Mighty Ugly is an exploration of the dark side of creativity – failure, creative block, perfectionism, fear. In a good way. At least, it feels good in the end. I offer workshops, write and speak on the topic, and think everyone can benefit from staring down ugly instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.

Here’s how the project came to be:

Back in the summer of 2006 my friend Ian had a crafty birthday party. He filled his apartment with materials and tools and punch, and people made stuff. And there were snacks.

In a pile of scraps, I found some spectacularly ugly upholstery fabric and just had to make a doll with it.

I’d never sewn a doll before. In fact, I had rarely sewed, ever.

So since the fabric was so ugly, I just set out to make an ugly doll. I figured if I tried to make it ugly, it wouldn’t matter if I screwed it up – my awful seams would be a design feature.

It was the most fun I’ve ever had crafting. There was no pressure!

And so for years, I’ve had ugly sitting at the back of my mind. I’ve written about it a little, but it wasn’t until recently that I was struck with the idea for this challenge.

Because sometimes it’s important to just say SCREW IT.

It’s not okay to say SCREW IT to your taxes or your rent or your job or your family, though.

So take an hour or two and say SCREW IT to trying to make something pretty. Go out of your way to create something hideous.

Everyone has a different experience of making something ugly on purpose, and that’s what this project is all about: collecting those experiences. Take photos and add them to the Flickr group, and if you’ve got something to say about your experience, make a submission and we might include your story on the Mighty Ugly blog. If you write about your ugly on your own blog, send us a link!

Mighty Ugly is a project by Kim Werker, who first experienced the glee of ugly sometime around the summer of 2006, when she created Shoshana, the doll featured on this site.