What can 100 days do? No really… what can you do in 100 days? Where does it get you?
I mean… it doesn’t sound like much. Anyone could do 100 of anything. 100 jumping jacks. 100 photographs. 100 words. It’s such a small number that it feels totally achievable and yet, so achievable that it almost creates a “why bother” attitude… it’s not enough to really achieve anything of significance so… meh, I won’t do anything.
At least, that’s sorta what I thought.
And then I decided to do 100 days of dorky ten minute doodles for The Great Discontent’s #The100DayProject.
Mostly it was a lark – a fun way to give myself 10 minutes a day to goof around with my pens and pencils and give myself permission to create every day.
It wasn’t really until I got to about Day 80 or so that it hit me… 100 days is a lot!
This 10 minute window I carve out every day has, 100 days later, resulted in a pretty substantial body of work.
You read about this all the time. Sit down, do the work, carve out 30 minutes a day to write, paint, photograph, swim, run, meditate, read… and all those little snippets of time will add up. 100 days later you will have a body of artwork, the first thee chapters of a novel, or you’ll have read your first (or second, third, fourth) book in ages, or your body will be 10lbs lighter. But it never really sinks in.
And then you actually do it – and it takes a while but all of a sudden you wake up and go… “woah… look at what I’ve done”.
It’s kinda crazy what can happen when you take 10 minutes a day for 100 days and do something intentional with that 10 minutes. I think that’s the key… it has to be intentional.
Or maybe it doesn’t. But for me it did.
I learned a lot from this. Some big things. Some little things that will make people laugh.
- stop worrying about putting perfect stuff into the world. People don’t care if it’s perfect. So just do it and stop stressing about it and letting it stop you from the act of doing. You won’t have anything to show for it if you don’t ever do anything
- do something that makes you happy – even if it is dorky. Who knew people would love my goofy little drawing that look like a 7 year old might have done them? Not me. And yet they do.
- which leads to: art doesn’t have to be serious. There’s a lot to be said for making people smile or appealing to their sense of whimsy
- doing good work requires a lot of practice. A lot. And then a lot more. And you will produce a lot of crap during the process. An awful lot.
- Don’t confuse talent with skill or style. The first is god given. The second comes with learning and practice, practice, practice. The third comes once you develop your skills. And as you practice some more.
- You can get a lot done in 10 minutes
- don’t colour over dark colours with light colours until the colours are dry (I’ve actually learned this many times, since age 4 but I still have trouble retaining it)
- I should probably get a red dress and wear my hair down more instead of putting it in a ponytail/bun every day
- don’t eat potato chips while trying to complete artwork in 10 minutes
- Cheap Bic mechanical pencils are awesome
- A good eraser is the best art investment you can ever make
What I Used To Create 100 Days of 10 Minute Doodles
I did not use a lot of fancy art supplies. What you see in the photo above is the extent of it. I pretty much used these for every single one of the 100 doodles:
- A 9×12 Strathmore Mixed Media Journal – it has very thick pages so I could use both sides without having to worry about ink seeping through and the coil binding made it easy to lie flat when I was doodling. I fit four doodles to each page
- A disposable Bic mechanical pencil – all the doodles were sketched in pencil first
- Two Staedtler Pigment Liners in 0.3 and 0.5 widths. These things are awesome. They don’t bleed, they’re waterproof and don’t easily smudge, which is wonderful when you want to erase the pencil marks underneath them in a hurry… like in under 10 minutes! I used the 0.3 width for about 90% of the work. I also have a 0.7 and a 0.1 but I didn’t use them for this.
- A Staedtler Gum Eraser. This is my very favouritest art tool. It NEVER smudges and it lasts forever.
- My trusty Faber Castell Pitt Markers in a wide variety of colours. I love these things. You can buy them in little packs of 4 but I buy them in singles from DeSerres in Vancouver or from Above Ground Art Supplies in Toronto. They’re cheaper than Copics and they’re finer so I have tons of control, which is good for me because I do a lot of fine work. And I just like the feel of them more than Copics or Prismacolors. I have yet to find a paper type that causes them to bleed, you can blend with them and they have a great range of colours. And they make me happy, seeing them all in their jar together!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve decided to take a week off – mostly because I need a break from social media – I’m not used to posting every day for myself for such a long stretch!
Then I’m going to come back and do 100 days, round 2. I love the 100 day length. And rather than do a full year with no break, I like the idea of doing continuous 100 day cycles with a week off in between each, just to regroup and think about how to approach the next round.
I’m going to do more 10 minute doodles but, I have at least two trips planned in the next 100 day cycle and I want to figure out the best way to be mobile. I loved the Strathmore Journal but I did have to travel with it and it was very big and clumsy. So I want a few days to find something more suitable.
And I’m also going to figure out how to preserve the original 100 days. I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to do that yet. But I have some ideas…
So… to 100 days.
Now go do something intentional for 10 minutes. And then do it again tomorrow. And then for 98 more days.