8 Great Ways to Spend A Year

I've been doing a lot of research on yearlong creative projects lately and I thought I would share (in no particular order) some of my recent favorites and hopefully encourage more people to spend this coming year being creative ...

Mask365: Gary Lockwood in LA was inspired by my Skull-A-Day project to start making a piece of mask art every day for a year. The results, which range from illustration to functional sculpture, are consistently impressive. Be sure to check out his recent Nike and Converse masks made entirely from deconstructed shoes!

Burger365: Gary's friend Charlton Yu also committed to doing a yearlong project at the same time. His project is filled with an dizzying array of solutions to how you can make a burger out of anything and everything. One of my recent favorites is his literal knuckle sandwich.

Weekly Reliquary: My friend Tere Hernández-Bonét is an accomplished jeweler here in Richmond, Virginia and rather than commit to making something every day she's chosen to spend more time on larger pieces each week working with small found objects & cherished items and creating beautiful reliquaries for them. I particularly love one she made recently to hold one of cats' baby teeth!

Mailart365: London based Andy Hoang decided that he didn't want to commit to making 365 pieces of mail art alone so he decided to corral 20 of his friends into doing it as well! There's so much work being posted every day on this group site it's hard to pick a favorite. Though of course I am partial to the pieces that my mom is making for it!

Year of Thanks: Friends Karlin Lictenberger & Jaime Patterson are taking turns finding someone to publicly thank every day for a year. They're documenting their experiences along the way and so far they seem to be having a lot of fun. What I especially like about their fairly personal project is that it's a wonderfully simple idea that anyone can do right away.

Every Day Is Awesome: My friend Paul Overton, the force behind Dude Craft, has decided that one blog isn't enough and has committed himself to writing 500 words each day in his attempt to make "every day as awesome as possible." He's off to a rollicking start and has already initiated many great conversations with his readers.

BBCX365: Johnny Selman decided to create a poster a day for a year as part of his graduate thesis at Academy of Art in San Francisco. He's using headlines from the BBC news website as his source material and has already created an amazing body of work. Check out the compelling images that read like gorgeous protest posters for subjects ranging from Cholera in Haiti to Poaching in South Africa.

Napkin Moustache A Day: I'm just waiting for friend Phil Ford's project to start a nationwide craze! Phil is wearing a napkin as a mustache at one meal every day for a year and his silly expressions and stories of baffled observers are priceless. The commitment is low and the results are hilarious, so seriously why aren't you doing this at your next luncheon?

Inspired yet? And hey, if you've done a yearlong project or are in the midst of one, I'd love to hear about it and share it on my 365 blog!


  1. Awh man, I was hoping for places to live or projects to do, like teaching English to foreigners. Any one have a good experience with anything like that?

    1. Sure. But I went to the foreigners… In Korealand now. Tis a sweet gig.

      But, I have a feeling that’s not what you’re asking about >_<

  2. I followed the original skull project, and and found it very inspirational — but I haven’t built up the nerve yet to start my own project, mostly because I’m not confident in my own art/crafting abilities. But I still may kick it off on January 1. We’ll see!

  3. I didn’t really understand what was meant by napkin moustache, and now that I’ve seen the pictures, I am still not entirely clear what is going on. Does the moustache stay on the whole lunch? How? Or just for a picture? (my suspicion). Besides BB, who is the intended audience for Napkin Moustache? Is there a charity associated with it? Do I have to read the whole backstory on this guy to learn why Napkin Moustache is supposed to be funny or interesting or whatever? Most importantly, now that it’s been in BB, the guy will have to carry on with Napkin Moustache far longer than he would have had he remained moderately anonymous. Before BB, I would have given him two months, tops. Now he will have to go longer I suppose. I will be absolutely stunned if we return in a year and find that he made it.

  4. Noah,

    It’s been a long time since OHS. I was excited to first read about your work here on BoingBoing. I dropped in to see the Skull-A-Day exhibit when I was last in Richmond but didn’t manage to run into you – damn shame. Now I see you get guest commenter status on the best blog on the tubes. Double good on ya.


  5. These sorts of thing-a-day projects have always intrigued me, so I’m glad to know about the 365 blog. I’ll be watching there for inspiration.

    I’m on day 18 of my own video-a-day project called Brain Blinks. I’m having a great time with it so far. A bit of a liberating experience, actually – even at this early stage. It’s nice not to worry so much about whether or not something is ‘good’ and just enjoy the creative process. I’m also hoping that the daily exercise will give me a bit more creative stamina. (^_^)

  6. I think I’m probably missing the spirit of this article, but it still requires year-long dedication.

    When you really dislike someone and want to unequivocally express to them how miserable they make you, try my patented (not really) “365 Days of Battlefield Earth”. It’s easy: simply procure or pirate 365 copies of the Battlefield Earth DVD, and mail to (or drop into the mail box of) your victim. They will be begging for mercy in weeks.

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