Create a new piece of art every day. Draw, sketch, paint, design, sculpt, write, photograph, film, or record something every day. It doesn't have to be great, it doesn't even have to be good- it just has to be a new piece you've expressed yourself with. It can be anything ranging from a simple doodle to a polished symphony, as long as it's new to that day. Don't worry, this isn't to impress anyone. Try different mediums, try different styles, and if you can't think of anything, scrawl on a bar napkin.
Simply create something new that you can keep a record of.

Why:

Much like February's challenge, let's try to explore ourselves a bit more. By making a daily habit of creating something new, you'll create a daily habit of removing yourselves from the stressors of your life. For a few minutes every day, you don't need to worry about bills, work responsibilities, or relationship woes. By creating one new thing every day, you'll have amassed a variety of skills and a body of work by the end of the month you may be suprised by.

Bonus points!

Take one of two paths:
Try a new medium every day. Not an artist? Maybe you just haven't found an artistic medium that speaks to you. There are literally hundreds of ways to create art, see if you can find something that tickles your fancy. Focus on one medium for the entire month. It's a common challenge in the art community to sketch something every day. Why? Because you'll get ridiculously good at drawing and conceptualizing shapes. Perhaps sticking with one method can help you hone a skill you've always wanted?

And while you're at it, see about sticking to the previous month's challenges! Can you use art as a way to build community and strengthen relationships with people met in January? Can you create art using February's skill? Can you take lessons at nearby studios discovered in March?

Resources:

Art Styles Explained - A remedial view of some new visual art styles you might want to try!
Blick Art Materials - A good online shop for pretty much any form of visual art medium you are looking to experiment with.
eHow.com: Recording Music at Home - A good place to start if you prefer audio
expression.
Worth1000 Contests - Stuck? How about entering a contest with some computer
generated art?
 
Phil vs Art

I challenged art to a duel this month. Who won? I'll be the judge of that!

Well, April is finished.  Easter, my birthday, and a slew of artistic ventures have come and gone.  Here’s a recap of what happened:

Surprisingly Positive Consequences:

  • I had my first “real” showing in an artistic venue!  Well, kind of.  Thanks to a flash mob, my stencils of “Keep Calm and Urinate” were proudly displayed in some “very small galleries” at the Brewery Art Walk in Los Angeles.  It turned out these small galleries were Port-O-Potties, but let’s focus on the positive aspects:  People saw my art while not wearing any pants!
  • I shot and directed my first documentary short-  which will ultimately emerge as a short internet commercial on Perez Hilton’s fashion blog, cocoperez – In doing so I met the LOVELY pop star Skyler Stonestreet and got to work with a very dear friend and insanely talented latex designer, Abigail Greydanus.
  • I wrote, co-directed, and played the lead role in “Silver Lake”, a piece that will later be incorporated in the feature film “Project Los Angeles”.
  • I experienced moments of catharsis and fulfillment that I did not know a human was capable of feeling.  Photographing a panorama of Los Angeles from the burnt down ruins of The White City after a 16 mile hike was…  transcendent.
  • I grew closer to already incredible friends.  If any of my blog readers learn anything from this month’s challenge, it should be this:  NOTHING PULLS PEOPLE TOGETHER LIKE THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A LARGE ART PROJECT. Between the crew on my films and the friends who simply painted with me at art parties, our community grew and strengthened by leaps and bounds.

Slightly Negative Results

I.  Am.  Exhausted.  The final project, the culmination of this month’s project, led to some of the most intense work I’ve ever done.  Between the pre-production and the insane multi-tasking on set until 4 AM, I at points questioned if creating a film was something I could do while working a full time job “on the side”.  Turns out it was!

Surprisingly… Surprising Consequences.

While this month’s challenge afforded me more amazing opportunities and brought me closer to friends than previous month’s, none of it felt that “new”.  Whenever I sit down to make an art piece, it’s a “new” experience I suppose, so as an artist, I’m not sure it exactly stretched my comfort bubble.  Which is why I ended up turning to film, a medium I’ve always been too intimidated by to tackle with the gusto it requires.  That change in direction captured the point of this project more effectively, I believe.  That being said, I’d say I “achieved” something far greater and more tangible than I thought I would in the course of The Brave New by creating “Silver Lake”, and I hope others felt as gratified as well!

So, Brave Newbies, what did you create?  Are you ready to rediscover yourself in next month’s challenge:  Old is The New New?

April was running a risk of stagnating for me.  I was trying to explore new art forms, but found myself mostly sketching, and rapidly losing interest.  Clearly it was time to turn to something more grandiose.  It was time to turn to film and video.

My friend Abigail Greydanus has been a large bastion of support for The Brave New, and needed content shot for an upcoming cocoperez.com spot-  it seemed a match made in heaven!  She offered me the opportunity to shoot a short piece on her latex design services, and called me in to film her doing a fitting for a pop star and working with some latex.  Abby, hailed as the “Queen of Latex”, has worked with Katy Perry, Rihanna, and a litany of other celebrities, so I wasn’t sure who we were going to be shooting at first.

It turns out I had the good fortune to be shooting Skyler Stonestreet, who, if you are unfamiliar with her, is adorable.  Like, a baby rabbit having it’s way with a hello kitty doll level of cute.  I think it would be irresponsible of me to show photos until you’ve properly acclimated your body.

Corgi Nap Read more »

This evening I met up with GuerrilLA, the flash mob organization responsible for the pantless subway rides, giant LA pillow fights, and well-choreographed dance numbers in various public places.  Our assignment:  Create art!  An odd request for a flash mob, but a well-timed one, as I was intending on throwing an art party this night anyway!

A friend and I ventured through a sketchy part of Los Angeles, entered an unmarked warehouse as instructed by an email, and followed a piece of pink twine up narrow and unattended stairs.  Entering what appeared to be an abandoned storeroom populated with mannequin parts and beaded lampshades, we were somewhat convinced we were attending a murder party.

Super Sketchy Warehouse Read more »

My friend Steve is producing a project called “Project Los Angeles”, which is a feature film composed of multiple shorts.  Each short film details the trials, triumphs, and on occasion, entertaining minutia of various neighborhoods in Los Angeles.  He’s asked a handful of directors to create these shorts about their neighborhoods, giving each section of the final product a unique and genuine feel.  The finished product is an open love letter to the town we’ve become so intimate with.

This project has been in the works for a while, and Steve approached me about writing a project an embarrassing amount of time ago.  I never quite found my motivation, however-  that is, until today.  When it hit me, I banged up a fictional narrative detailing the unique aspects of dating whilst mired in the counter culture of Silver Lake.  I wrote the first draft entirely in one day.

Here’s a snippet from my screenplay, “Silver Lake”.  I became the very stereotype I was decrying by writing this.  And now I’m trapped in a self-referential meta loop of recursion.  Basically, it’s like I’m in The House of Leaves, except there’s raping dickwolves.

ScreenplayLater, feeling refreshed, invigorated, and self-satisfied, I was watching Family Guy.  Brian, cartoon dog and modern day prophet, uttered words that will stick with me for a while.  “You are the Spalding Gray of crap.”

Note that I’m posting this retroactively.  I’ll fill in highlights of the month of April throughout today.

So, it’s been a weird night.  My adventures took me from La Canada back down to Hollywood, and for some reason the phrase “Good Luck” kept being uttered.  Why?  I don’t feel like either I or the people around me were doing anything particularly risky, but a wish for kizmet echoed throughout the night.

In fact we ended up at the Good Luck bar in Los Feliz.

I helped some gentlemen in business suits change a blown tire, then inflated their sad deflated donut, and it seemed an appropriate final farewell to them…

Good Luck

A Nervous Baby OctopusToday was the first time I’ve ever tried mixing colors with acrylics.  I learned a few things:

Painting is stupidly time-consuming.  Seriously, wouldn’t this have taken me like 10 minutes on a computer, instead of 3 hours with acrylics?

Painting is stupidly messy.  At work tomorrow, there will be questions as to whether or not I’m a six year old.  I’m pretty sure the amount of paint I applied to myself will not come off in the shower, no matter how many brillo pads I use.  And I typically use 3 or 4.

Blobs can be labelled as “octopii” with very little blowback from the octopus community.  Seriously, who’s gonna defend the species and declare the amorphous, though hopefully a little adorable, blob I just painted is not a proper octopus?  If it’s you, well let me deliver a pre-emptive bit of bribery.  Here’s a cookie.

Overall though, this offered exactly what I was hoping the project would-  an impetus to get over the anxiety of starting a piece using a medium I’m ostensibly poor at.  I’m actually pretty happy with the output.  Plus I got to use my ridiculous new magnifying glass!

Finishing Up a Painting

Gesture Drawings

Look Crappy? They're supposed to. That's how you know they're working. Or something.

Ahhh, there we go.  I did some gesture sketches before hand, which are lightening fast sketches focused on capturing the “flow” of the subject.  The intent is not to create a finalized piece of art (though some may grow into that), but, at least for me, to throw your brain into the mode of recognizing the contours of motion and action.  After even just a few minutes of gesture drawings, you’ll notice later pieces feel less artificial.  I know tonight I didn’t feel so much like I was starting a car in second gear after I’d warmed up.

I’m by no means back in the artistic saddle, but if you compare this sketch of my room-mate playing xbox to the previous sketch done yesterday, you can see how fast the brain adapts to a creative regimen.  Eric Plays Xbox #2

Fairly soon I want to move out of sketching and into mediums that I’ve been too intimidated to even attempt in the past.  I’d like to start mixing colors with acrylics, and hopefully even move into oils.

I also hope to start throwing some “painting parties” for Brave Newbies, complete with models-  in SoCal and interested in creating some art with me?  Drop a comment on The Brave New’s Facebook page!

I haven’t drawn in a long time.  And, looking at these sketches, that’s pretty obvious.  Note that this weekend, I wasn’t warming up before drawing… hopefully some quick gesture drawings before I sink into an art piece will help in the future.

Interesting note, while I was sketching my friend Cassie, a 5-6 year old boy approached me and commented that I was a “good drawrer… for using just one hand!”  At first I was like, “Yeah, I’m totally an art ninja.”  But then I got to thinking about it-  do many people dual wield whilst drawing?  Am I retarding my abilities by using just my right hand like a sucker?  Is this 5-6 year old some sort of mystic teacher, serendipitously emerging just when I need advise the most?   Only time will tell!

Quick sketch of Cassie

Quick Sketch of Eric Playing Video Games

Brave Newbie Writers

Phil WarrenPhil Warren (81)
Founder and editor of The Brave New, Phil Warren is now an accordion player, a minister, a sonic weapons expert, a director, a photographer, a public speaker, and a bunch of other things. Mostly he's an adventurer though. An adventurer who smells nice. Except when he doesn't.
NickNick (6)
One part Burner and one part Engineer; I’ve lived through twenty-five-and-a-half winters, and aim to keep it that way. My world is a strange one, and it’s my goal to make it stranger.

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