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Stay Creatively Inspired with a Dailies Project

Caleb Ward
By Caleb Ward
By Caleb Ward

Check out this surefire way to boost your creativity in as little as 30 minutes a day.

Due to stressful working hours or an overwhelming amount of projects it can be easy to lose your creative edge and become stagnant in your skill set. By setting aside an hour everyday you can stay fresh and learn new techniques. This is the foundation of the “Dailies Project“.

The Dailies Project is a self-motivated challenge that filmmakers and motion graphic designers can use to boost their creativity by making 1 new original project every day. The approach was recently used by professional motion designer Will Fortanbary, as he created one new project every day for a month. The results are pretty impressive…

To help inspire you to do your own dailies project we asked Will to share the thoughts and process behind his Dailies project. If you have any other questions for Will please ask in the comments below!

Will Fortanbary1. How did you come up with the ideas for the Dailies Project? 

I can’t claim that this as an original idea. I stumbled across beeple-craps dailies a few months or so ago and thought it was a brilliant way to stay creative. Then like all creative pieces: I just dove in!

2. How do you approach a project? Do you storyboard or just experiment?

I typically just mess around until something cool happens. Some of the dailies are boring, but I just want to know how to start playing with volumetric lights, or caustics or whatever. So I kick off a render to just work on that one thing: the result aren’t always pretty, but I’m learning and that’s important.

3. How long did it take you to come up with an idea?

It depends on the idea. Some dailies are just practical applications of different things I want to learn. Usually  I’ll go in with little to no goal and just end up kicking something out to render!

4. What advice do you have to people who want to be more creative?

That’s a tricky one, I would say two things. First, surround yourself with people that inspire you. I work with some incredibly creative and talented folks and I draw a lot of inspiration from them. Second, surround yourself with experiences that inspire you. Take a random trip, go mountain biking, or learn a new language.  You’d be amazed by the amount of creativity that starts to pour out.

5. How did you learn to use Cinema 4D and After Effects so well?

I’m pretty much a self taught guy.

I learned a lot of what I know on the Internet- I’ve probably spent thousands of hours watching tutorials. Oh, and the best way to really learn something is to fail. I’ve failed a lot of times in those programs and I’ve hopefully learned from a few of my mistakes. Also the guys at Video Copilot and Greyscale Gorilla have taught me a ton. They’re some seriously talented artists! You should check them out!

6. Where/How do you get inspired to create something?

I like to browse Vimeo and different design blogs for about 30 minutes everyday. This gets my creativity flowing. Plus I usually have a cup of coffee at that time, so life is good.

7. What are some resources you use to boost your creativity?

My greatest resource is people. The folks I work with and the design friends I’ve met through the Internet always challenge me to fail harder, do better, And push the limits of my creativity. In addition to drawing inspiration from my friends, I like to use the resources around me. I am wicked creative in the morning (like 6AM!) so I wake up around then and start to work!

8. How does music play into your creative process and final products?

I love music. I always have it playing in the background when I work. It usually sets the tone for my projects. If I need a project to have “high energy” then I typically listen to high energy music and try to have that time come through.

Thank you for sharing your insights Will! To see more of Will’s work follow the Dailies project on his site or check out his Vimeo page. Will currently works as a motion graphic designer for Crawford Media Services in Atlanta.

Have any advice for doing a Dailies project or an example of a Dailies project you’ve created? Share in the comments below.