I failed the 100 day project. And by that I mean it’s way past day 100 and I am still only on day 66.
But failing is something I am okay with.
I’ve failed to finish a lot of projects over the years, trying to do too much or creating something that just didn’t interest me in the end. When you fail at finishing a project you aren’t a failure as a creator, but rather it’s an opportunity to learn about what works for you.
It took me a while to figure out an accountability method that has kept me motivated and creating. I don’t do well creating every day or paintings. I like color and collage and vintage images. And I need to have an Instagram account to post to, which motivates me to create stuff to actually post.
The 100 day project is 100 days of creating something. It was started by two artists and now thousands of artists around the world create something for 100 days. It’s meant to be for 100 days straight, but for me it turned into more like 150 days.
I decided to challenge myself a bit this year and do something I’ve wanted to do for a while but have always been scared to do – urban drawing.
I quickly discovered I’m not very good at it. I don’t have the skill or the patience to draw very accurately and I get bored of drawing similar types of buildings. I was falling behind, drawing cars and glasses of wine and pretty unhappy with the outcome.
Then I went on holiday in Naples. I let the cities vibrancy and chaos inspire me and realized I was approach this project the wrong way. I was drawing the way I was supposed to draw, the way I’ve seen urban artists draw. I needed to learn to urban draw my way.
So I decided to add some color and some surrealism to my drawings. I drew what was around me, but wasn’t super picky about drawing live (which is sometimes not easy to do when you’re surrounded by tourists and also on the lookout for pickpockets). I drew half from photos, half from memory and picked out color schemes for each drawing.
The result was a collection of colorful drawings of my travels and buildings in my city that I’ve fallen in love with and I’ve already gotten an idea to develop it into an even bigger project.
I didn’t succeed at the 100 day project but I did discover my own style of urban drawing. I will eventually reach the 100 drawings (which was was my goal) and most likely will continue to draw after.
So next time you don’t finish your 30 -day or 100 day challenge, don’t despair. Learn from your failure and a rhythm and style that works for you.