Showing Up


This season’s artwork is created by Messian of the Year 2020, @stumblingoverchaos

Dear Messy Artist

Step one to being an artist is showing up. It’s the foundation of what we do. From the book, Art & Fear: 

Those who continue to make art are those who have learned how to continue – or more precisely, have learned how not to quit.

– David Bayles & Ted Orland 

Being an artist means showing up. Again and again. Continuously. And not quitting.

It sounds so straightforward, yet it’s not necessarily something that comes naturally. It’s simple, but not easy. But you’re special. You’re someone who can do hard things. And you have the entire community of Messians who have your back. 

In a world that touts the all or nothing mindset, we have to learn that even doing a little bit is enough. Making the decision to create for five minutes is worthy of celebration. Showing up is the good bit.

This season is a set of 21 micro-challenges. Check back each day here for your task. These challenges are small on purpose. They are here as sparks. It doesn’t matter how much you do, just that you show up and create something.

Are you up for it?

Daily action steps this season

  • login to the site (you may want to bookmark the challenges page for the month)
  • refresh the page to see the latest challenge (each micro challenge will arrive at 10am Berlin – that’s afternoon in the east of this earth and early morning in the west)
  • take 10 minutes to complete the challenge
  • snap a quick pic and share it in the Season of Showing Up thread in the forums

Recommendations for your journal this season

For this month, try working in the journal you’ve already started. If that journal is feeling like too much, you can:

  • work in a zine, and do one page (yes, one tiny page) per day
  • use a single sheet of paper – divide it into 21 blocks or use the template in the Season Sidekick below

The goal

The goal this month is tiny pieces of creating. The goal is a minimum viable product (bare-bones, enough, tangible). The goal is showing up. 21 times.

Once you have completed all 21 days, share your finished checklist on Instagram or in the Gallery. Tag us so that we can share it and celebrate your achievement. 

Download the Season Sidekick

Save this file to your computer, print it out, and keep it inside your journal to spark journal ideas.

So… Are you in?

If this season has sparked something in you and you’d like to nurture that spark into a flame, go through the action steps below. Take what you need from this season. Create with abandon and ignore perfection. Get Messy is the catalyst, but ultimately, this season is what you make of it.

Get excited. 

Art + love, Caylee

Action Steps to kick off your season

Welcome the new season in your journal

Introduce your journal to the season. You can do this by binding or starting a new journal, or by turning the page. If you’d like help with this, go through Bootcamp.

Answer these questions in the forums and/or your journal:

  1. What does this season mean to you? What is your personal definition, and what does it mean in the context of your life right now?
  2. What do you need this season? How can you show up for yourself this month? How can your fellow Messians help you?
  3. What would you like to explore this season? Which part of your heart would you like to dig into and what techniques would you like to hone? What new art supplies would you like to try? 

Share your commitment + be accountable

Create accountability for yourself. Announce it on Instagram, start or continue a Progress Log in the forums. On Instagram, the main hashtags are #getmessyartjournal, #getmessyart, and the season hashtag (#gmseasonof…). Tag @getmessyartjournal, especially in stories so that we can reshare. 

Pass on the love

This is a community genuinely and authentically rooted in kindness. Go through the hashtags and the forums to cheer others on.