12 Hour Research Project Recap

IMG_4808On July 30th I did another crazy 12 hour project. This time, instead of making art for 12 hours straight, I read and wrote stuff for 12 hours. I announced the project the day before here on my blog and while I had a little bit of an idea what the plan was, I was not confident in it.

In fact, the entire 12 hours I had no idea what I was doing. My brain got so tired. I was hoping to start reading something and what I read would send me to something else to discover some exciting things. That kind of happened.

Here’s part of the chronology of events, as they occurred, so you can get a frame of reference for the rest of my time:

9:00am – Thirty minutes of stream of consciousness writing.

9:30am – Read the Minus Times, a publication favorite of mine. I wrote down this quote:

“Some think being an artist is a poor business model. Still I wouldn’t mind being a business model.” – Eric Amling, An Infinity Pool

And got some cool phrases I might use in my art:

  • reflection of a hummingbird
  • unequivocal chaos with no perimeters
  • like a lover, both sexy and insane

10:00am – Update social media. Read Ecotone publication. This publication, I learned, is actually put out by UNCW. I got it from Barnes and Nobles and had no idea it was a local thing. So that’s cool.

“Samuel Johnson called writing ‘the epidemical conspiracy for the destruction of paper’ and I see his point.” – David Gessner

Read from The Eighty-Eight publication (clearly I’m in a publication phase):

“In the distant future, when you are 24, don’t bother to take a photograph that time you see a platypus in the wild–you won’t be able to make her out on the photograph, and you miss valuable seconds of actual platypus viewing time.” – Evie Wyld, Note to Self at Four Years Old

I wrote a poem inspired by photos of the ocelot. Way too embarrassed to share it here…but maybe one day.

You get the point…Here’s a list of what I read/wrote the rest of the time:

Pieces of:

  • Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
  • Brainpickings.org: This article on loneliness in the city, this article on solitude, Virginia Woolf on how to read a book
  • How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles van Doren
  • The Works of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
  • The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Stream of consciousness writing to process some of what I read
  • July 2016 Vogue, give my brain some time to breathe
  • The Works of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe (again)
  • Cabinet of Natural Curiosities

I won’t continue sharing all my quotes but I did pull some gems, especially from the gorgeous writing of Edgar Allen Poe.

Here’s one of my favorites:

“Who shall presume to imitate the colors of the tulip or to improve the proportions of the lily of the valley?” – Edgar Allen Poe

FullSizeRender 18So overall I did get some great things from this project:

  • beautiful phrases to borrow for my art
  • exposure to writers I might not have pursued otherwise
  • a few interesting ideas to pursue
  • focused introspective time with my journal

Will I do this again? Probably. I might change a few things about how I used my the 12 hours. But over all, I loved it and, though it didn’t directly affect my art business like my 12 hour art project does, it affected my mind and creativity, which is just as valuable.

If you’re as crazy as me and want to try it, let me know how it goes.

Thanks for reading!



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