You probably haven’t heard of Mike Winklemann, I hadn’t until yesterday when I came upon his work while walking my day’s digital path. Apart from having the kind of surname you expect from a character in a children’s fantasy story Mike is also an artist, the kind of artist who does it all; one of those real talented bastards. Paintings to drawings to digital photography to vector illustration to 3D animation. It would seem that if you give Mr. Winklemann a canvas of any variety he’s good to go.
While being a master of that many mediums certainly is impressive, amazingly I didn’t even find that the most impressive thing about Mike. No, what inspires me about Mike is that he does it everyday. Literally, and in every sense of the word. Mike will start and finish a piece of art everyday and post it to his website under the aptly named category ‘Everydays’. Mike’s been doing an everyday for over nine years.
I told you it was impressive.
As the tally on his website states, he’s been making an everyday for 3206 consecutive days and I have a very strong suspicion that tomorrow that tally would read 3207. What’s even more impressive is that these everydays aren’t mere scribbles or flashes of paint, they are complex, sometimes stunning, pieces of art – some of which I’ll be sure to share at the bottom of this post.
As Mike states on his site:
“The purpose of this project is to help me get better at different things. By posting the results online, I’m “less” likely to throw down a big pile of ass-shit even though most of the time I still do because I suck ass.”
While I would disagree with the self deprecating last part of his statement I resoundly approve of his conception to improve his work by both doing it everyday and sharing it. That’s what I’m attempting to do with this blog.
I’ve done other one-a-day challenges before. I completed a one-a-day photo challenge for a year over at blipfoto, I’ve done one-a-day exercise programs (although more recently it’s been eat junk food and drink beer every day and while I have got results from that unplanned program they’re not the kind of results you really want), in fact this website you’re currently reading from started as a way for me to write a scene once a day. Like I said I resoundly approve this concept, and this is because the well known fact of the matter is if you want to get good at something you need to practice, practice, practice. One-a-day challenges are simply one of the best ways to motivate yourself to do this, and if you’re sharing them, even more so.
To me the important thing to remember is that these one-a-day whatever’s that you’re doing don’t, and won’t, be the best work you ever produced, in fact they could be “big piles of ass-shit”, but they will lead to your best work.
But back to Mike, the guys not only gifted artistically, he clearly has a superhuman level of persistence. Over nine years! Part of that comes from the fact that every years he chooses a new set of skills to focus on and try and improve, clearly though the guy’s a freak. An inspirational freak.
I heard about Mike’s work from an article on iO9 that you can read here, which I highly suggest you do. Not only is Mike’s work inspiring but also his thoughts on what inspires him and keeps him motivated. There’s also another article about him from the atlantic you can see here, and you can check out Mike’s website here; where you can also buy prints of some of his 3206 pieces, and, as Mike says, “cover yer walls in bullshit”.
I think I might do just that. That way I’ll not only have some great art but whenever I look at them I can remind myself I have a lot of catching up to do.
(And he completed each of these in a day!)