The first few years after my liver transplant, the dormant artist within wakened. Everything was a blank canvas, and I painted in makeshift areas; the garage, kitchen, den. Art supplies and half-finished projects crowded our normal living areas.
In May 2016, I learned of an art challenge called ICAD, or Index Card A Day. The idea is to create something on an index card every day for 61 days in June and July. It’s about sparking creativity and developing a regular creative habit.
I read more about it at Daisy Yellow Art and it seemed like a perfect fit to channel my newfound artistic energy, so I bought a pack of 4×6 index cards and some new pens and pencils (art supplies—yay!) and became an ICADian on June 1st.
One reason I felt comfortable taking part was this message on the ICAD website: “This is about sparking creativity. The work you create does not need to be good — or defined / classified by others as art.”
Exactly what I needed to hear. Every year, there’s a list of optional prompts, and I followed them. The very first card I made was a response to “Mix Tape.” As you can see, I took it literally. I used my creative muscle. It felt great.
Over the next six years, I tried new techniques, stretched my comfort zone, and improved my skills. The best part, though? The connections and friends I made in the ICAD community and the support I felt. I was not alone.
The box I keep may be full of 4×6 index cards, but it also contains things unseen. The fragile first steps of a journey, the courage to begin. Proof that when I show up, I can produce a body of work. And that when I am open to creativity, gentle and powerful changes happen within.
So really, it’s a box full of magic.
This is the 40th story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.