Daily Design #365. I did it!

Daily Design #365! Well here it is, the last day and last design of my challenge. Today I finish where I started a year ago, with an illustration of cherry blossoms, this time they are created on a Wacom digital tablet. I thought it was appropriate to end with an illustration. This one was created more manually than the one that kicked off this challenge last April 1st. I encourage you to read my first post as well as read my comments below to learn a little more on what I’m taking from this experience. I want to thank all of you again. Visitors, subscribers, Facebook fans and Tweeters, thank you so much for sharing this journey with me.

daily design 365
Of the many things I’ve learned about my design sensibilities this year the thing that stands out the most is my natural gravitation toward illustration. It is sadly a lost art for me. I started my artistic life, as a young child, as a “draw-er”. I was a crude illustrator who quickly gained the notoriety of the grown ups in my life. For my age, I had considerable talent and I got better in time. I continued, loosely, on the artist path throughout my growing and adult years, but always putting the artist thing in the back seat rather than making it a primary force in my life. Even in my career as a graphic designer, I have minimized the importance of my natural abilities as an illustrator. Always focusing on gaining a better understanding of things like color and typography. Never allowing myself to paint a picture with… well, pictures. Even with the Circadian Creative project I tried to retreat from illustration. After October’s Wacom Tablet theme, I quickly retired my digital tablet to my office drafting table where it sat until today, collecting dust. But despite my resistance you will notice that even on the simplest of levels I often fell back on basic illustrations in my designs.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love, and strive to improve in the areas of typography, and color, and balance, and all aspects of design and visual communication. I also value how the Daily Design challenge has changed and improved my outlook and experience with these things. I will always be a typophile, drooling over retro and vintage typefaces, or exploring the intricacies of typographic character forms. I will continue to enjoy my struggle with color theory and color schemes and the challenges of directing the behavior of the readers eye. However, what I will take with me into 2011 and beyond is a renewed respect for illustration. I will think about how to integrate these items into design with all the other ingredients.

It’s been a fascinating journey. There are some images here that I am really proud of. And, there are some that I could do over if given the chance, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I will revisit all of these images for years to come to serve as both a reminder of the great things I can do, as well as the things I can do better. The overall collection of images will remind me of the virtues of perseverance and dedication. There were days when I was excited and inspired and I could not wait to start and finish a design. Some days I felt like skipping a day. There were still other days when I was very concerned that I would have to skip, whether I wanted to or not. But here, at the end of the line… I did it. I did it!


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127 thoughts on “Daily Design #365. I did it!

  1. Congratulations! I’m so happy to read that you realized how much you love illustration. You are truly talented as all your designs, including this final beautiful one, prove. I am so proud of you for starting and then sticking with this. I think everything about it has been good for you, even on your days of frustration. 365 days! It’s huge! Just like your talent. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

  2. Thanks you for doing this, Sean. I have enjoyed the ones from when I found your site until today. I’m slowing going through all 365 and voting. Hope I can get through the 300 that I have left to look at before the voting ends.

  3. Wow, congrats on fulfilling the commitment. It’s great to focus on an art like that. It really helps hone your skills. I found that to be the case with my writing.

  4. Congratulations on FP and completing your challenge. I studied illustration, but turned to fine art, leaving me in a bit of a fog as to design elements. Now that I have found your blog, I hope to read it further and learn a few things.

    • Thanks melancolia. I hope to learn a think or two from the feedback I get here so I’m right with you. I do plan to continue Circadian Creative with other projects as well as share the work of others. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

  5. Many congratulations on successfully posting each day for a year! And congrats for being Freshly Pressed. Your dedication is impressive. Last year, I posted 3 times a week (t-shirt design, cartoon, and poem) and that was challenging. But that’s not even half of what you did — you created 4 more designs a week! Congrats again on your accomplishment. Take a vacation!

    • Thanks Lindsy, These images are low resolution and won’t work very well as desktop backgrounds, unless you use it on your iPhone or something. I am considering releasing some reformatted images for free download as desktop pics so check back.

  6. Hey, I just found you, and I love your cherry blossom design.

    My husband and I did a similar-but-different challenge with dinner4deux.blogspot, and we found out that, yes, we do eat black beans every week. 🙂

    Would love to see just one more wrap-up post where you feature your fave designs of your 365 adventure.

    • Thanks Noel! I love black beans. I plan to publish the best and worst of Circadian Creative soon and then continue CC by featuring more of my projects as well as feature other designers that I like. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

    • Thanks NFRC, Circadian Creative will live on to highlight some of my more in-depth projects as well as feature the work of others, so stay tuned and become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

  7. Pingback: Look what I found! « melfranco

    • Thanks Brewprints, I have been beamig with pride all day, especially after being “Freshly Pressed”! Now I have a lot of messages to read and reply to! It’s all good!

  8. A whole years worth of pics? That’s some serious effort, well done. I too used to be the one endlessly drawing pictures and I’m trying to persuade myself to get started again. Its not as easy as it once was though, I don’t have as many boring quiet evenings with nothing to do now I have a family! 🙂

    • Thanks a lot Ben! It’s great feeling to have finally conquered the challenge, and Getting Freshly Pressed today was a great reward. I was going to rest tonight but now I have a lot of comments to read and respond to. It’s all good.

  9. I’m just learning to use my Wacom tablet. This seems like a great idea to help me to become proficient with it. I finally learned how to use my CS3 Illustrator program and am ready to begin some projects I have been wanting to do for quite some time.

    I’m going to have fun wandering through the rest of your project when I have time–maybe look at a week or month at a time–and am looking forward to being inspired through your work. Congratulations on seeing it through to the end. That’s determination and committment!

    • Thanks creativeconfessions, Circadian Creative will live on so check back to see what I’m up to. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

    • Thanks Imaginarium, I really appreciate constructive feedback so please check in periodically. I will be continuing the blog, just not on a daily basis. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

    • Thanks lilac butterfly, I will be continuing the blog , just not daily. so check back if you think you’ll enjoy seeing what I’m up to. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

    • Thanks Kim. Trust me, I’m also having issues with the tablet. If you are a natural sketcher or painter then you might be frustrated with the tablet at first but practice will improve you. Are you using other graphics computer programs? one technique you can use to help get you started, and also give you some success is “paint” or trace over a photo in Photoshop. Hopefully I’ll get back to using the tablet and possibly post more here in the future. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

  10. wow.. congratulations! I even can’t finish my 365 Project of photography. I want to continue again though and I might try your 365 design project when I got the time..

    • Thanks ladyjaws! It’s a labor of love. You should continue your 365 photo project. I have learned a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses in design and I can’t recommend a 365 project enough to use as a learning experience. If you design, sketch, paint, photograph, write… what ever you do, I highly recommend doing it every day and documenting it. Looking back on 12 months of your work is amazing! Just do it! Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

  11. Great idea!

    I love your idiomatic phrases illustrations a lot!!

    Ideas for illustrations (this is what I would want to illustrate if I had any illustration talent ;-)):Book covers for classics? Haiku? Limericks?

    There is a blog about craigslist’s missed connections illustrations. Very interesting! (I do not remember the name). How about illustrating some other categories?

    Looking at your blog – older entries and newer – I do not think you will ever run out of ideas! Looks like you are very good at finding inspiration in pretty much everything!

    • Thanks Fornormalstepfathers,
      The book cover design series did not at all turn out as I had intended. I wanted to create some cover images that were reminiscent of Saul Bass or classic 1960 Penguin Classics book covers and they turned out to be something different. I reviewed the whole year of images last week and I now like the “book cover design” series and the music art series the best! Keep checking back I will be posting other projects here, just no more daily design for awhile. Stay tuned and subscribe, become a Facebook and/or Twitter fan if you want to stay updated.

  12. Awesome! I have never been artistic myself, but I have a ton of friends who are working towards their graphic design major. It is certainly an under-appreciated line of work! Most people think that working with a computer would make everything easy but, as you know, it’s not. Congrats on finishing 🙂

    • Thanks Marissa, Sometimes people think it is easy to get into this line of work but knowing what makes a good visual design is tough and I always have something to learn even after doing this kind of stuff for over ten years. Using the computer is the easy part, creating effective design is usually not easy. Good luck to you and your friends!

  13. Congratulations! What a great achievement. I am on my 4th month of posting a drawing or sketch each day and often I have wanted to skip a day because I have not been thrilled with my work. I hope I can make it to day 365! Congratulations… you did it!

    • Thanks sketchjay,
      I am very happy you are following through on your challenge. DON’T GIVE UP! If you look through my designs you will find some pretty lame ones. The best thing about them is that now I can look back on them and figure out what I would have done differently. Put all of your work out there, whether you like it or not. When you are done you will look back on the “bad” ones and realize that either they aren’t as bad as you originally thought, or you will know exactly what you should have done differently. That’s the best way to learn my friend! good luck and I will check out your project soon!

  14. Congrats on being freshly pressed and for finishing your challenge! It sounds like you had quite an enriching and learning experience; I hope someone day I can go through something like that too 🙂

  15. wonderfull ,it is very beautiful .like the really cherry blossoms. there are many blossoms on my campus.
    your creative job is like the real

    you did a good job

  16. Wow, you have a gift! To me, you can see the blossoms taking the foreground, almost forsaking the limb it breaths from as it stretches out to be noticed. Love it!

    Its like the blossoms are saying, “Here I am, so beautiful, so pink.”

    • Thanks mybakingempire. I hope you do break out the Waco tablet and give it another go. I plan to practice and become proficient with it. Once you get the hang of it, it is a great tool.

  17. Beautiful graphic illustration and congrats on making it to the big 365! I am also doing a 365 project and number 365 seems a long way off!

  18. thanks for putting your heart and soul out there.
    know the feeling, when you reached a certain threshold e.g. 365.
    They hav all been rehearsals. Now give us your real and raw instinct.
    Don’t hold back. Time is short, as it always has. “If they only took me as I am”, to paraphase Van Goh.

  19. Nice one. I have been trying to come with a cherry blossom design for some time now for my guitars. Your illustration is great inspiration. Well done. I’m gonna go back through the rest of your illustrations and check them out.

  20. Congrats Sean, thats a big journey. we all know how long it takes to create an image from nothing, be it gathering the pieces together, or starting with one vector. 🙂

  21. Pingback: 365 for Today « one365year

  22. Pingback: Creation #78. Sakura Blossom 01. | Circadian Creative

  23. Pingback: Creation #91. Cherry Blossoms Patchwork. | Circadian Creative

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