For my project, I lived with only 100 or less items for six weeks. In essence I became a minimalist, because I had to reevaluate the important things in my life when I downsized. My biggest challenge was sticking to only 100 items. In the beginning, it was hard not buying anything, and not using items that I hadn't chosen. At first, I found a struggle in resisting the lure of material possessions, but then I realized that most of the items I was drawn too didn't add to me, and after the first week or so the temptation subsided. After the initial lure, I felt free from the clutches of consumerism.
10 years from now, I will look back on this project and I will remember that minimalism (as I will continue to live minimally) is about happiness. Its not about the new trend, or owning less, its about being your "purest" self. Its about surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, so that you can be satisfied and content with what you have. Minimalism is very important to me, and will always be intertwined with my existence. This is something I will never forget because it is vital to my lifestyle, which is directly tied to my mental wellbeing, and it's something that seems fairly difficult to forget.
I think that schools around The United States should do more projects like the 20% project because this experience was very valuable in helping me find what I was passionate about, and I how I can impact the world around me with this passion. If more schools inspired students to study and follow something they are interested in, then more people would be involved in their education and community. The 20% project is definitely something I would recommend to all schools.
Here we are, at the end of all things. I have a lot to think about, a lot to do.
Since my last blog post I have created the rough draft of my ted talk, and I plan to do so minimally, meaning I will use fewest amount of words I can, and sparsely use visual aids and elements. One major challenge/ worry I encountered, is making my work stick, to make it impact those around me. I know that even the tiniest things can have major ramifications but I cannot think of anything but the notion that my efforts of this past month or so will go unnoticed. I think its a little bit irrational to think that my talk will convert people to a minimalistic lifestyle, as my main goal is to spread awareness and get people thinking about minimalism, However, I think that minimalism is something that cannot always be seen or measured, as minimalism can be considered not buying that t-shirt you love or thinking about what makes you happy and what doesn't. If I know that just a few classmates have done this, I will consider this a success. Through this week and through this project, I have learned about minimalism, but also a lot about myself. I learned that I'm an ambivert through and through, that I work and focus best when I am outside, that taking walks clears my mind, that my worth is not measured in what own, but what I do. The biggest change that I saw in myself was the amount of hygge I expressed inside and out. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to do this project, and will continue to live minimally for the rest of my life, as the quality of my life and happiness has immeasurably improved. In the photos below, I think I kinda captured the minimalist aesthetic of a flame!
Over the past few days, I have encountered a wall of writer's block so persistent that not event the finest battering ram could raze it. These circumstances are most unfortunate as my primary task is to write a manifesto. This is very frustrating to me because I can formulate the words in my mind but as I document them they lose the 'word magic' , the power, the feelings they possessed in my thoughts. On the contrary, my interest in minimalist art and aesthetic has spiked, and the art I am featuring in my ebook is favorable. However, I am concerned that I may not be capturing the minimalist aspect of my photos (examples below). There are many minimalist blogs, articles, and books that will be containing similar content as my ebook, and I am uneasy that mine will be no different from those. I have learned about writing a manifesto, and introduction, and minimalist photography. My accomplishments so far include designing my book cover, creating minimalist art, interviewing serval minimalists, writing my introduction and book layout, and countless research. I have found a website that accepts article submissions and I am writing a portion of my book that can be published on that website. Overall, I'm feeling very good.
This week I spent a lot of time reading the book "The Art of the Idea." This book describes ideas and their properties in an aesthetically pleasing way. More importantly, this book is an 'idea manifesto', using observations to explain why something is the way it is. It is formatted in a minimalist style (as seen in the photos below) that is both creative and intriguing- a design I would like to adopt for my book. The content of my book will be the "minimalist manifesto" and feature minimalist art and my findings on consumerism and minimalism. I also refined my posters, but I am unsure if I will use them as the book is very demanding and time consuming.... we'll see. I think I may include a poster like component in my book, but in a way that is more fitting to the formatting. Anyways, I have a lot to work on these upcoming weeks, primarily writing and designing artwork!
A week ago today I didn't have a mentor, I didn't have a very GOOD draft of my book cover, and I didn't have the slightest clue of how to approach expressing my brief experience with minimalism. Now, I have a mentor, a solid draft of my book cover (as seen below in the minimalist style and design), 2 weeks of research on consumerism and minimalism ready to be compiled into info-graphs, and a whole conversation's worth of questions, answers, stories, and advice from a minimalist I interviewed. A week ago today I felt kinda aimless in my progress and ideas, now, I have a target and a sense of achievement, as my minimalist lifestyle has become easier to maintain. A week ago today, I never thought that my biggest challenge would be relearning photoshop, so that my posters and book can look simply minimal. In a week, I hope to accomplish finishing my posters and the 1st draft of my book! A week ago today, I didn't think I could ever live so simply.
This week I started exploring minimalist art, as I am planning on making the cover of my book and the infographic very...minimal. Minimalist design first emerged in New York in the 1960s where new influences and rediscovered styles led artists to question conventional boundaries. This art form called attention not to the meaning of the art piece, but the materials used to construct it. This is not to say that minimalistic art is not meaningful, but it has MORE meaning then just the objects depicted in art. Pieces of minimalist work are usually simple and aesthetically pleasing, with solid colors or geometric patterns. One of my favorite examples of minimalist art is The Endless Column by proto minimalist Constantin Brancusi. It is a tall sculpture with repeating rhomboid shapes pointing towards the sky. Brancusi represented his cosmic spiritual beliefs and aspirations for his art by demonstrating how simple shapes in multiples could extend ideas of form in space. (The Art Story) I have started designing my book cover, using the minimalist art form and photoshop, however, I am struggle with finding my own minimalist expression, and making that expression meaningful and relevant to my project. My next step is to finish designing my book cover and finding a mentor!
Rough Rough Rough Design of my book cover
A video that inspire me today:
This week I did lots of research on minimalism and consumerism. I learned that overconsumption has negative effects on the environment and wastes non-renewable resources. I also learned that minimalism practically does the opposite! With minimalism, money is saved, items are reused (halting the production of new items), and improves people's mood and life satisfaction. This week, my goal was to find a mentor, and I have reached out to a few people, but I need to solidify one this week. I also need to start brainstorming and drafting my book and art pieces. So far I have created a "clean space" as minimalists call it. A clean space is a simple area with practically nothing, and is used to clear one's mind when feeling cluttered. I have also minimized (100 items or less) my room and bathroom, and have been living as a minimalist for a few days now!
My room before I minimized it:
My room afterwards:
For my 20% I am planning on living as a minimalist for a few weeks and documenting my experience through pictures and journaling. My target audience is young adults, and my goal is to educate and raise awareness about consumption in our materialistic society, as well as the benefits of minimalism. This is important because exploring different lifestyles can impact life satisfaction, finances, and the way people view the world. In the picture above is the class's brainstorm process of flushing out the 'really bad project ideas' so we could focus on the 'good project ideas.' In my opinion, the difference between student-centered learning and audience-centered learning is the way the end product effects the community as a whole. For example, a project that has much depth, such as one about happiness and meaning, can effect the mental state of a single student, as it is very personalized. On the other hand, if a project is focusing on environmental issues, then the entirety of a community is being directly impacted. So far I have researched minimalism and its benefits, as well as the dissatisfaction that comes from consuming. I have hit several road blocks and challenges, such as "how is this going to effect more then just me?" and, " how do I make the effects of my project lasting?" My next step is contacting a project mentor and brainstorming the specifics of my end project.
my minimalist experience