Completing the 100 Day Project
"Nest", graphite on recycled paper, 7" x 7"
Friends, I just finished the last drawing in my 100 Day Project! EEEE! I just did a victory dance in my mid-Saturday pajama pants, and a confetti canon just exploded in my imagination. You know how they say that every 7 years you are a completely new human being because it takes 7 years for the cells in your body to be replaced? (Not entirely true, but I like the story) Well, I feel as if I just did that with this project. Though yes, sitting down at my desk is still a really hard thing for me to do. It's still hard to commit to creating something and following through, but you know what? I think this may have been the first big commitment I've made to myself that I've actually followed through with in recent years. Realizing that my creativity is worth the commitment has been a game changer!
"Black Snail", acrylic paint and gel paint, 3" x 3".
Back in March, I began my solo-quarantine as the Coronavirus swept over the world and shut everything down. I was really at my wits end. I was absolutely exhausted from fear of course, but also just so unhappy with my life. I had become a creative person who didn't act on their creativity, who never finished personal projects, who spent all of her time and energy working for other people.
So as I sat on my couch and watched the world shut down around me, I decided I needed to do something with this time. It wouldn't be good to sit here only feeling powerless and a deep sense of dread without channeling some of my anxiety somewhere else. What would be the greatest gift I could give to myself? What self-care commitment could I make that would have the most impact in my life? Suddenly, the thought of doing a 100 Day Project popped into my head.
"Great Horned Owl", mixed media in sketchbook, 8.5" x 11".
The 100 Day Project is an open invitation to anyone who would like to commit to some small act of creativity every day for 100 consecutive days. You don't need to be an artist, just curious at what might happen if you commit to spending a slice of your day being creative. I chose drawing specifically, but you can do anything. People have completed all sorts of fun, somber, involved, casual, and creative projects.
I vowed I would make 100 drawings - any subject matter, any materials.
I had two major breakthroughs during this Project:
#1 I can share artwork that isn't "perfect"
With such a quick turnaround, it's impossible for me to work on each drawing to make it perfect before posting it. Some days I was cringing as I hit the post button, but you know what? I survived and I shared a bit of myself along the way. If I hold everything I make and share to that unachievable high standard, I'm never going to make or share anything, which had been a major barricade in front of me previously.
#2 I can persist even after I inevitably break my perfect streak of posting
This was the hardest part of the Project for me. I'm used to just giving up after I miss a day or make a mistake. Being an empathic person during a global pandemic, meant there were (and still are) plenty of days where the heaviness just kept me paralyzed. On those days, I needed to be completely okay with just doing my 9-5 job (I was and still am working from home, thank God!) and then taking a break on my Project while I try to absorb and process things. I am so incredibly proud and a bit shocked that I was able to pick up my pencil repeatedly to continue on the challenge even after I skipped a day or 7.
"Sunrise Over the Ridge", colored pencil, 4" x 4".
So, oftentimes self-care isn't all bubble baths and chocolate. Sometimes it means making a hard commitment to yourself and chipping away at your passion consistently. I'm really looking forward to the next opportunity to show myself that my creativity deserves my own time and energy! To view my whole 100 Drawings Project, head to my Art Gallery page. I'll also send you here if you're interested in starting your own 100 Day Project, and let me know if you do! I'd love to see what other people do with their Projects.
And lastly, thank you so much to each and every person who encouraged me over this Project. There were so many days in which I only persisted because my community was lifting me up and sending me so much encouragement. I only hope to do the same for others!