In honor of All Hallows Eve… and keeping creativity alive with daily pet projects

In 2006 Stefan G. Bucher embarked on a grand challenge – to create a monster a day for 100 days. It was an fun exercise he invented to keep himself inspired, which grew into a community of fervent fans, fame, fortune, lots of speaking engagements… and a book. Since the first 100 monsters, he’s created over 100 more spooky little creatures.

He uses a brush to apply Sumi ink to bond paper, then blows the ink to create intricate threads and branches. After a few minutes of brainstorming and moving the paper around to see the ink from all directions, he settles on a monster and makes it come to life! On his toolbelt are Sharpie markers, Faber-Castell Pitt and Tombow ABT pens, and Staedtler pigment liners. Besides the incredible illustrations, I am also amazed by the way the community of monster fans grew. During the first 100, Bucher invited his blog readers to contribute stories about the finished monster. Here’s an example of a story for Daily Monster 46 (above) from Sam B on the Daily Monster Blog:

Heywood was a fine gift. I never expected to get a pony for my birthday. Everything about him looked great, but upon closer examination of the aforementioned equestrian, its poor condition was soon discovered. I had been given a mad pony.

Just under fourteen hands tall, Heywood barely made the pony cut. Outcast by his peers for his size, and useless as a rider due to a rare distoangular impaction of his wolf teeth, he was ignored and ridiculed throughout his life.

He was given a small plot of pasture, ten feet by ten feet where he spent his youth. He had grown quite delusional and psychotic from years of seclusion. And after a few years had passed, his owner decided to put him up for sale.

My parents, always ones to jump on a bargain, saw the ad in the local classifieds for a discount pony and thought of me.

I grew to enjoy his company, although he still creeps me out a little with his constant toothy smile. There’s not much rolling around upstairs in ol’ Heywood’s noodle, but his heart is big and he enjoys my companionship. I would have tried to get rid of him at first, but he was a gift pony, and I never once looked him in the mouth.

Bucher also invites people to send their own monsters, which is a fun way to involve the community and spread the creative energy. We all have our ‘monsters’ that need to come out sometimes!

There are a lot of designers and artists that find inspiration by working on daily pet projects. Rick Valicenti for example, who visited my Typography I class last week (!), embarked on a powerful soul-searching mission called Notes to Self. Artist Kate Bingaman-Burt draws one item that she buys each day and posts the image to her Obsessive Consumption blog. She never thought of herself as an illustrator but now most of her freelance projects are clients wanting her ‘daily drawing style’. Like Bucher, she uses social media like her blog, Flickr and Facebook to interact with her fans and other artists. She also has a monthly Obsessive Consumption zine you can find on

Published by Elizabeth Pizzuti

Design, art, and cats mostly

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