You can also watch this post in a video form on YouTube!
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At the start of 2023 I started a project called "Year of Marks". The idea was to visually document the entire year by taking a piece of paper, splitting it up into 12 sections, and filling one in at the end of every month.
I was inspired to do this by embroidery artists who create year of stitches and Karen Turner who hand embroidered a section of cloth every single day in 2022 (365 seems like quite an undertaking so I decided to do each month instead :)) This is my own version and interpretation of that idea.
I went with a loose approach where the squares blend into one another and used a variety of different mediums. I was inspired by the things I created each month as well as major events that happened in my life.
See what I added for each month along with the process video as well as my final completed piece below!
I'm also including some suggestions and tips on how to create one in case you want to try this project out!
If you like this idea and make your own Year of Marks, please give proper credit by linking back to this blog post or tagging me on social media @atiliay (for Instagram and TikTok.) I would love to see what you create!Thank you!
JULY & AUGUST
Watch the process video for this month COMING SOON!
AND HERE'S ALL OF 2023!
MAKE YOUR OWN YEAR OF MARKS PROJECT
Use a large piece of paper, such as mixed media or watercolor that can withstand different mediums. Pick a size that's easy to frame so you have the option to do so later--11x14 would work well.
Split the paper into 12 parts to represent each month.
- Use washi tape to create a border then peel off when each square is done or when the entire piece is done (so satisfying!)
- Split the sections up into circles other shapes besides a square/rectangle
- Keep it loose and less structured without any guidelines
At the end of each month/start of the next month, fill in a section/add to this piece of paper. It can be a swatch of a color, you can draw/paint/doodle something, you can use your favorite tool or technique that you tried for that month, you can get inspiration from what's going on with your life / add mementos you've collected, write in the box, use different mediums--there are many possibilities! Do what you are drawn to at that time.
- Put your year of marks sheet somewhere visible throughout the year. Tape it onto the wall, keep it on your desk, add it to a bulletin board so it isn't out of sight out of mind. This also helps you think about what you want to add next! If having it visible isn't possible, set reminders on your phone or sign up to get quick monthly email reminders to work on your project by clicking here!
HERE WE GO 2024!
I really love the slow pace of this project, adding a little bit every month, and seeing it get completed, one section at a time! It's such a fun way to capture your year and I think I will be making one of these for every year going forward! I can't wait to get started on 2024 in February! If you'd like to watch the process as I make another one, follow along on Instagram and TikTok!