The Gift Prolific is an evolving gifting and art project created by me, Joshua Coffy.  Initially (2011-2012) it was a project of daily gifting and painting.  The basics of the first year of the project are listed below:

  1. Give a gift to someone, everyday, for a year.
  2. Make a small painting inspired by each gift.
  3. Show the paintings in a gallery at the Burning Man Arts Festival in 2012.
  4. Gift away each painting at the event.

Give- Paint-Repeat.

I believe our lives can be greatly improved by our humanity and compassion.  Giving helps me to stay present and connected to people around me.  Gifts given are immediately gifts received.  It is simple….Giving makes you feel good. I hope this project encourages you to give something….everyday.  Giving, even the smallest gifts, daily has really changed my life.

I am an artist and regular attendee at the yearly Burning Man Arts Festival in the Nevada desert.  The event is a mix of gift culture (nothing except coffee and ice are for sale there) and mind-blowing art….and it is all based on giving.  Attendees are asked and encouraged to participate.  In 2008 I had the honor of making a large mural on the Center Camp Cafe art wall.  In 2009 I took 5 paintings to the event and gifted them all away.  This was the spark that began this project.  I really enjoyed meeting the people who liked my artwork…I got an even bigger rush when somewhere in the conversation I would say “If you like it that much you should take it home with you….” and watching their reaction.  This experience really started me thinking about gifting…and my own artwork.  I have come to believe that giving a gift is really about a shared experience.  And that is what makes it so great.

So, to honor my experiences with gifting, making art, and giving it away I have come up with ‘The Gift Prolific’.  A huge undertaking….to give a gift away each day.  Then make a painting about that gift.  And finally give them all away at Burning Man.  Thank you for reading this….and hopefully you will go out and give today.  Take care.

In 2013 the project’s initial gallery was over and I searched for new ways to give  and make art.  One of the things I came up with was the ‘February Marathon’ where I would give a gift each day and make a painting each day.  Instead of giving them away I posted each painting and it’s story here on the blog and marked them ‘FOR SALE’.  They were each offered at a discounted rate from my other art.  It was an experiment making affordable art for people as well as making my ends meet.  It was a super success and I hope to do it again.  I also did a few community art projects and small random posts about gifting.

Gift Prolific 2014!

This year I was asked by Lady Bee, my friend and art curator for the Burning Man office in San Francisco, if I had a few paintings that I could loan to the new office.  I really didn’t and told her that I would make some.  And then it hit me….This would be my chance to reactivate the Gift Prolific.  I took one large canvas and painted 52 small paintings on it.  Each of these paintings will represent a week’s worth of giving that I will do this year.  I will post once or twice a week about my gifting…and post a vignette from this larger masterwork to illustrate and hopefully inspire people to chase their own projects and dreams.  I will also be doing the daily Feb. Marathon again this year.  So stay tuned!  Take care.

7 Responses to About

  1. Gift Prolific almost friend: I’ve met your blog surely not by chance.
    Most of what you wrote is similar to some of my experiences. To be correct first I must say I like the way you write and more, what you mean. Watching your works the first sensations coming refer to spirituality – I guess you are looking for a way of living which allows you to be au pair with your fealings. It is no a simple question . Espirituality nowadays is demodee, I believe.
    Persist in what you decided, no matter how.
    I’m from Argentina where problems are quite different. And trying to recover now what I could’nt do before.three years ago I started to study paintingwith two teachers. I’ve postponed my wish to my family’s expectations. By now I’ a psychologist but I adore painting-
    So at different moments of our lives I feel where walking a common path. Correction: I’m just trying to start a blog as painter. I must be embarrased becouse it’s taking almost three days!
    Well Prolific guy, congrats and I hope not be boring.
    Susana Palomo

    • giftprolific says:

      Gracias Susana! I think you are right…I am working hard to live my life inside my passions. Giving has really changed how I see the world and how I interact with people. I also wanted to get better at painting so I though that if I make the effort to paint each day then I would get better. Now 1/3 of the way through I have felt these changes and so many more. As far as you starting a painting Blog….AWESOME! Only good things will come from it…and don’t worry if it takes you some time to get it all done. The most important part is that you are doing something you love. When you look back over the years you will be so happy tat you did the things you wanted to do! Take care and good luck. Thanks for reading my blog. -Josh.

  2. What an excellent project! I am glad that is has done something not only for other, but for you as well! You are an amazing person and your art is truly a gift! I am excited to hear how it goes at burning man this year when you give your paintings away! How exciting! There are going to be 365 lucky people at burning man this year!

  3. Althea says:

    My Uncle Jimmy (Jamz) Showed me your project. So great and completely rockin. Love your art too its really amazing. Keep doin your thing man! Your an inspiration!

    • giftprolific says:

      Thanks for checking out the project! I am really glad that it resonates with you! Take care…feel free to comment and follow the blog whenever you like. Take care.

  4. Lynn says:

    Hi Joshua… My name is Lynn and I live in Sparks, Nevada… I just wanted to let you know that I came across two of your pieces of artwork that are up for bidding at one of our local auction houses… When I saw them, I was intrigued and impressed so I googled you and here I am!!! I love what you do so I am going to bid on them and when I win them, they will have a prominent place in my house for awhile and then I will “gift” them to someone I care about and tell them about you so hopefully, we will keep your tradition alive… The pieces are # 169 “Me With Stubble” and # 170 “Beyond The Five O’Clock Shadow”… It’s too bad that the third one [# 171] wasn’t there but I’m totally OK with the two that I will win!!!! I hope this brings a smile to your face [as it did mine when I saw them]…. Take care and happy gifting!!!

    • giftprolific says:

      Hi Lynn. I would love to post this on the main page when you win the auction. If you could take a picture of yourself with the art and tell me your story in my email (josh@undersong.com) I would love to post this as the featured post. I haven’t heard of my paintings being in an auction. How exciting! Let me know how it goes. Thank you for checking out my project. Take care. -joshy

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