In 2015, I completed my first 100DayProject, an Instagram-based creative initiative launched by The Great Discontent and Elle Luna. I started well into it, and finished well after the official date, but I had a fantastic time creating fabric collages mashing up patterns and colors, and I learned how to use my sewing machine. This year, I started in April with everyone else, choosing to do 100 tiny drawings. Now, a third of the way through, I wonder if it makes sense to continue.
At first, I thought my lagging interest was due to drawing not being my “thing,” or to not having enough structure to my project. So I started picking a weekly theme for the drawings. I’ve enjoyed doing a lot of the pieces, and I for sure enjoy the online community of thousands of others who are participating; it’s inspiring to see so many styles and ideas, and I like giving and receiving encouragement.
But what started out as a kick in the pants to make time to create every day has started to feel like a monster, sucking up the limited time I have in my life to do creative work to turn out stuff that can be completed in part of an evening, while making no progress at all in more complex projects that I’ve started or sketched out, but that need many days or even weeks to complete.
I live alone, with a three-times-a-week 2+ hour round trip commute to work, and sole responsibility for household and car maintenance, cooking, grocery shopping, and all the other stuff that comes with, well, life. I like to spend time with friends, get exercise, and visit art galleries. I have this annoying need to sleep at least 7 hours a night. Frankly, I’m asking myself if I should be using my limited creative time for one-off pieces. Perhaps I’ve gotten what I needed from the 100DayProject: greater confidence in myself as an artist and an [almost] daily creative habit.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m heading out to Arrowmont this weekend to take a workshop in embroidering portraits from Lauren DiCiccio; maybr the time out from daily life will provide new perspective. Perhaps I need to recast how I participate in the 100DayProject and use it to make progress every day on a bigger piece.