s not going to last? And yet I know that in both of these cases at least part of my aversion comes from a fear of failing. If I set my bar low I can make sure I’ll be able to jump over it. But what’s the idea of these challenges if not to do something challenging? Even in failure, we can learn something. They say calm seas never made a great sailor.
To be clear, it’s not the doing of the thing I fear, it’s the institutionalization: I’m afraid the formality will feel like a burden or make my life feel robotic and forced. Secretly, I’ve always admired people who take on a monthly challenge and out of it grows some new insight. It seems to benefit so many, even if the only thing that comes from it is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from setting a goal and reaching for it.
As we gear up for the second #FernieStreak, I realize that I’m ready to face my fear and do a little streaking of my own. Fernie already has enough people running, biking, jogging, doing yoga and skiing, so I want to do my part to widen the definition of what kind of things we are streaking at: I hereby pledge to kick off the first annual Fernie Art Streak. Here’s how it works:
- Starting January 1st, 2020 I’ll be posting a daily item to Instagram and Facebook to showcase something creative I’m doing. You can follow me at www.instagram.com/MichaelHepher and www.facebook.com/MichaelHepherArt.
- I’ll tag each of these daily posts with the hashtag #FernieArtStreak
- For 31 days I’ll challenge myself to make and share something new every day through to the end of the month.
- Want to join me? All you have to do is tag your posts #FernieArtStreak.
- Succeed or fail, we’ll get together at the end to raise a glass in celebration of our journey.