The thought of doing a 365 day daily art project can seems daunting. What will I do for that long? What if I get bored or run out of things to draw? What if I quit after a week, like that diet I tried last year? I had such good intentions and high hopes, but at the end of the day, it amounted to nothing, except a reminder that either i’m a failure, a quitter, or I just seem to be missing something in my DNA to enable me to complete the task at hand.
I learned early on that I needed SMALL projects. I can’t think in 365 day chunks. But I can do 30 days. Or even 100 days. So after a little bit, I started to identify a topic that I wanted to tackle for 30 days. 30 days of self portraits, 30 days of pets, 20 days of toes, 30 days of faces... you get the idea. I started to incorporate Instagram and social media. I would sketch people’s photos who would show up in my feed. I would then tag them so they could join in the fun too. It was a great way to be held accountable because I was posting publicly, as well as meet new friends. I started to sketch celebrity photos they posted on Instagram, and tagged them too. Some of them even liked and shared (and occasionally commented to my delight as well) I mean, who wouldn’t like to be included in being sketched by an artist, right? Most people consider it an honor.
I also joined in a 100 Day Project that was being hosted by another artist I was following on Instagram, Elle Luna. She threw out the challenge to join in with creating or making anything for 100 days straight. We would all start and end together, posting and hash tagging so we could all follow along and encourage each other. I did this project twice. The first time, I sketched a black line drawing based on the photos of others, using only my iPhone and a stylus. The second time I did the same, only this time, adding in color to the background and key parts of the drawing. Every day was a new adventure. I would look for inspiration, and others would follow along wondering what I would post next. And some, hoped that they might make it into my project. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I did attempt another 100 day project recently, but I got behind and the subject matter wasn’t engaging me enough, so I only made it to day 60 or so. You've got to choose carefully, or you won't follow through when things get tough.)
It was always a thrill at the end of the 100 days, to create a photo montage of all the images. One giant image to chronicle the past 100 days.
I talk about the importance of this process and gaining momentum in an art making practice, more in depth in my video course “Your Artists’ Journey”.
Check it out if this sounds like something that would be of interest.
What bite-sized tips have you discovered along the way that helps in your art making practice?