A Creative 30 Before 30
With just 50 days left until the big three-oh I’m aware it’s a little late to start one of these lists, but I do really enjoy a good list, and I think this is a nice way to make my self accountable for some of the little projects I want to do but never really give any importance to. I have tried to make a mix of goals that take just a couple of hours, and those that may be a few days work so I at least have a chance of ticking off a few. The rest will just become goals to do while I’m 30!
Head to the bottom for a printable version for you to try!
Once I complete a task I’ll link to a blog (or instagram) post about it in the list below, but for now, click on the text for a short description.
#01 Run 10k
This year I’ve started running fairly consistently for the first time ever – living here in Villach is a great boost for getting outside more! 2 or 3 times a week we go out and run about 5km along the river, even when it reached 36°c – but once I get to the end of that 5km I’ve really had enough! I think going for a slower trail run in the woods might make it a little easier to achieve.
#02 Streetwear Startup
I always have a few ideas for T-shirts in the background but never really put anything out there – so I want to get a little side hustle going. I think having something that doesn’t have my name attached to it will really help me to improve my confidence in self promotion and social media posts – having a ‘front’ to hide behind gives me a little bit more creative freedom to find my voice and post things I can get anxious about sharing otherwise!
#03 Glitch / Generative Art Project
One of the things I studied during my degree was glitch and digital art. I learned a little bit about Processing and creating art from code which I really find interesting but haven’t concentrated on for a while. I’d love to learn more about generative art and other ‘tech’y ways of creating and integrate it more into my practice.
#04 Develop Film
Recently my main camera had a little fall and is out of action so it’s a good time to get out an old analogue and go back to film! I’ve already been trying to cut down the amount of digital photos I take and focus on quality, and this is something I’d like to push a little more with using film, as well as the experimental opportunities. The next step is to find a local place to develop 120mm film!
#05 Draw My Street
The street I live on now has some of the most beautiful residential buildings I’ve seen; one of the loveliest things about European streets is the colour. Here we have so many pastel fairytale buildings that make it so much more interesting than the grey and brick buildings in the UK. Although street art and graffiti here is much less inspiring – maybe I should learn that too!
#06 Walk ALL Roads in my Area
Including, the dead ends, the short cuts, and the boring ones. This is something I wanted to do living in Manchester, I’m sure I covered a lot but definitely not all – although of course I have been down Every Street in Manchester! I’m not sure where I’ll draw the boundary yet, but seeing as I’m still new to the area there’s still a lot left to explore.
#07 Make a Map
Last summer I picked up a really interesting little book in a charity shop in Cardiff, From Here to There. It’s a collection of all sorts of hand drawn maps and has a really whimsical appeal. I’m really interested in psychogeography, cartography and how we traverse the areas we are in so creating a map of places important or interesting to me will be a nice little project. Another influence is Jerry Getzinger, of Jerry’s Map who has spent years building up an imaginary map built on squares and chance.
#08 Pressed Flower / Found Object Book
Another project that ties in with the theme of walking and exploring a space, I want to make a small book of pressed flowers and interesting things I find on a walk, maybe with some wax rubbing and found textures – this is a nice afternoon activity to combine with one of the ones above! I could combine this with a couple of book making ideas I’d like to do – a zig-zag book, and a matchstick collection.
#09 Make Spanakopita (and Baba Ganoush)
I can cook OK – I don’t make amazing food and I definitely don’t make terrible food – but I can’t make clever food. Real baking is one of those things like knitting that I just don’t have the patience or precision for. Generally at home we just make something up and rarely follow a recipe. On holiday in Greece this summer we ended up eating this spinach and feta bake everyday, so I’d like to learn to recreate it. I’ve also meant to make Baba Ganoush for the longest time, I went to a Lebanese cooking class a couple of weeks ago so now I just need to recreate it at home!
#10 Watercolour and Mark-making Library
I’ve become a bit too digitally focused recently and rarely spend any time with my sketchbook, so I really want to get some watercolour and painting skills back! I think a good practice project would be to create a library of mark making and textures that I can then scan and incorporate into my digital artwork.
#11 Collage and Texture
Following on from the last point, I really want to create more experimental sketchbook work and make some fun collages and mixed media work.
#12 Lenticular pictures and Optical Effects
I’ve always been intrigued about perception and illusion in art and I think it would be fun to experiment with some old school effects. A DIY lenticular image seems like it would be a simple starting point to begin experimenting. I’m struggling to find a supplier for the lenticular film but there’s a nice cut and paste paper alternative!
#13 Cutter Project
I’ve got a great digital paper/material cutter that I don’t use enough – because I’m terrible at construction and 3D! I want to use it more, and make some kind of modular little project so I can improve my skills at making a 3D object from a 2D sheet. I’ve been looking at the platonic solids and other construction nets so I will find a way to utilise these creatively!
#14 3D Project
For my boyfriend’s 30th last year I treated him to the Creality Ender 3 3D printer. It’s so exciting to see it printing a physical object! I’m not very ‘code minded’ and I don’t think sixty days is much time to improve my skills but I have found an outdated but great program to create 3D printer files in a very analogue inspired way – Sculptris basically gives you a big lump of digital clay to mould with a mouse/pen/trackpad and then converts it to a printable file.
#15 Euro Shop Art
As a way of idea generation I want to buy some different items in the euro shop and combine them to create interesting art objects to photograph and use as textures, or interesting bases for designs.
#16 Create a Font
Whether it’s handwritten, or blocky and square I think it’d be a good learning experience to make up a font of my own.
#17 DIY Clothing
To go along with the streetwear startup goal, I’d also like to buy, customise and sell secondhand clothing. Maybe it’ll be painted jackets, or two items sewn together to make something new! I also want to incorporate some hand embroidery and experimental embellishments.
#18 Design a Building
I was always interested in the work of the architecture students at uni and love looking at the models and detailed presentation boards. I’m also interested in public space and incorporating art in city living so I’d like to create a design of a building or social space, particularly as I’m quite interested in applying for Master’s degree programs here in Austria in the future, one course I really like the concept of is Social Design, although Vienna is too far from where I’m living it’s something I’d at least like to teach myself a little of.
#19 Design an Exhibition / Installation
Similar to the last point, I’m interested in creating structures and spaces for the public to encounter art and design, and think an exhibition or gallery in a public space is a really fun concept to work on.
#20 Paper Dolls, Paper Weaving, Paper Play!
As I said before, I find myself spending too much time creating at a screen and really want to get my hands involved! A main reason for compiling this list is to give more weight to a lot of little project ideas I have noted around on my phone, or pinned on Pinterest boards and create with a broader range of materials.
#21 Make Christmas Gifts
This year I want to start early on my Christmas gifts – I particularly want to try making some out of clay; I see so much gorgeous clay work on Instagram and Pinterest and it really makes me want to get my hands dirty and have a go!
#22 Plan a Workshop
Since living in Villach I’ve attended a couple of different events and workshops at the CIC international club and the Otelo, such as a photography course, instagram workshop and cooking classes. I’d like to create a workshop I can hold in the future, so I want to narrow down a really great idea that people will be interested in hearing from me about! I don’t plan on holding the workshop before I’m 30, but I definitely want to get some ideas together.
#23 Creative Writing
I had a really cinematic dream a few months ago that I can still remember in crystal clear detail, and it got me thinking about trying out some creative writing, I haven’t written a story or poem since school and that doesn’t strike me as a good thing. I definitely think I should document this dream and expand on it a little so look out for a very weird sci-fi ish blog post from me coming up!
#24 Get to A2 Level German
I’ve been learning German at a very slow pace! I know enough to get by day-to-day but I’d really like to be able to speak well enough to get involved with more local creative events, and to connect better with people. I’m determined to get myself to the start of B1 level before I pay for more in depth classes, luckily there are a lot of options locally.
#25 Start Implementing Better Habits
I want to create a better weekly routine for myself, to set dedicated blocks of time to concentrate on some of the activities I want to focus more on, such as spending more time learning German intensively, some time to learn enough Italian so I can spend this years Italian Christmas more chattily, practising yoga daily, and spending more time reading and less on Reddit or other pointless online diversions! Also I need to up my blogging and social media posting.
#26 Get a Hula Hoop (and use it)
Maybe three years ago I went to a hula hooping class back in Manchester and really enjoyed it, me and the friend I went with went straight to the shops and equipped ourselves with cheap and useless kids hoops, which then sat unused! Maybe a year after that I had another play at a fire festival, but moving and life got in the way and I never ordered a decent grown up hoop.
#27 Experimental Photography
In a group project at uni I had great fun photographing objects frozen in ice and melted textures, and looking through the pictures on my Flickr account made me want to revisit this idea, using standard household objects to create interesting images. This is something I could easily combine with the Euro Shop idea.
#28 Print Nice Photos
I’ve been lucky enough to visit some really nice places and take some lovely pictures this year, and they just live on my phone! I’ve got HP’s instant ink subscription so there’s no excuse for me not to get printing these out at high resolution on nice paper and start filling up the white walls of our apartment.
#29 Start a Commonplace Book
I have lots and lots of notebooks with nothing in them, recently I came across this video about Commonplace Books, which is a simple idea of curating and collecting all the quotes, inspiration and ideas that we might save online in a physical format.
#30 Start a Thirty Days Project
This is a really good challenge to start to build a consistent habit – I am toying between thirty days of sketchbook work, or thirty days of print, but there’s tonnes of ideas out there.
This is my very personalized list, but below you can find a less specific version:
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