grow your art challenge

Grow Your Art Challenge: The Final Countdown

Way back in January, I issued a challenge. Myself included. Make something this year. Make something that will challenge you. Make something you can finish. Make something you'll share when this year is over. Just make something.

In the making, I thought, we'd grow as artists. The deadline, I thought, would pull us onwards and upwards together. I've been surprised along the way. But I've been right.

Even though I am not going to finish my project on time, I am right about this challenge. I've grown. I've accomplished more than I would have otherwise.

The surprising bit? I've grown in other ways. Not just in the straight line of this project, but laterally, into other projects. 

But enough about me. This is the December check in. So those of you who made commitments, it's almost time to post the final score. Just seconds left in the third period. It's time to take stock, adjust, and finish what you can before the clock ticks out. How is your project coming along?

As usual, four questions;

  1. What have you completed?
  2. What can you show us today?
  3. What is your biggest challenge?
  4. How can we help you finish strong?

"So this is Christmas. And what have you done?"

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You have something to say–why not say it here? Email your blog post idea to and let's chat.

Grow Your Art Challenge Check-In: October

It's time to take stock, friends. Time to look at what we've accomplished this year and say 'that's good', or 'I need to push through a little harder now'.

I need to push through a little harder now.

In January I made a commitment. I wanted to record a 6 song EP this year. I started with a whole album, then pared that back. I thought 6 songs was doable. Perhaps even easy. It has not been easy.

The sand is nearly drained. There is just one piece of pie left. I want to savour it. I want to make good on my commitment, for my sake and yours. I want to show us both that goals can mean something - that they can pull us forwards to unexpected and joyous destinations.

Many of you began this journey with me in January. Many of you said, 'yes, I'm going to complete an art project this year.' We set goals, and I promised you a party to celebrate and share. Regardless of how we've done, there will indeed be a party.

A Winding Road

Since January, a lot has happened. While I've picked away, more slowly than intended, on my EP, I've traveled and written much more than in the past. I've been part of great projects like Bridge Songs. My church has moved homes. The Bleeding Heart Art Space has found a home of its own. Between these exciting events, in the tight spaces, my art is still breathing, if sometimes just barely.

Finishing Well

Today I am taking a hard look at my progress and deciding whether I can make that goal or not. I am going over what I've done. I am being realistic and giving myself heaps of grace. I am checking in with the rest of you.

So, is your project coming along? Please share by answering the following questions ...

  1. What have you accomplished so far?
  2. Do you think you can make your goal, or do you need to adjust it?
  3. What is the biggest obstacle you face to complete your project in the next 2 months?
  4. How can we as a community help you reach your goal (this is the time to help each other out with that final push friends!)

The outlook may be sunny or gloomy as today's October skies, but either way, don't give up. Don't be hard on yourself. Heads up and all that.

We can do this. Together.

Blog for Bleeding Heart!

You have something to say–why not say it here? Email your blog post idea to and let's chat.

September Check-In: Grow Your Art Challenge

It's time again for a check in. Some real-deal accountability for our 2014 Grow Your Art Challenge.

Summer was nice. The sunshine brought a lovely bit of relaxation, but the leaves are turning friends. That means our year-long project is nearly 75% done. That means just 3 more months until we gather to celebrate our accomplishments (even our incomplete ones).

I don't say all of this to scare you. I say all of this to scare me.

I'll fill you in on my progress below, but let's just say I need this accountability at least as much as any of you. This is that time in the project where things seem a bit impossible. Rocky is down and bloody on the mat. Things are looking bleak.

But then ...

But then the crowd chants, slow at first and then louder. Raucous. Roaring. 'Rocky! Rocky!'

Then hope rises. 

I'm looking for the hope of the crowd today friends. Maybe you are too. We can do this thing. I'm not licked yet. 

Please check in below by answering these four questions;

  1. What have you made for the Challenge since last check-in (which was actually June)?
  2. Is there something you can show us?
  3. What is the biggest challenge you are facing now?
  4. How can we help you move forward?

Blog for Bleeding Heart!

You have something to say–why not say it here? Email your blog post idea to and let's chat.