I went back and forth for a few days at the end of 2015, wondering if it was crazy of me to try to attempt a daily project in 2016.

Here are the main reasons:

  1. I am notoriously bad at daily creative projects. I get through about 7 days and then lose interest.
  2. I have a 3 1/2 month old (very time-consuming) baby at home and am a first-time mom (!!)

Right?! Why would I even attempt it??

Here are the main reasons:

  1. I love a good challenge.
  2. In 2015 I actually did complete 2 (yes 2!!) daily projects – I took a photograph each day that I posted on Instagram with the hashtag #dailyswiftpics . Check them out! I actually did it every day, and it felt really good to post the final one on December 31. In fact, I’m going for another year now, it became such  habit and I liked it so much!
  3. I am going crazy not making art lately (because of previously mentioned baby)
  4. I really want to be someone who can complete a daily creative project for a whole year
  5. I decided I could make it easy on myself. I make the rules.

So here are the rules:

  1. Each day I create an animal.
  2. Paint it, draw it, paper, wood, canvas, spend 5 minutes, spend 3 hours, whatever. Just an animal a day in one form or another.
  3. Post it to Instagram with the hashtag #dailyanimalart . (I just clicked on that link, and it looks like other people are joining in the fun and creating their own animals, too!)
  4. That’s it!


So at the top is Day 1. Badger. Day 2 was Skunk. I really love animals as totems and I love knowing what they mean. Some mean a lot to me. Badger is one of them. Fox is another.

Day 3 with Fox is where it started to get interesting:


I’m basically in love with this painting. Realize that’s a weird thing to say about one’s own work and it makes me sound egotistical, but I promise it’s not that. It’s just that this painting surprised me. A lot. Real talk: I painted it in about 30 minutes with Coen sitting on my lap for part of the time. It just came through, and then there it was sitting in front of me, finished. And now it’s sitting on my mantle. Every now and then I create something that I know I’ll never sell or give away; something that’s mine to keep, as a reminder of a time in my creative life that was somehow special. This is one of those pieces.

I think some magic might happen in this daily practice, especially because I’m not going to have a lot of time to devote to it (again, because of aforementioned baby!). I hope to have many more of these surprising, magical moments over the course of the year.

When I can get out of my own way and just CREATE, with the only intention to be to paint an animal, there is some real freedom in that. I don’t have time for the negative self-talk that often comes in. I don’t have time for questioning. I only have time for paint. And colored pencils. And whatever else I happen to be holding in my hand on this particular day. I am very excited to see where this all goes. Time will tell! Hello, 2016. :)


Day 4 was Black Bear. Day 5 was Raccoon.

I’ve been writing a bit about what each animal symbolizes over on Instagram, if you’re interested in knowing more about the specific animals. One of my favorite animal totem resources is this deck of animal medicine cards. I use it pretty much daily.


If you’d like to follow along and see what I create, please follow me on Instagram! (You’re on Instagram, right? If not, do it!! It’s the best.)  I’ll be posting my animal images here on the blog, too, but not daily – Instagram is the place for that. :)

And now, back to tend the babe.

More animal pics soon!