100 Day Project (The First 50)

On April 3 I started the 100 Day Project – my plan was to illustrate quirky animals, maybe not for 100 days, but for as long as I could keep it going. I was excited and nervous, because this would be my second crack at it (I also attempted this project last year, and that ended only 5 days in…). I have always loved drawing, painting, just plain old coloring, and animals and cute things, so this seemed like a good project. This kind of art-making really isn’t something I give myself enough time to do, and it’s such a nice change from working in 3D with the dolls – this is so much faster and details are easier to add and erase.

And so everyday I would sit down at some point, decide on an animal and go. I had pre-cut a bunch of 5×7 pieces of watercolor paper, and I used pencil, pen, acrylic paint, and pencil crayon for each of these drawings. Each one took between 20 minutes and an hour (drawing has always made me lose track of time in the best way). Eventually my goal was to make it to 50 animals, and I did it! I can’t say that I loved every single one, but looking at all of these combined is so satisfying – even though these first ones are from two months ago and I barely remember making them. I am learning a lot of things from this project, more on that after the photos…



Some honest thoughts that I’ve thought during this project:

*Don’t start, you will quit again

*You should start, but don’t show anyone, that way if you fail no one will know

*This is so fun, I love this I love this I love this

*This is too easy, so it doesn’t count

*That’s not cute enough

*People are going to get bored of seeing these on Instagram

*I am not an illustrator (wait, am I? Am I using the term illustrator correctly? I don’t even know!)

*You could turn this into part of your business – wait, but that’s not really the point here

*What the heck are you going to do with all of these?

Some things I’ve learned so far:

*I think this type of project works best for me when it is really clear what I’m doing and I don’t have to make daily decisions about it. All I had to choose was the animal, not the paper/medium/theme.

*Once I really decide to do something I love, I will do it for myself (for those of you who have read Gretchen Rubin, I am a classic Upholder). That said, the comments and encouragement from all of you beautiful people on IG was so lovely. Thank you!

*Sometimes the act of sharing what I was working on, which I think it supposed to be inherent to the project, felt uncomfortable. I know this is silly, since people always have a choice whether to follow along or not!

*At a few points I missed a day, then caught up within the next few days. I knew it would be too easy to fall off the wagon if I didn’t keep the momentum up.

*Spring felt like a crazy time to start this project, when everything here comes out of hibernation and seems to go at full speed. It often felt overwhelming to add this one more thing to my day.

*Big projects can be accomplished a little bit everyday. I mean, we all know this, but I rarely see an end result like this for myself. I get why people do this project.

After the 50 day mark, I started another very similar, yet slightly different project to finish out the 100 days. I can’t stop now! Sitting down with my pencils and paint is now part of my daily routine that I look forward to. This feels like just the beginning of something good…