1. Artist Lorraine Loots, 29, is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and she makes paintings for ants.
Her series 365 Paintings for Ants started as a side project after Loots took a business course for artists and decided she didn’t want to pursue that career anymore.
But she still wanted to paint, so she allotted herself an hour a day to do so. Since the only thing she could finish in that time was a miniature, the idea spawned.
2. The paper is a 10-centimeter square, and each miniature can take her between three and seven hours.
As the project started rolling in 2013, people started asking her what she was going to do with paintings so small, and so she started saying they’re for ants.
“I guess I’ve always wanted to find a way to document things,” she says in a video made about the project. “This just gives me a way to put something down and make a mark on each day.”
8. But as more people booked paintings, suggestions began to filter into Loots’ process to make the art more intimate.
9. “I wanted to create something people loved as opposed to just creating something for the sake of making something,” she says in the video.
10. It was hard not to procrastinate, but after a while, it was just no longer an option in her brain.
12. That way each one has a unique name for as long as she continues.
13. As the days passed, Loots grew sad knowing the project was coming to a close.
14. But there’s a twist in the plot: It didn’t end.
“I just started thinking: What if I just don’t stop?” she says in the video. Her follow-up series, 365 Postcards for Ants, focused on Cape Town last year.
Her latest project is called “Potluck 100: Paintings for Ants,” which are 100 paintings split into four categories: Microcosm Mondays (space), Tiny Tuesdays (books), Fursday (animals) and Free Fridays (whoever bought the day gets to suggest five topics, so long as it’s universal).
15. And get more about the first 365 project below.
- President Trump laid out an ambitious agenda in his speech to Congress, but Republicans are still divided on how to pass that agenda.
- The FBI is investigating if bomb threats against Jewish centers came from an internet "troll" and are profiling a lone, young, tech-savvy person.
- Facebook is using artificial intelligence for suicide prevention, scanning feeds for signs of people at risk of self-harm, then offering resources for help.