The 100 Day Project
You may have heard of the 100 day project or maybe not, but the idea is a simple one. You commit to doing something creative for 100 days continuously and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #the100DayProject. It’s also quite a good idea to create a unique hashtag for your own project too as it helps people find your posts in one place. Last year I made postcard sized pieces of art in a variety of media to include pencil, paint, collage, print and stitch and used the hashtag #the100dayprojectpostcardart. If you check it out, you will find I didn’t quite make one hundred posts!
Just a few of my pieces of postcard art from last year's 100 day project
It’s a wonderfully simple idea to encourage creativity, it’s easy to participate and yet it can have amazing results. It can allow you to establish a daily creative habit that may well last beyond the l00 day life span of the project; it can give you a chance to learn a new skill or maybe become more proficient at something you already do. It could allow you to create a body of work to sell or give away and it also encourages you to connect with others. This year the project starts on Sunday 13th February 2022 and you can find out more on how to join in by heading over the official website - THE 100 DAY PROJECT
It was originally started by Yale graphic design professor Michael Bierut, as a project for his students. Every year from 2006 to 2011 he gave his students the task to choose a design operation to repeat every day for 100 days. The only restriction on the chosen project was it had to be repeated in some form or another every day and they were to document it for an eventual 15 minute presentation to the rest of the class. The results were fascinating and incredibly creative in their conception. You can read about some of them here.
In 2014 the project was taken up by Elle Luna and some of her friends who used Instagram as their presentation medium. They tagged their images #The 100Day Project and before long the idea began to spread. In 2017 she was joined by Lindsay Jean Thompson , who now co-hosts the project.
Another one of my postcards from last year, a combination of paint, collage and stitch.
I think the trick to taking part is to set yourself up for success before you start and of course that means picking the right project. This means being realistic about what you can achieve.
It’s no good setting a project that will take you a couple of hours to complete every day. Aim for 10 – 15 minutes, preferably at the same time each day and you will be on the right path for success. It might seem obvious but also choose something that you really want to do and be realistic. All new projects are exciting when you begin and it’s easy to feel motivated but by about day ten that motivation starts to wane, especially if it turns out that it’s something you don’t really want to be doing. It should be fun not a chore! Remember if you stick at this it will be something you are doing for three months so you definitely don’t want to be doing something you feel half-hearted about.
I think that many of you might be thinking "but I am not an artist so how can I take part?" Whether you consider yourself an artist or not we all have different ways we can be creative, so try thinking outside the box for different ways you can bring some creativity into your life and if you are really stuck for ideas, I have created a free download for you that might spark some ideas.
Another thing that helps is to have all your materials to hand. If you have decided to create 100 collages yet have to gather together your papers and glue etc every day, then you are not going to stick at it. But if you have a desk or table or even a box with your papers, scissors and glue to hand you are more likely to do it. Also think about whether you will be travelling or at home. Maybe you need to pack a travelling collage kit so you can do the project on the move.
It's probably also worth thinking about what you hope to achieve by the end of the project. It can often be easier to stick to something if there is an end goal in mind. E.g., if you plan to make 100 quick sketches from life each day then by the end you could fill a sketchbook. By visualising your beautiful, filled sketchbook it gives you a goal to aim for. Maybe you would like to establish a daily art practice, build up your portfolio of work, maybe write a book… the list could be endless.
We also need to remember that sometimes life gets in the way, stuff happens that we haven’t planned for and there will be days when we don’t create but that’s okay. Keep your eye on your goal and get back to it when you can. Just don’t be hard on yourself. Maybe it will take you longer than 100 days to do 100 things… so what! They don’t have to be consecutive days. Or maybe you find you’ve given up and can’t complete the project – or are not enjoying it and don’t want to complete the project. In which case stop or switch to doing something else because it really doesn’t matter. Ultimately, it’s your project and your rules so do what you like! Personally, I find that posting on Instagram every day is a real chore and last year it made me stop, even though I was enjoying the challenge of making a new postcard everyday (some days I made more than one). So, this year I will join in the project but post on Instagram when I feel like it, which might be once a day but might also be once a week!
If you are joining in it’s a great way to start building a community online as things like this are always so much more fun when you are doing it with other people. So, do you fancy joining me? Feel free to leave a comment below with your 100 day project and your Instagram account and we can all follow each other. At the time of writing, I’m planning on drawing a face each day in my sketchbook but with four days to go I could still change my mind... I did enjoy the postcards last year too! You can find me on Instagram here where all will be revealed!
Most of all remember if you decide to join it that it is all about having fun!