For the past hundred days I've been sketching a dress a day as part of the #100dayproject. It was not as hard as I thought it would be, but it was frustrating, inspiring, overwhelming and liberating. I can't really remember the last time I committed to something like this for such a long time. I learned a lot through the process like...
1) IT'S OK TO SUCK
This was my first sketch on the first day of this project. Isn't it awful? I've never been good at sketching and much prefer draping fabric on a dress form when I'm working on a garment. This project was a way for me to face my fear and dive in.
2) JUST KEEP GOING
I hated most everything I sketched in the beginning, but I kept going and little by little they got better. On days that I was particularly tired or traveling I tried even harder to keep it up because I knew once I skipped I would just keep skipping it (you know, like when you stop going to the gym for a week and all the sudden it's been three weeks). I learned the power of doing something daily and I really enjoyed the ritual of it. When I was home, I would make coffee and then work on a sketch before I got dressed for work. When I was traveling, I would try out new surfaces, like a coffee cup or a napkin. I found I much prefer to work in the morning in my home studio, but that I could make do in other environments if I had to.
A few years ago I took a fashion illustration class at the Community College in San Francisco. The class was excellent and my teacher was always pushing me to practice more and take more time. I found that by doing this project - not only did I practice more, but the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it and would effectively take more time on my sketches. While I'm still not an amazing fashion illustrator, I at least feel confident sketching out an idea and now enjoy the process.
3) YOU NEVER KNOW HOW OR WHO YOU INSPIRE
One of the coolest parts of this project was the reception I got from friends and strangers. A co-worker actually asked me what I was doing and I was thrilled to share the project with her and invite her to join in. Since I was sharing the daily pieces on instagram, I was able to see what people liked in real time and get feedback.
I am definitely wary of being preoccupied with social media activity in lieu of enjoying face-to-face interaction, yet I felt like using my instagram account to share this project was a really healthy way to share a part of myself with my network and, hopefully, inspire others to be creative and try new things. I think we all have the capacity to create, and I hope in putting myself out there and doing something I was pretty bad at initially inspired others to do the same!
CELEBRATING CREATIVITY IN NY
I happened to be in New York during the celebration meet-up and got to meet Elle Luna and other participants in the project. It was really amazing to meet so many other creators and view their projects. I was so impressed by the body of work we collectively created! The event was hosted by FiftyThree and The Great Discontent with a special guest from the leader of the project, artist Elle Luna.
It was really funny to hear how similar our experiences were - we all had a hard time facing our work in the beginning, had some lulls, felt like failures at one point or another, got behind and then would feel a push to keep going. Some people hadn't actually finished, some people hadn't even started, but everyone was inspired and willing to try.
I'm super thankful I could be a part of the celebration! I wish there was one in DC...(if you are local - let's plan a meet-up!). I now want to do another 100 days - what should I do next?