A Side Project

Last week, I spoke about passions and the need to find a way to do the things we are most passionate about. I know some people would read last week's post and would love to follow a passion, but they feel as though time and reality prevent them from doing so.

May I introduce you to the Side Project.

I have spoken about side projects in the past, but why is a side project something that should be important to us?

As creatives, we live in a world of ideas, development, and deployment. Every project can easily be the same step-by-step. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. By tackling a side project, we become eligible to step outside of the routine and try a different process.

In an interview with the CREATE:initiative, Blaine Hogan says this about a side project:

I think we need to constantly be pulled out of our comfort zone and side projects are essential for this. We need to take risks, try new things, be inspired by other mediums and genres. Unless we have side projects, it is very easy to get stuck.

With that in mind, what are the all-inclusive (or just made up) rules of a side project?

1. It must stretch you creatively.

Side projects are opportunities to break away from daily creative world you live in. A side project can be very similar to work you do for clients or employers, but it must be a chance for you to stretch your creative imagination and education. 

Perhaps you work in the digital creativity world. Why not try creating something physically with wood, or painting on a canvas? Maybe you are like me and make videos routinely, but have never produced something on a larger scale. A side project presents the opportunity to become better at something, and becoming better will only help your day job.

2. It must be fun.

If you are going to make the effort to work on a side project, please make it fun. There is no need beating your head against a wall if it won't be any fun for you to do. Will your side project cause frustrations? Sure it will! If you are learning, you are bound to be frustrated at some point. 

But this project should be something you can find enjoyment in. If you like to work outdoors after being cooped up in an office all day, maybe a small garden can be your side project. Whatever it is, your side project should be something you look forward to doing.

3. It must be something you are passionate about.

Going back to last week, a side project should be something that makes you come alive. It should be something that once you begin doing it, you realize you couldn't live without it. Your side project should be something you don't mind spending a little extra time finishing on a Saturday morning. It's amazing how fun and fulfilling a side project can be if it is a project you are passionate about.

As the days get longer and the sun shines a little brighter, may I encourage you to tackle a side project? Find an outlet to stretch creatively, unwind and make something you are passionate about.

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