The end of the year always seems to provide a bevy of artistic challenges.

24-Hour Comics Day. Inktober. The 30 Characters Challenge. NaNoWriMo.

Each one of these events is designed to create manageable and sustainable focus, to push your limits, to help you discover new things about your craft, and maybe have some fun along side your peers who are also taking the challenge.

And as we've discussed often on the Lean Into Art Cast, a healthy and instructive part of the cycle is a round of reflection.

For the month of November, Rob and Jerzy will be posting daily reflections through their respective microcasts, the Polytechnicast and Thunder Punch Daily. If you're up for the challenge, we'd like you to play along.

The Plan:

  • Record a 5-10 minute audio journal reflecting on your workday
  • Share the journal microcast on your blog or social media with the #artsoundoff tag so we can follow along

Frequency is up to you--you can post them daily, weekly, or whenever you find the time. The big idea is to get in the habit of turning on that analytic eye and foster more intentionality into your work the following day.

What is a journal microcast? What do you mean by "reflection"?

Think of it as a discussion with yourself on how your art went that day; what you planned to do, what you accomplished, what you hope to do better next time, or what today's takeaways might lead to with tomorrow's work.

But it doesn't have to start and end there! Here are some examples from Jerzy and Rob's microcasts:

Yeah, but how do make a microcast?

It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Many of the TPD and Polytechnicast episodes were recorded on smartphones. Your laptop or desktop computer's internal microphone is sufficient to record a microcast. Audio quality is fine--but it's the content that really matters, here.

Here are some resources to help you record your own microcasts:

  • Audacity, a free recording application for Mac/Windows/Linux
  • Soundcloud is a service that enables you to record and share your audio from within a web browser
  • AudioBoom (formerly Audioboo) is a free service that enables you to record and share 5-minute recordings from the desktop or your phone
  • There are also tons of free (and premium) recording apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Let's turn on our analytic eyes and see what we can discover this November!