Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Index Card As Art Canvas

Index cards work great as a personal organizer (though I prefer a spiral notepad), software development tool, and about a million other things. Recently, I've been thinking they might also work well as sketchbook replacement, too.

Besides being compact, cheap, durable, and offering both lined and blank options, they also don't have the intimidation factor that a perfectly clean sketchpad has. Finally, I can toss them on the glass of our All-In-One Printer, hit the scan button, and they'll be saved as individual images. That makes for easy publishing.

I was curious if others had this idea before me, and of course, they did. Though, the best resource I found on the topic was from Daisy Yellow, who started her own little challenge: Index-Card-A-Day. The program works just like you would expect: every day you take out an index card and make some art. Paint, draw, sew, write, whatever. Just do something. You can see what folks have come up with here and here.

The results are brilliant! Simple and powerful, just the kind of idea I can't resist.

Even if you're not going to participate in the challenge, it's worth checking out her FAQ. If nothing else, the FAQ is a great checklist for how you might want to put together your own kind of challenge.

Back to the topic of index cards, two must read posts from the ICAD project are: What can you do with an index card and What will you do with your index cards?.

Finally, on a totally different website I found this wonderfully clever index card creativity hack:

  • Drop a tea bag randomly onto an index card and let it dry
  • Draw a grid of panels over the stain
  • Shop for images in the panels, and riff off those with some doodles and captions to make a mini-narrative

This doesn't sound like much, but check out the results, pretty amazing if you ask me.

2 comments:

  1. Ben, Thank you for all of your kind words! Index cards have been transformative for so many folks - low risk, easy peasy, yet so much potential on the teeny canvas. Perhaps you'll join us for ICAD 2013!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Daisy -

    Thanks for the invite and the comment!

    ReplyDelete

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