I wasn't going to participate in the 100 Day Project this year. I have plenty of other projects that I want to work on and after completing the project last year and a 365 day project in 2015, I didn't feel like I needed to do it again. But then I saw other people getting excited about it, I listened to an episode of Elise Gets Crafty about the project, and I saw more people get excited about it and I was really tempted.
So I decided to go for it. And then I thought a lot about what I wanted my project to be. Having participated in challenges like this in the past, I know how much work they are. If you've never done one before - it is a lot work more than you think. You need to come up with an idea (almost always the hardest part), execute the idea (which for me usually means trying out a few things until I do something I actually like), and share it online. And repeat. Every single day. In 100 days there are many when I'm really busy or have a migraine or am just not feeling inspired, so I was tempted to come up with a project that would be easy for me to do complete on days like that. But I didn't feel 100% positive about that plan. I feel like I'm at a point where I want and need to push myself to work harder to get to develop my illustration skills, so I came up with a new, ambitious, scary project and decided to go for it (with the help of many people on Instagram who encouraged me to when I was whining about it).
So here it is: I'm going to do 100 days of Unsolicited Illustrations. Unsolicited, because no one asked me to do them. I'm going to assign them to myself. (Of course, you can always hire me to do a solicited illustration if you'd like). Some ideas of things I might illustrate are scenes from literature, illustrations for articles, things from my imagination, alternate covers for books, maybe a funny tweet or two.
With this project, I want to practice interpreting something that isn't necessarily visual (a book, an article, a poem, a song, a scene) and translating it into an illustration. I also want to focus on making finished, polished illustrations that I'm proud of. I want them to be detailed and complete, with lots of color and texture and nice backgrounds (which I rarely bother with). Pretty much the opposite of the "just get something, anything, down on paper and in a photo" strategy that I occasionally take with daily projects.
This is a big undertaking and I'm pretty scared about it. For me illustrations involve a lot of steps (coming up with an idea, sketching, drawing, coloring, scanning, editing, etc.) and they ALWAYS take longer than I anticipate. So, I'm trying to be very relaxed about this project. I'd love for 100 illustrations to come out of it, but I'm not going to beat myself up if that happens. Some days, success with this project might just mean working on it. I'm trying to remember that I don't have anything to prove and that whatever I get done is better than nothing. This is really hard for someone like me who is very motivated by checking off boxes and such. Relaxed is not something I usually (ever) am. Maybe that's the real goal of this 100 day project.
To try and help myself succeed, I'm planning on working up a long list of illustration ideas, since ideas are a large part of the battle here. If you'd like to send me some illustration ideas, please do. I'm also planning on trying to utilize my mornings for this project. I'm an early riser but I rarely actually do creative things right when I wake up. I usually spend my mornings by reading or watching YouTube and procrastinate on daily projects until the evening, which is always a mistake because I'm not at my best creatively after 4 PM and everything takes me way longer than it should. So I'm going to try and devote mornings to this project, when hopefully I will be more productive. Otherwise, I'm not really planning anything, just jumping in with both feet and seeing what happens. You can see what happened with Day 1 above.
Are you doing the 100 Day Project? If you are then let me know, It is always so cool to see the wide variety of unique projects people are taking on and I'd love to follow along with yours!