On April 3 I joined in on #the100dayproject, a free, global art project that encourages creators to create and share their work.
Back in November I shared that I’ve been struggling with creativity. I constantly told myself I “should” be doing something creative, but my fear turned into avoidance, which kept me from starting anything. All of this internal drama had me asking myself, “Do I really even want to do this? Should it be this hard?”
The 100 Day Project gave me a reason to start, an “assignment.” I chose to take it way back to the basics of the basics with 100 days of drawing. Because I have always loved to draw. And drawing is the backbone of so much visual art. And finally, because back when I was an art student, I never saw the value in drawing for practice. I mean, if there was ever a time I should have been immersed in the practice, it was art school.
I’m 14 days in, and I have many thoughts already.
Preparation is key for a project like this. In order to make it a daily practice, I need to make sure I have supplies on hand, time worked into each day for drawing, and a space to work.
Supplies are easy. I have a brand new sketchbook and a set of pencils that I keep in a mason jar because I’m hopelessly cliche like that.
Time is relative. Time spent scrolling through social media in the afternoon or evening limbo hours could be spent drawing.
And space – well, that one will always be a challenge, mentally and physically.
I didn’t go in with any other plan other than to draw each day. 14 days in, here’s what I can see:
- I could have reined this in a little more, i.e. 100 faces, 100 Leigh-mojis, 100 cactus drawings, etc; and
- because I didn’t make it too specific, I have a lot of room for growth and change. I’ve done only pencil drawings so far, but I am free to experiment with pen, charcoal, marker, anything. It’s great freedom, but also great opportunity for fear. I am a creature of habit, and I like rules.
It’s difficult and frustrating to figure out something to draw each day. Drawing from life or photos is my specialty. Drawing from imagination or creating some kind of design is not. Therein lies the practice and the growth. The drawings I’ve made from observation are good! But the ones I’ve created from imagination have more room for further interpretation and growth.
On taking up space
This could be a whole post on its own.
I don’t have a studio or even an office. My desk is in a dark, isolated corner of my bedroom that isn’t ideal for creativity. If I was going to do this project, I needed to claim some space for myself.
That means creativity happens at the kitchen table, the dining room table, in my bed with a cat on my lap, or on the couch with an 8-year-old leaning against me while she watches Jumanji for the 83rd time (I mean, it’s really good). Turns out I can draw just about anywhere.
Then there’s the mental space.
I initially felt I needed permission to claim the space this project takes up in the lives of my family. Me completing a daily drawing means I’m unavailable for other things. Sometimes that’s the laundry. Sometimes that’s quality time with my husband. Sometimes both can be achieved at the same time (I draw, he folds laundry LOLOLOLOL not really).
I’ve drawn in all parts of the house at all times of the day, sometimes with people peering over my shoulder, yet no one has freaked out that I’m not at their beck and call.
Better yet, everyone sees me claiming my space and doing what’s important to me.
Style & Tendencies
My first instinct is to draw what I see. I wish I didn’t default to expressing everything so literally, that I could give my drawings a little personality, a little style. But I also know – hope – that will come with time. It begs the question, can we change our style? It’s really too early to tell.
Why would I fight my natural tendency to go realistic, especially if it’s what I love to do and it’s what I’m good at? Because I know there’s room for growth and interpretation. I don’t want to just have a bank of 100 drawings. I want to have a documentation of progress.
Like my wise friend said, “You’re just now getting back into this.” And the great thing about having 86 days left is there’s plenty of room for….
Growth & Interpretation
In the 14 days I’ve drawn, I’ve learned that:
- this could get really boring, really fast,
- I must find ways to keep it fresh,
- that might mean getting out of my comfort zone,
- which will definitely make me squirm…
- but, hey, growth!
- I can’t judge myself too harshly. I haven’t done this in a long time,
- I have 86 more days to grow. There’s no rush, but also I need to not fight it
- I have some hella work to do on my iPhone-ography.
Follow my 100 day journey on Instagram!