Creating index card art

For the last few years, I've participated in an annual creativity challenge called Index-Card-a-Day, or ICAD for short. The challenge takes places over June and July each year, and has a great community spirit to it.

The idea is to create every day in a way that is super accessible and not too precious. I love that the lines on the index cards show through the work to remind me that it's a simple exercise in getting creative, not an attempt to create a lasting work of art :)

By the end of the 2016 ICAD challenge, I had completed over a hundred index cards. They've become a terrific library of ideas to revisit later, like a sketchbook or art journal. I also used them as a backdrop for a small exhibition last year, and I loved the way they looked all together.

Sally Cummings index card collection 2016, photo by Tracy Paterson

I decided to take part again in 2017, but I wanted to do something different to the business card project and previous years' ICAD challenges. So I set myself some rules by splitting the cards into three horizontal sections, and keeping each section bold and simple. I didn't want to get slowed down by spending a lot of time creating complex designs.

Pile of index cards, ready for creativity to happen

I created 28 index cards this year - a bit less than in previous years, but I'm so glad I participated. All of the cards can be viewed on my Flickr account, and a few of my favourites are pictured below.

Selection of eight index cards from the 2017 creative challenge

The index card challenge holds a special place in my heart, and I would go so far as to credit it with re-sparking my creativity after many years of dormancy. A daily creativity practice isn't always easy, but it's amazing how that act of doing gets the ideas flowing. Whether you share your work or just keep it to yourself, it's worth it :)