On April 6th, 2015, I committed to doing one hand-drawn type piece a day for 100 days. It was the challenge to myself for The Great Discontent's 100 Days Project and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The goal of the project was to take a creative activity that you could replicate every day for 100 days. Here's what I've learned so far, where I still want to go and how everything turned out OK.
I jumped in right away on day one and then I realized that I had no idea what I was going to be writing out, what style or what tools I'd use. Over the past few years, I've jotted down phrases on post-its, moleskins, iPhone notes, etc. I thought that seemed as good as any place to start. On the first day I drew 10-15 things before just going with an early sketch that I had considered a "joke sketch".
After the first few days, I was overwhelmed. I had already gotten 3 days behind from the get-go, and I was judging my work too harshly, throwing away countless sketches because it wasn't good enough.
The advantage of The 100 Days Project was that you had to find an outlet to to share publicly, for accountability and so others could see. I chose a separate Instagram account as a place to share all of these and with an empty slate and no followers, who would be there to see and judge?
Within the first week I learned to let go of perfection or getting it close to right. I had to let go that these had to be portfolio worthy and just let myself experiment. I had to post the bad shit along with the good shit. I knew that there had to be a starting point to look back on.
hitting a stride
Once I let go of expectations, I was able to get into a stride that's led me up today. I was writing out inside jokes, social media observations, faux-inspirational posts. I was gaining followers pretty fast on Instagram. I showcased it on my personal account. I could feel myself getting a little better at this, but I wasn't getting better in the way that I wanted to.
working on skill
Part of the reason I wanted to tackle this for 100 days was to get better at the technical skill of lettering, so about 20 days in I decided to finally tackle my dream of getting better with calligraphy and script. I've collected lettering books and tools over the past 2 years so I finally started to practice letters and form over and over for more than a few hours a day.
It was soothing to just repeat line forms and swishes for hours on end. I didn't want to hit perfection because some of my favorite hand-type artists have a certain vulnerability to their letters, a signature. I felt most vulnerable working and putting out these letters to the world mainly because I felt like I still knew nothing. I've still got a long way to go.
I'll update as I get closer to hitting day 100.