HOW I CHANGED MY LIFE:
In our continuous pursuit to uncover the keys to productivity, we turned to WNW Member #1168 Chris Piascik. He's an accomplished illustrator who has posted a total of 2,000 original works since 2007. If anyone can teach us how to be disciplined, its Chris.
Not only has he inspired folks like Josh LaFayette along the way, he's changed his own life. Chris credits his daily posts with granting him the freedom to go independent. His work ethic is inspiring and his work? Fucking awesome.
How’d you start? Why?
I spent the majority of my childhood drawing all the time and that continued all through school. Drawing new packaging for the albums around my house made me think I wanted to be a graphic designer. So I went to art school, majored in graphic design and became a graphic designer. After a few years I realized I wasn’t drawing as much as I used to. The only drawing I was really doing was sketches for the projects I was working on. That realization kind of freaked me out, so I decided to make it a point to start drawing more. Being an obsessive, workaholic I decided the only thing to do would be to post a new drawing on my site everyday. That was at the end of 2007.
Did you declare that you were going to post every day or were you doing this anyway and then declared it?
I actually posted, "I have set myself a goal to spend a few minutes each day drawing something (anything) in my sketchbook."
How did you choose Instagram as your medium?
I wouldn’t say Instagram is my medium, it just happened to be a popular outlet for viewing my drawings. I’ve always used social media to share my daily drawings and when Instagram came out it was a good fit for me. I started my daily drawings pretty long before Instagram was around.
Do you stockpile a few in advance?
Once in a while, I wish I did more. I really only stockpile if I am going to be traveling and won’t have time. Even then, I often find myself working in a hotel room late at night getting a new post ready.
Did you ever almost quit? How’d you keep going?
Nope, I really enjoy doing a new drawing each day. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but once I am drawing it’s usually all good. I like the process and support/feedback I get on social media.
How have you seen your work change?
My illustrations have vastly improved and I’ve gotten faster, smoother, and more consistent.
What’s the hardest part?
Coming up with ideas. I used to be more willy-nilly with what I drew, more random nonsense. At some point, I raised the bar for myself. In the early days, my dailies were just quick doodles in a sketchbook. Now each drawing has become a finished illustration.
Who else is doing this that you admire?
It’s been great watching my friend Josh LaFayette grow through his daily drawing series. His drawings are the best and he always makes me laugh.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in doing this?
Doing something everyday definitely pays off! My daily drawing series literally changed my life. When I started I was a staff designer at a small studio, a year into my dailies I started getting commissioned client work based on my drawings. A couple years later I was a fully independent illustrator. I’ve been working for myself doing exclusively illustration since 2010, I never would have imagined that would be possible.
Tell us about 1000 Days of Drawing: did you always intend to do a book? How'd you decide that 1,000 postings was enough to make a book?
I had no plans for my dailies when I first started. I wish I did because it would have saved me a lot of work digging through sketchbooks trying to wrangle and scan each of them. After I got to around 500 I started thinking it would be cool to do a book. To me, 1,000 seemed like the magic number. I’m getting close to 2,000 now and I’m planning on doing a second book.