I've been working on a wrap-up post of sorts for my 365 project, but there is so much to say that I'm not sure how to fit it into one post. Haha. I decided for now to share a few of my favorite spreads from the project after re-photographing the entire book a couple of weeks ago (you can now find the entire project here).
I have successfully completed half of the 365 project without missing a single day. Yeah!!! You can see the entire project so far here.
I started this project with the simple inspiration to create a good habit in sketching everyday, to practice without worrying about selling stuff, and to gain fans and momentum for my 2D work. Plus, I missed drawing 'for fun'.
As part of the highs, those things have happened. What's also happened is a ton of development in peripheral areas, some of which I didn't even consider when I decided to embark on this project.
For one, I have realized, really realized, where my skill level is and what I need to work on. That's huge, and I'm learning more about what I need to work on every day. There's really no way to know that unless you create consistently. You might go around saying to yourself, "I could make that" but unless you're actually doing it, you don't really know. It turns out things are more complicated than they seem like they'd be. (They always are.)
On that note, my appreciation for different styles and types of art that I come across has increased as I've gone through this project, too. Experts make things look simple.
Getting real about where I am has never made me feel down during the process, but it has definitely humbled me. I'm more humble, and I feel more confident at the same time. I am motivated to continue on a regular basis, because I know that practice will get me there. Things are going to take time, and I'm more ok with that than I ever have been. Patience +50.
Even though it doesn't really feel like I've been working on my discipline, I guess this project is kind of a test of discipline and I can feel its affect on developing new daily habits in other areas of my life, too. Exercise routines, especially. It goes hand-in-hand with patience. I used to give up so readily at a lack of immediate progress.
I'm of course learning a lot about art, too. I am growing in my work - learning the best application for different mediums, getting better at portraits, discovering the work and type of processes that really excite me. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's necessarily your jam. I'm excited to look back through at the end of the project and see progress, and remember what the learning curve felt like along the way.
It hasn't been all high, though, for sure. The low? Being in a lull (which happens naturally, regardless of sketching everyday or not) and working through it. I've never worked straight through a lull before in this way, and at times it had me completely questioning myself. On a few occasions I really wanted to quit. The hardest part was feeling uninspired and trying to make something anyway, and that something just coming out horribly because there was no passion behind it.
Is there really benefit to putting something down on paper everyday just to do it? Why not just create when you're feeling it? These are things I wondered/still wonder a little bit. I've seen some benefit, for instance it's really cool to have this visual documentation of the entire process through both good and bad times. Plus, as some of my friends have said, maybe something from those weird times will inspire a new idea, or I'll come back and pull from it for future work that I am feeling passionate about.
Thank goodness for friends talking me into sticking with the project when I felt like quitting, by the way!
Happily the lull ended a couple of weeks ago after a few months of dragging on. Honestly though, looking back, there are some cool things that happened during it. I can't imagine NOT keeping a daily sketchbook now. Creating daily in this way will likely shed solid light on the lulls over time - when they happen and why - and better intel will arm me with more tools to work through them more effectively. Even if that means dialing back or just hunkering down.
If you're feeling inspired to start a daily project, you should totally do it. I highly recommend it. If you decide to share it publicly, let me know - I'd love to follow along! I appreciate that you all are following along with mine... 6 more months to go! If you've just jumped on board, I'm posting the project over on Instagram! See you there. :)
I've been wanting to write this post but haven't had a good moment to sit down and really think about it. However, the 3 month mark is slowly getting away from me so time must be made! These thoughts may or may not be totally coherent, but here are some reflections from my 365 project at this point.
I've never gotten this far into a 365 project before so I'm feeling proud of that feat. At the same time, it hasn't felt like a chore this time around. I enjoy it. Some days I don't have a lot of time but I still want to make something. That said, there have definitely been awkward bouts where I don't know what to make or just feel kind of lost. Part of that may be that I'm bouncing from subject to subject and part if it may be that I'm just busy in general so it's hard to sit down and feign the necessary mental energy to be creative. Above and below are some examples of days when I just didn't know what I wanted to create, so I either did a random noun generator online, asked for suggestions, or just sat down and started making marks to see what it would develop into.
I've been feeling like within the past several years my creativity has dropped, but I think it's just being manifested in a different way. Still, I would like to work myself back to the point of having a totally free flowing imagination. It used to feel so limitless and now it feels like I have to reach for it. That's something I'm hoping this project will help with, but as I mentioned above, I think being so busy makes it harder so I need to tackle it from that front too.
This week started The 100 Day Project, which seems to really have taken off this year, and I'm glad to have come across it. When I first searched the hashtag a week or so ago there were about 7,000 posts and now there are over 20,000. I love these kinds of instagram community projects because it's easy to find other artists and it's fun to support one another through the process. As for theme, I'm still not 100% sure if I'll stick with ONE theme through the 100 days (aside from the theme that everything is being made in my sketchbook). So far I've been practicing life drawing in payne's gray watercolor since my sister is here (easy access to a model). Life drawing is something I'm not well versed in at all, but I think it's really fun and I'd like to do it more. My other consideration was to do 100 days of silly animal illustrations, which was actually my previous attempt at a 365 project. I wish it felt easier to commit to one idea for 100 days, I mean... it's just 100 days.
For the past few weeks I've been having a strong push and pull in my mind on several fronts and just recently had a small epiphany that I need to return to the idea that not everything is black and white. Things can (must, do, will) exist along side one another. There is so much pressure to choose and label and be clear on everything, but the reality is that that's not the way it usually works. I find it so hard to accept the discomfort of being unsure and feeling in limbo, but I do have faith that flexibility and forward movement will bring back some clarity. So, previous 365 projects have been hard from a habit-of-doing-it standpoint, and this one has been more of a mental challenge so far, but both of those things are are important to conquer. Even though it hasn't been rainbows and pancakes 100% of the time, I've never felt like I wanted to quit or shy away from it. It kind of feels like a riddle that you just can't walk away from. I want to keep going. I want to figure it out. I feel like I'm about to level up in a big way and there will be many small steps to get there, but once I do a whole new plane will open up and it's going to feel so exciting.