You’ve heard the saying, practice makes perfect – the idea that if we devote ourselves to doing something with regularity, we’ll almost certainly improve and grow better at things just through sheer repetition.
Well, last year Amanda Sandlin discovered kind of by accident that practice has the power to crack us open, too, if we do it in a certain way.
She discovered that dedicating to just doing creative work every day, without judgment, without even necessarily trying to make money, can actually help us uncover our own voice and aesthetic. You know, that way of making or doing or expressing yourself that feels fully and completely you.
Yeah, that thing so many of us struggle with.
Amanda was struggling with it too, this time last year. She’d studied journalism and done a few writing gigs, then fell into graphic design after somewhat incredibly teaching herself how while working fulltime for Danielle LaPorte.
Then came an opportunity to move across the world to New Zealand, the perfect chance to go freelance. Thing was, Amanda had no idea what her real voice or style was.
So, she started what she called The Year of Making.
For an entire year, she gave herself full creative freedom to make anything she wanted. No judgment. No pressure. No need to sell anything. No need to even like what she was making. Just one condition: make something new every single day, no matter how small. 365 days. 365 pieces of creative expression.
Her Year of Making began in January 2015. In the months that followed, Amanda tried everything. Typography, illustration, stop motion photography, video blogging, even sewing – which she reckons didn’t work out so well. Sometimes she’d realise at 11pm that she hadn’t yet made something that day and have to scurry off and get making.
Of course, it was hard to keep up the momentum at times. But Amanda found that, after months of consistently showing up and doing the work, she began to make art that felt like an honest expression of herself, for the first time in her life.
Things get pretty deep pretty quickly in this interview. In the first few minutes, Amanda goes to a place even she wasn’t expecting and reveals a part of her life story that she’s rarely spoken about publicly. I reckon there couldn’t be a better demonstration of just how wholeheartedly she’s learned to express herself over the past year. Continue Reading →