April 2 marks the kickoff of #The100DayProject – a free online art project where people commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity.
The idea is simple: choose a project, do it every day for 100 days, and share your process on Instagram with the hashtag #The100DayProject. What you do is your choice: paint, draw, doodle, knit, sing, dance – whatever you feel is creative.
Now, I say the idea is simple. The execution should be too, as long as you pan well. The project says the key is to pick something that you can complete in 5-10 minutes a day so that you can stick with it – and I agree completely.
Last year, my intention was to draw for 100 days, but I didn’t complete the project because I hit a few obstacles.
I didn’t define my project enough. I told myself I was going to draw for 100 days. Just draw. That seems simple enough? For some people, sure, but I am the queen of indecision and I just couldn’t decide what to do. Every day when I sat down with my sketchbook, that big white space just terrified me. Making that first mark became overwhelming, as my inner critic is an asshole with a South African accent. (Ok, he’s my freshman year two-dimensional design teacher.
I did too much comparing my work to that of other people. It’s a fact that I’m overly self-critical, and it was really, truly difficult to put those first sketches out for everyone to see. They felt shaky, juvenile, and I was completely dissatisfied with what I was doing. As I mentioned, imposter syndrome set in, hard.
So much so that I totally missed the point of the process.
I gave up on myself. Because I had left my theme intentionally open ended so I didn’t feel constricted and had OPTIONS, choosing became more frustrating and it soon felt like a chore.
Because TOO MANY OPTIONS is also a problem.
And since I didn’t have the right intent set, I compared my work to others and imposter syndrome crept in.
what I’m doing differently this year
I’m narrowing my project down to something more specific. Will it be 100 quick sketches? 100 figure drawings? 100 watercolors?
Admittedly, 100 watercolors still sounds vague, so if I go this route I’ll take a tip from some of last year’s participants and split the 100 days into different series – maybe 10 days of landscapes, 10 days of beach scenes, 10 days of flowers, 10 days of figures, etc.
The trick is to make it enough of a challenge to force creativity, but not so much that I grow tired of it. The thought of drawing or painting 100 flowers sounds tedious, and so it’s hard to get excited about that.
Setting a clear intent… or goal. Last year I did the challenge because I just wanted to start drawing again and hopefully overcome my artist’s block. What I wasn’t paying attention to was the fact that the artist’s block was going to resist, and it did so by putting up a cry of impostor. This year, my goal will be to complete 100 things, no matter how long it takes – and hopefully, improve a little in the process.
I need to remember like with writing, I might create a lot of shit, but that shit becomes fertilizer from which other things grow, to steal (and badly paraphrase) an analogy from Beth Teliho.
My other intent is just have fun with it.
Remind myself that this is for fun. There’s no completion prize but the pride of doing it. If I’m really struggling, I CAN switch things up, or reach out to the Facebook group for tips on how to keep it fresh, or overcome my internal critic, or whatever it is.
Once upon a time, I loved to draw. I painted the school mascot on the floor of our gymnasium. (I had completely forgotten about that. Talk about not being able to have to do-over.) I designed the cover of my senior high school yearbook (despite the fact that I hated the result I was made to draw on a textured art board meant for paint.) I’ve painted some watercolors that still hang on walls, somewhere.
Once upon a time, it was fun, and I worked at it.
Someone else robbed me of that joy, and it’s time to reclaim it.
I know I’m not good, but it’s not about being good.
It’s about creating joy.MommaT @Tweetmommybop
Make it to the finish line. Last year, I gave up. I missed a few days, did a sketch, missed a few more – and then declared it a failure, when I should have shrugged off the missed days and committed to sticking with it.
To do that, I have to find a way to make it fun, make it doable, but push myself. I’m toying with the idea of creating a separate Instagram account for sharing them – it might take away some of the self-consciousness I feel, although I’ll risk not having them seen at all. I might even use a tool like nitreo to boost my account when I first make it. If I go this route, I’ll share one post with a week’s worth of creations on my own – because that’s a little less scary.
I’m still deciding
Yes. Today and tomorrow I’m going to play around a bit to get a feel for what I want to take on – and to make sure I’m not biting off more than I can chew. If it isn’t manageable, I won’t stick with it. It’s all about finding the happy balance between doable and challenging – and fun.
Want to give it a try?
- Go to the100dayproject.org to sign up and get some great tips
- Follow @lindsayjeanthomson and #the100dayproject on Instagram and find more like-minded creatives. You might be giving it a try in an attempt to get more instagram followers; if this is the case, you might want to try out an account manager in order to grow your likes, following and engagement.
- Like The 100 Day Project on Facebook
- Join the 100DayProject Facebook group
- Don’t have an Instagram account? Create one! Don’t want one? You can post your creations in the Facebook group.
- Announce your intent on Instagram. Commit to it publicly, and maybe you’ll have motivation to stick with it.
Want to follow me on this journey? You can find me on Instagram at @jenncaffeinated, and if I do create an Instagram account for the #100DayProject, I’ll add to to my personal profile so you can find me there.
I hope you do!