The Summer of Shooting Stars
Pools of Light
Hands Extending into the Blue
Pressing on the Golden Stem
Leaves As Gems
& A Book of Clouds.
Those are some of the titles I’ve come up with as prompts for my next series of illustrations, 100 Moon Conversations. There have been these magical ideas floating around in my head that fill me with happiness yet I haven’t taken the time to draw them. This year, I’ve written out 100 abstract notions/lyrical phrasings derived from song lyrics and poems I’ve written with the goals of 1) creating images I want to see out in the world and 2) making a book. I’ve rekindled my love for writing by waking before 6am, meditating for ten minutes and then writing before working on art.
I’ve rediscovered that writing is always the answer to improving and inspiring the artistic process.
On April 4th, along with many other people all over the world doing all sorts of projects, I’ll be starting another 100 day journey.
In my first project 100 Dreamy Beach Babes, I came up with a little illustration (literally, they started out approximately 2 x 2″) of a whimsical girl on the beach. In my second project, 100 Ten Minute Skies, I went for a conceptual approach where I would draw the sky everyday for ten minutes no matter what it looked like.
Every idea sounds interesting when you start. The challenge is in pushing through, not falling behind, and finding new ways of approaching your idea when it inevitably gets monotonous.
In those projects, I thought my themes were specific enough to yield continual inspiration, but I found myself spending a lot of time finding a reference photo for the “beach babe” (I later just took self portraits) and by day 20 I was already bored with painting a girl and the sea. I realized that even small paintings took me quite a bit of time.
The following year, at the start of Ten Minute Clouds, the Kilauea volcano erupted and filled the skies with thick vog, creating skies that were white and gray for many months. I quickly adjusted my focus and started to create abstract works inspired by the sky. It was the simple act of making; dedicating time to drawing (often while my daughter ate breakfast), observing what I could make in ten minutes, and pushing through creative frustration that brought the most happiness.
In my first project I learned the importance of preparation for the 100 days. Practice beforehand, imagine what the situation will be when you are working, and consider how long each piece will take.
In the second project I learned that a timer is a valuable tool. Think you don’t have time for something? You can actually accomplish quite a lot in ten focused minutes instead of scrolling social media or watching a show.
Essentially, the most important part of any 100 day project is just doing something… every single day, no matter what. When you push through boredom and tedium you will find new ideas you never thought were there. The magic is in the consistency. Constraints and routine can equal the utmost freedom.
If you are doing the 100 day project or interested in one, I’d love to hear from you.