10 or 12 years ago, I set out to make a small sculpture a day for 30 days. It was intended as a piece for an exhibition that I had coming up in Jersey City, New Jersey and I was given a huge wall to work with. Not a great space for a sculpture on short notice, but I would try to make it work. I was also collaborating with an old friend so if we both did this, we would have 60 works that we could mount on small shelves on this massive wall. The piece was ok, but what I got out of it was tremendous. More on this in a second.
Yesterday I attended a panel discussion at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan called "The Business of Illustration" which was moderated by Noel Claro. One of the panelists, Chris Piascik has been engaged in an ongoing project called Daily Drawings. He has been creating a drawing a day for years and has a total of over 1600 to date.
This brought me back to my old project. I started thinking about what the benefits were of making a work of art a day. There is the immediacy and urgency of the work. This does not allow for pondering or revisions or much in the way of conceptual development. It forces the hand of what is intuitive. Conceptually it calls upon what the stores of the artist hold. Spontaneity moves to the forefront and the thinking comes out of the making.
There is also the notion that this practice exercises the practice itself. In an excerpt from his AIGA talk, "Ten Things I have Learned", Milton Glaser references how children who learn to play the violin at age 4 or 5 often go on to develop perfect pitch. He hints that this seems to indicate that the hand influences and trains the brain. I think we tend to look at this in the reverse.
Then of course there is the physical yield. I can only imagine what Chris Piascik feels as he scrolls back through that massive archive of work. How it speaks to him and offers up new ideas, clarifies old concepts and congeals to offer up new meanings that were not present at the time he sat down to draw.