Anna Hergert, Art & Design

January Doldrums…

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When the temperature dips by 20 degrees overnight from zero to – 20 C the temptation not to get up in the morning is overwhelming. This scenario presented itself just a few days ago. Good thing the local camera club had an outing planned. We packed our cameras (and silly me brought all my lenses – I did need that weight lifting workout…), tripods and bundled up.

The destination was the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw. There are three of these museums in Saskatchewan. The Moose Jaw branch has its focus on transportation. Airplanes, cars, trucks, motor bikes and pedal bikes have been refurbished and displayed. Not my usual area of interest if you know me a little or have followed this blog. .

I broke away from the group almost immediately. I find that wandering about on my own will eventually lead to a noteworthy discovery. And it didn’t take long: My personal interest spiked when I came upon several motors, the hood ornaments and name plaques of antique cars, and best of all, a shed filled with pedal bikes large and small.

How does this fit in with my art? At first you may not think so, but when it comes to composition, identifying line and shape, looking for reflection and depth of field it all falls into the category of art education. Yes, I could have stayed home to fondle fabric and threads in the cozy warmth of my studio. Instead I decided to stretch my imagination, join nine other photographers and “play” with my new macro lens.

A personal realization also plays an important role: It is so easy to just “hide” in the studio. But when I am there every day and don’t interact with others to stimulate and challenge my creativity I soon loose touch with reality and my creative drive. I call venturing out to interact with other artists (no matter what their medium may be) “cross-fertilizing.”

Why did I share this with you today? The month is coming to an end and despite best intentions many of us who thought the Creative Daily Act Challenge was “just the ticket” are looking at the less than satisfactory “pile” of CDAs. We have two choices: We can either just drop off the radar and ignore the opportunity to share what we created on the Flickr group I set up, or we can move ahead and upload one, two, five or all the CDAs we created during  January with the “Bleak Mid-Winter” theme.

Consider this: Every single CDA has brought us closer to creativity. I know that life gets in the way a lot more often than when we anticipate it. Refocusing and recommitting to our creativity one CDA at a time is what it’s all about. Treat yourself today: Set aside 15 minutes and put some marks on a 2.5 x 3.5″ piece of card stock. There – isn’t this easy?

This entry was published on January 28, 2014 at 10:17 am. It’s filed under Art, Creativity Update, Design, History, In the News, Journaling, Photography & Events, Special Project and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “January Doldrums…

  1. Judith KH on said:

    Hi Anna. I have not managed to do a CDA every single day but also have not allowed myself to fret about this. In fact a couple of my cards have taken two days of working on them for a while because I was engaged in other creative acts or got into too much detail. I have used fabric or fibre in one way or another on each one, and on the back, put a title, a small list of recycled materials used, and glued on a little “prop” so I can set them as little pictures along the windowsills and enjoy looking at them – and it has all been worthwhile. In fact, working on them has stimulated a few ideas about bigger projects and made me work through tiny design dilemmas. But I am unsure about how to photograph them for uploading and sending to you on Flicker, having never done this before. Is there a particular background and/or technique that you recommend? Sorry if I have missed a blog about this but I need some direction as to how now to ‘convey’ my CDAs. Thanks.


    • Judith – your enthusiastic and supportive comment really make my heart sing. Thank you for sharing your personal insights and experiences during January. I have issued an invitation from Flickr to join the CDA group. I suspect it ended up in your spam folder, as so many invitations did. I will send another invite shortly.
      When it comes to taking photos, just take each one separately and upload the results to the group once you join as a member. Flickr is easy to navigate – just follow the instructions. You may also scam each CDA, save it as a jpg file and then upload them to Flickr that way. Hope this helps. Watch out for the the invitation. I will access the group shortly and issue another invitation.


  2. Isn’t that strange. I just finished 12 trading cards a couple of days ago. They are so much fun and you do not even have to sew with them. Katherine and I took ours to the Station Arts Centre at Rosthern where they have a travelling trading cards display and exchange and had fun deciding what to trade. Leona


    • You have to tell me more when I see you on Saturday at the Design Class, Leona. This is great to read – creating CDAs fits into the Artist Trading Card movement. Just because we create them doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them. Trade them, gift them, frame them – what else could you do with them? 😉


  3. Pat findlay on said:

    This has been on my mind for a couple of days. I am totally frustrated and discouraged with my efforts, and quite seriously considering giving up. I have found out that I am not a pencil and paper–or cardstock, artist. The theme was okay, once I realized that my thoughts were on a beach in Cuba somewhere, and it wouldn’t bend the rules too much to draw a palm tree.
    But I am a fibre artist, and,if I decide to continue, I will likely be working with fibre. I have no idea what flicker is or how to get there, but will try to post my feeble efforts on my blog periodically.


    • Hi Pat – first and foremost, congrats on persevering. On another note: I don’t believe I stipulated anywhere that the CDA has to be done on paper… I know a number of participants are working in fiber, their primary medium. I never intended to make participation difficult or even frustrating. My apologies.
      Flickr is a photosharing site (free to anyone!) and I sent an invitation to you to join several days ago. I look forward to your continued participation and can’t wait to see your CDAs. 🙂


      • Pat Findlay on said:

        When i read your blog about sending invitations to Flicker, I check both my e-mail addresses carefully, but did not receive one. Please don’t worry about this! The very last thing I want to do is to become a “problem child”. In am not at all computer “savvy”, but I will putter along at my own speed. Thank you for a response.


      • Sorry you didn’t receive the invite from Flickr. I have sent it three times to the address I have on file. If you intend to post your CDA on you blog that will work great, Pat – but many followers of this blog do not have this option – therefore I set up the Flickr group. Please do upload images to your blog. It will increase traffic to the blog and we can’t wait what you worked on this month. 😉


  4. Katina Chapman on said:

    Perfect timing. A planned walk along the ocean for fresh air was postponed when the forecast called for snow and wind. Didn’t happen. But, I did get a renewed interest in my art. Yes, I was less than thrilled with my efforts, but your words gave me a kickstart. So the past few hours have been spent catching up over the last few days and I am done. Creative some nifty, unique things. This may be tougher mid summer and we will all need a great big push.


    • Katina, I seem to play “catch up” regularly myself. There are days where I will do more than one CDA to keep up… we are all human and have to recognize our possibilities and limitations! Thanks for commenting – these are the comments that help everyone! Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!


  5. Vivian Farrar on said:

    Oh, how I needed to read this post of yours regarding the CDA’s!
    Phew! I’m not the only one looking at my sad, small pile. Because of this I shall venture forward and hope that with each coming day, week or month I shall eventually accomplish more and more. I think I’m simply trying to find my ‘groove’…..and if nothing else it still has me motivated….


    • Thank you so much for this comment. I wrote today’s post knowing that we all have obstacles to overcome. When I did the Artlet Challenge by myself and for myself two years ago I learned pretty quickly that no matter how small the art piece – it takes a lot of energy to follow through to do it on a daily basis. Once I relaxed about the pressure I had put on myself I felt so much better and was able to follow through. Don’t do this for anyone but yourself and celebrate each completed piece. As another blog follower stated to me in a personal email recently: “… the notion of CDA has inspired me to be a little more daring/creative in the things I’m making. … The point of this email is to let you know that even some who won’t officially join the “CDA Movement” are inspired to do more. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it.” – That sums it up in a nutshell – be inspired to do more! Happy Creating!


  6. Elinor Burwash Designs on said:

    Great photos Anna. I will do a detailed post on my experiences and learning from the CDA January’s challenge on Feb 1. Now must run to do my today’s CDA.


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