I just finished up participating in my first 100 Days Project. It was a course by Daring Discoveries called 100 Days of Building Creativity, facilitated by LeeAnn Hilbrich.
I committed to spending a minimum of 10 minutes a day in my art studio creating and producing art. For I while, I have felt the imbalance of being a viewer/consumer of art more than a participant/producer and I needed more than that. Broken down simply, creating helps keep me sane. It’s how I process my world. It helps me stay true to myself.
I kept my goals very small so that I could approach my daily practice with the minimal amount of obstacles and intimidation (created 99% of the time from my own headspace). I told myself that my practice could be in any medium and that nothing had to be completed or finished…ever. I even called the work that I did daily ‘my sketches’ instead of ‘my paintings’. I kept my setup simple: Arches paper + acrylics for the most part. I did use a few canvases during the process but returned very quickly to paper. No easel. No painters tape to mask off the edges of the paper (consequences be damned). I told myself that I wanted to play + experiment. When I felt a rule or a sense of cautious protectiveness coming up from my gut, I deliberately did exactly what I was telling myself not to do. I dove into the concept of creating layers so that it would build a richness and interest in the sketch but also to give myself the freedom to paint right over something, even if I kind of liked it and even if I ended up losing what I liked about the previous layer. Nothing is wasted.
Participation in the group was done online and I opted to post most of my daily practices on my Instagram account. Coming out the other side of the 100 days was amazing. I think I was surprised the most by the tenderness and confidence. The group of people that participated were so kind and encouraging with one another. No one just played nice in our group, they actually were that kind and sincere. I also felt a tenderness growing in how I talked to and treated myself. I became less critical of myself during this process, more nurturing and supportive of myself. Out of that came more confidence. Confidence in knowing that the well was not running dry. Confidence that I can keep coming back no matter what happened the day before and good things will come. They just will.
I’ve heard the quote about how it’s more about the journey, not the destination, blah, blah, blah. That one has become worn out and trite for me. Except that it gained new life during these 100 days. LeeAnn said it in a revised version that I like much better, “I hope you truly congratulate yourself on preparing a firm and steady foundation for your ever continuing soul growth and journey. When we practice, when we take time daily to invest in ourselves and in cultivating the habits and rituals that will bring more joy and beauty into our lives, we unlock and release new levels.”