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7 Years and 2,555 Drawings Later, Beeple Looks Back on his 'everydays' Project

Artist and animator Beeple, a.k.a., Mike Winkelmann, has a secret to share about his seemingly boundless creativity.
November 11, 2014, 5:45pm

Beeple, a.k.a., Mike Winkelmann, is an animator known for the trippy aesthetics of his short films We Are The Transparent Machines™ and Warm Neon Birth, and his directorial work for the music videos of Flying Lotus and Daedalus. Few, however, may know that he began his artistic journey in hand-drawing. From there, he mastered Cinema 4D, Illustrator, digital photography and more tools with practice… But old habits die hard: Beeple has been creating one daily drawing for the past seven years—without missing a single day.

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"It's a really great way to learn new skills or hone your existing ones," he explains about this, his so-called everydays project. Beyond an efficient way to learn new art technologies, it teaches creators how to start and finish projects, how to stay motivated, and how to come to terms with releasing work that isn't absolutely perfect, he adds. Beeple believes that artists, including himself, tend to covet ideas that only works in theory, rather than in practice. By drawing something new every day, he can sift through many new inspirations and iterations before landing on a final result: "I have a ton of ideas to start from as bases. I can try things out really quickly to see if it's worth pursuing any further. Sometimes it is and most of the time it's not."

We're crossing our fingers that Beeple will take notes from this artist who transformed 7 years of drawings into one book. In the meantime, Beeple shared with us three of his favorite pieces from the past few months of his everydays project:

crystal tapeworms, 6-25-14: "This began as an idea for liquid animation that I thought might look cool and ended up looking kind of crap.  A lot of my ideas start out very simple and then I try them and they fail and then I go from there and try to salvage something from it.  I very rarely have a super thought out idea when I sit down.  Usually I'm just sort of splattering paint on the canvas until I run out of time / patience."

ELEVEN.CN, 8-24-14: "That day I built out some infographic assets for a short film I am working on and then rendered them out for my everyday. This 'everyday' is not really indicative of what the final project will look like but everydays are a great way to explore the different assets you're building for a bigger project.  It's sort of like a process shot / concept art for the film even though it quite abstracted from what the final product will be."

10-20-14 (lethargic pup): "This is a sort of lofi-weird geometric style of characters that first used in the Kill Your Co-workers video for Flying Lotus and keep coming back to now and again. I love building these characters because you can make them really quick and try out a bunch of different ideas since they're so simple."

For added inspiration, here are a few additional pieces from Beeple's October 2014 collection:

Follow along everyday on Beeple's Facebook and Tumblr.

Related:

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Beeple's Glowing Virtual Tunnels Give Viewers A 'Warm Neon Birth'

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User Preferences: Tech Q&A With 3D Animator Beeple