You're probably sick of my 100 day posts by now and I wouldn't blame you. I promise this'll be my last... unless of course I decide to do it all again next year! Haha. First, a behind the scenes peek of where I sat each day and what got left behind. During the project I stuck the first 70 days up on my wall, around the same time I hit a slump. This motivated me because I could see how far I'd come and knew that if I stopped now I'd regret it. Secondly, I'd like to share four things I learnt from doing this project.
1. A Dedicated Area Increases Productivity: Prior to the project starting I setup a small area on my desk with all of my papers and paints within reach. I kept it setup throughout the project, a luxury if space is limited however this really helped me focus and save time. All I had to do was show up and paint.
2. Action Beats Perfection: We all have ideas, sometimes too many they're overwhelming and we don't take action. Where to start? What if it sucks? I couldn't possible do that, it wouldn't be good enough. Before we know it we've talked ourselves out of doing anything at all. Participating in this project gave me an opportunity to explore a new medium without any pressure to be good. By practicing daily I improved my understanding of my tools and medium. Nothing I created was perfect. It didn't need to be, I was learning from the process and by the end I felt a sense of achievement. If I'd worried about painting perfect images for 100 days I'd have nothing to show.
3. Rules Are Good: I wish I'd realised this little gem a long time ago - especially when it comes to personal creative projects. I'm not talking about rules that make you feel boxed-in. The kind of rules I'm talking about are looser, like guidelines. They provide a framework to work within. I'm surprised this hadn't occurred to me earlier with my background in graphic design because it's akin to working to a client brief. For my project I chose to only use: five paint colours, existing paper supplies and faces for my subject. This helped because I didn't have to start from scratch each day, I just had to work within these guidelines.
4. Make Friends With Feeling Uncomfortable: We're not besties yet, I've been working on this relationship for a while. I have social anxiety and or me it's not limited to in person interaction, it's something I also feel using social media. Learning to make friends with my anxiety teaches me to be gentler and kinder. The thought of sharing what I'd created on social media for 100 days in a row terrified me at the beginning. During the project there were days I felt socially drained and wanted to retreat but I posted anyway. By the end I felt more comfortable sharing daily and I met a bunch of wonderful people along the way. Feeling uncomfortable has it's rewards - you might even make new friends.
If you're thinking about starting your own 100 day project or participating next year check out some of the interesting wrap-ups from this year's project that The Great Discontent shared here and here.
Before I go, a friendly reminder the remaining paintings from my project are available in my Etsy store here. Thanks again for hanging with me during the project!