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Celebrating the insignificant with Fun-A-Day

Daily doings
By ANNIE LARMON  |  February 10, 2011

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COMIC-A-DAY. Molly McIntyre’s January 28 creation.
What happens when you dedicate time every day for a month to one creative endeavor? Can a combination of repetition and extra attention render lunch composition an artistic pursuit? Or making the bed? This Friday, the "Bayside Subterranean" venue the Apohadion will be hosting the first iteration of Artclash Collective's Fun-A-Day in Portland. This democratic art event yields a surprising range of results. The Phoenix talked to Philly ex-pat Molly McIntyre, a "tertiary" member of the Artclash collective and Fun-A-Day Portland collaborator, to find out what the hoopla is all about.

HOW DID FUN-A-DAY START? HOW HAS IT DEVELOPED? Fun-A-Day started in West Philadelphia in 2005. My friend Nick had a friend who wrote a song every day for a month, and Nick was inspired to do the same for the month of January. This is turn inspired his friends Mike, Corey, and Kara to do something (I think songs and drawings) every day for the month of January, and Fun-A-Day was born. I believe it was around this time that they decided to form the Artclash Collective, which has been putting on Fun-A-Day, along with other projects, ever since. When Nick and I moved to California a few years later, we decided to do Fun-A-Day there, and recruited some other Philly transplants to help us organize. Now there are shows all over the country, organized by people we know and people we don't know, thanks to word of mouth.

WHAT ARE THE RULES/CONSTRAINTS OF FUN-A-DAY? The rules are to do something every day for the month of January. In the past people have done things like bake a cake every day, get a piggy-back ride from someone every day, and make the bed every day, in addition to more traditional "arty" projects like doing a drawing every day. It's not required to show your project at the end, but most people want to, in which case it has to somehow be documented — either self-documented, as a drawing is, or documented in some other way, like photographing the piggy-back rides. The Fun-A-Day show is always free to participate in and to attend, all ages, unjuried, and non-commercial. Also, people do show projects that are unfinished, because even with the best of intentions, sometimes it's hard to do the thing every day. I say this because sometimes people feel like they can't show unless they did all 31 pieces. They can!

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE MORE EXCITING RESULTS? Doing something small every day is a nice way to see how little steps can become something real. It's less intimidating than trying to make one big perfect thing: When you have to do something every day, you know that it can't be something that takes a really long time, because you won't do it.

Also, I think people often choose something useful. Since you're doing it every day, you kind of want it to make your life better. My friend Yonah once did floss-a-day, and Kara did mend-something-a-day, which was really sweet. My mom did Fun-A-Day this year, and she did make-something-around-the-house-better-a-day. It's kind of nice to take these little things that we do during the day that we don't necessarily tell anyone about, and all get together and celebrate them.

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