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Cultivating Creativity Every Day

cultivating creativity every dayOn June 4, 2007 artist Noah Scalin created a skull on his blog and promised to create a different skull every day for a year.

He did.

He created a variety of skulls: everything from his first orange paper skull to a flower skull to a PB&J skull to a skull made out of pennies. That’s 365 skulls and counting. (He continues the project today with submissions from readers.)

His daily project inspired the book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life! In it, Scalin encourages readers to create their own year-long project. He shares one suggestion each day to help spark readers’ imaginations.

He writes that “a daily project is a personal journey that can offer you a rare opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth with tangible results” (p.6).

So how does it work?

Readers begin by picking the same subject (e.g., smiley faces, flowers) or medium (e.g., painting, photography) to work with for the year. Pick something that you’re passionate about!

Your subject or medium may evolve as you progress through the project, he writes in his book. But still be sure to choose something that piques your interest — a lot.

These are some of my favorite ideas from Scalin’s book:

  • “The first step is the hardest, so start small today and make something that fits in the palm of your hand using only the materials in your immediate environment.” (Day 1)
  • “Create a bridge. Connect two things in a creative way. It could be small enough for an amoeba or big enough for an elephant to cross it.” (Day 22)
  • “Learn something new. Ask a friend to help you do something using a technique or skill they’re good at.” (Day 43).
  • “Time travel. Make something that seems like it came from another era in history.” (Day 71)
  • “Write a ten-word autobiography. Bonus: Illustrate it! Extra credit: Make a six-word version and share it at” (Day 128)
  • “Create a mosaic using cut paper. Snippets of color from magazines are ideal for this.” (Day 219)
  • “Put pen to paper and draw for at least thirty minutes without stopping. If you get stuck, just doodle until an idea comes to you. For an even greater challenge, don’t lift the pen from the page until the time is up.” (Day 257)

?Do you think this is something you would try? What subject or medium would you use?If you’ve done a project like this already, please share below what you did and how it went!

Photo by See-mingLee, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

Cultivating Creativity Every Day

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Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. is an Associate Editor and regular contributor at Psych Central. Her Master's degree is in clinical psychology from Texas A&M University. In addition to writing about mental disorders, she blogs regularly about body and self-image issues on her Psych Central blog, Weightless.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2018). Cultivating Creativity Every Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 3 Mar 2011)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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