My 100 Day Project (2nd Time Around)

Conclusion: Much more of a slog. But still worth it.

If you don’t know, the 100 day project invites people to do one thing everyday for 100 days, recording it, or not, on social media, usually Instagram. The idea being that all those little bits of creativity teach you something, and added up, mean something bigger than their parts. Last year I did #100daysofmonoprintcollage, this year it was #100daysofmonoprintsurfacepattern (you can still see those hashtags on Instagram, or my pieces on my Instagram feed).

Perhaps because the idea of learning so much wasn’t new, or my expectations were higher, it felt longer this time around. Consequently, I was also easier on myself this year. I didn’t do something everyday and that was fine. It did mean I finished my 100 days significantly later though (which may have added to the feeling of ‘will this ever end’!). It also meant I was a bit lighter with it, less rules, less pressure, which I highly recommend.

Knowing from last year that plans don’t last long, I didn’t do much preparation, trusting that things would flow in the direction that they would (I almost wrote ‘right direction’ then, but the whole point is that there’s no ‘right’ direction).

I was correct about that. Where I thought I would make and use lots of different home-made stamps, I tended to use one stamp- a lot! So yes, there were a lot of circles- as you’ll see if you look at the resulting images. The circles stamp (and circles in general) just spoke to me- it had so many possibilities and variations- printing over, mis-registering, uneven printing, pushing into sloppy paint, less ink, more ink, printing onto dry or wet ink, on and on and on.

And so after initial resistance (thinking I should be doing something different each day), I just went with it. If there’s anything that doing something small for 100 days can teach you, it’s just to go with it. There’s literally nothing to lose- bar 10 mins each day.

The other revelation this time round was the idea of ‘merely’ creating an image for Instagram, rather than a piece of art. This only hit me a quarter of the way through, but it really freed me. It meant I could put prints on top of one another, look at the backs of prints, juxtapose prints, zoom in, crop down, add effects etc., which opened up so many possibilities.

It also meant I could post an image each day- considered and curated- without more studio time, it was still creativity each day, but with the eyes, not the hands. Seeing as one of my aims for this project was to explore surfaces and design, through my own particular printmaking lens, this was also good practice for seeing with a design eye.

Following what each image is telling you will show you so much about what you like to look at and do- we don’t allow ourselves that very often- even artists. 10 minutes a day seems a justifiable amount of time to learn a little about how you work, as a human and an artist. And that is worth it’s weight in gold.