Monday, February 2, 2009

Art Day: Just For You Projects for Artists and Writers

I was lucky to be able to attend the SCBWI NY Conference this past weekend. Several speakers talked about doing a project that's calling to you, instead of following trends or the marketplace.

Sometimes you need to write a story or paint a picture that's just for you. It's the kind of project that keeps you up at night, or the brilliant idea that nobody but you will understand. It could be inspired by a story on the news, your kids, or a trip to a museum. You're passionate about it. You lose track of time while you're working on it.

Your evil inner voice says, "No, don't do that! Nobody will want that project! It Sucks!"

Tell your evil inner voice to be quiet. Create that story or artwork, even if you think that nobody will ever want to read it or look at it. You'll never know what it could be unless you let down your guard and lose yourself in that crazy idea you have.

The funny thing about "just for you" projects is that they have the potential to be your best work. Art directors and editors love to see art and read stories that the creator is passionate about. When you take emotional and creative risks, it can bring out universal truths that resonate with everyone, not just you.

Write that weird story you think will be boring! Draw that odd image that you think will be ugly! You might be surprised what happens when you stop thinking and just create.

Do a project just for you!


  1. I so agree with you here. Writing what you love is what injects your story with excitements and passion. Your enthusiasm will shine through in your words and capture the attention of your reader. Writing what you think may sell, well, you'll be miserable doing it and you there's no guarantees it actually will sell!

  2. It's funny how easy that sounds...and how hard it is to remember.

    Good to run into you this weekend.

  3. I absolutely agree. And I hope you had a fab time at the conference!

  4. I like this post! A good thing to remember!

    Glad you got to go to the conference you lucky dog! I would've loved to be there too. Maybe someday . . . ~sigh~


  5. Exactly Tara. Plus it's much better to enjoy yourself no matter what your project is.

    Jacqui, it's hard for me to remember too. It was really great meeting you - thanks for stopping to say hi! Next time I'll try to be more coherent. I blame end of conference fogginess. :)

    Thanks Carrie, I did have a good time. I'm still processing everything.

    Thanks Christy. I hope you can come next year!

    Thanks Adrienne!

  6. I love this idea...the pressure is off of you when you can just write down what the crazy voices in your head are saying...grin...

  7. Brenda, you have crazy voices in your head too? ;) I hope your voices tell you an amazing story!