Anne Marie McGrane
Day 101. Phew!
100 days! That illustration above has some elements of truth to it. The project was very enjoyable but hard work too. I think I need some recovery time now.
I thought I'd give you a little recap of how I feel about the project, and also some recommendations for anyone who's thinking about taking part in the next one.
Having a goal is importantAlthough the project can just be about doing something fun for 100 days, and might only take half an hour everyday, it becomes pretty serious very quickly! Mine felt like it was part of my day job, something very important that I couldn't miss. I got up earlier to post the competition winners online, and then got straight into drawing that day's illustration to try and post it by lunchtime. I think if there was no long term goal at the end of this then it would have felt like too much effort for not much in return. In my case I wanted to get back into illustrating characters and to start using my imagination again, plus I wanted to have a body of illustration work behind me that I could base some future projects on. Pretty early on this started to pay dividends, I submitted the illustration from Day 3 to Dublin Canvas and it was accepted for their Paint A Box project (they have invited me to paint a second box since) you can see the images below. I've used quite a few of the other illustrations in project proposals that I'm waiting to hear back from....but even if they're not successful, just that fact that I have such a large amount of ideas and illustrations to draw from is really helpful and inspiring.
Get involved with the online community
You're not the only one taking part in this project. There were over a million posts so far tagged with #the100dayproject, that's a lot of people going through the same highs and lows of the project as you are. I would search the hashtag regularly and comment on other posts that I liked, or follow the artists/makers who inspired me...and others in turn would do the same. I gained over 200 new followers since the beginning of the project (that's not a lot to many Instagrammers but I was over the moon!) and I've made some friends on there with people who I wouldn't have come in contact with otherwise. Cheesy as it sounds, when you're having a bad day and struggling to get through the project, an encouraging comment or two can be enough to get you motivated again.
Don't overthink things
I've mentioned this is previous posts...before this project began I would worry about every image I put online, whether it was 'perfect' or not, but because the illustrations for this project had to be done quickly, I needed to get to a stage where I was 'happy enough' with the drawing, ready to trust my skill and just post the feckin' thing. There was no time to be fretting unnecessarily over every little detail. That was difficult at first but very freeing by the end. Equally, I had to learn not to put too much weight to the amount of engagement a post got...some days a pic would get a ton of likes and comments and other days very little. Don't even get me started on the competition I was running that only a few people were entering...when you're having trouble giving away your work you have to develop a tough skin! I must have skin like an elephant's elbow at this stage.
Plan your time realistically
I failed miserably at this! I said I'd only spend half an hour per illustration and I stuck rigidly to that but I didn't factor in all the time it would take to post the winners online in the mornings (and find new hashtags for each one), write the little blog post each day, edit the timelapse videos, post the timelapse videos (and find new hashtags for those), reply to comments, search for other 100 Day Project participants so we could connect, Phew! it was a lot.....never mind actually having to leave the house to send the illustrations off to the winners. So if you do take on the project, plan it all a bit better than I did.
Just do it
Go on, ya know ya wanna. When it comes around again, grab the bull by the horns and do it. Don't worry if you think 100 days is too long, do what you can and then opt-out if it gets too much. Or skip a few days one week and catch up the following week, I've seen lots of people take part like that. I can't say enough positive things about the experience..it's not easy, but it has so many benefits and made me look at my work in a totally different way. It's improved my work ethic no end, and I'm a lazy bitch so if it can do that for me God knows what it can do for you!
A few moments of silence for my fallen colleague
This little fella was brand spanking new on Day 1, fresh out of the packet. He gave his life to this project and will never be forgotten.