PATTERN PER DIEM
Your time spent making is never wasted.
Two and a half years ago I started Pattern Per Diem, a 365 project to design a pattern every day for a year. The daily iteration of creating work reflected the inherent repetition in creating patterns. In doing this I also improved my drawing and Photoshop skills, sought out meaningful inspiration, and became accountable for my creative progress. For a full year I dedicated time every day to drawing and designing a unique image and posting online. Simply by putting this project out into the world I implemented an external structure I was responsible for following through on.
At day 366, pattern number 366, the project continued – Pattern Per Diem had become a necessary life skill. Not only had my style improved, but my approach to making work had also sharpened. I had cultivated focus. After more than 900 designs, patterns have become an integral part of my daily practice. My personal design process has improved based off the “art of iteration.” The successful pieces in this series are a result of what I learned from every preceding piece. This project helped me establish a constructive system to learn, grow and make.
This project succeeded in making it a full year and beyond because I took each day as a learning opportunity. It became as much about the process as the final piece: there was no such thing as a wasted line if it had purpose. I learned patience and observation. Through drawing, printmaking, painting, and digital manipulation, I documented this year in my life through a cross-disciplinary visual language.
The concept of sustainable incrementalism involves establishing a personal platform that can support gradual persistence as a regular habit. Whatever your long-term goals include, having a flexible dedication to slow growth will enforce positive habits that will undoubtedly build up over time. If you only have an hour a day to put towards your long-term goal, what is the most effective way to use that time? Defining priorities will help focus your intentions.
The time I’ve allocated on a regular basis still exists and will continue to provide a personal framework for my pattern design. This ongoing project is a small reminder that your work may never be finished, it may never be perfect, but share it anyways. Your time spent making is never wasted.