In January 2015, I invited a few friends to join me in starting a biweekly art night. Beyond just a drink-and-draw, I wanted us to be able to share our goals and progress as artists trying to get into the habit of producing regularly. I nicknamed this meet-up “Procrastinators Anonymous.” My sister, always the stickler for phrasing things in the positive, dubbed it “Mega-Productive-Awesome-Artist Club.”
No matter the name, things didn’t really kick into gear until I got word of #The100DayProject challenge. The project involved making a creative work every day for 100 days and sharing the process on Instagram, with a hashtag customized to fit a self-determined theme. I wanted to explore the intuitive world of journaling and doodling, seeing where my emotions and insights might take me along the course of 100 days, so I created the theme #100daysofsketchjournaling.
The work that followed taught me quite a bit about myself—not just that I really like to draw my cat but also that at any given moment of reflection, I have several different artistic voices through which I can interpret an experience. There is the anxious, fretting one who struggles to make a single mark on the page. There is the angry one, the one who judges my out-of-practice hand and belittles my efforts. There’s the childlike, innocent one who marvels at the sheer beauty of colors as they blend, and there is the ever-wise, comforting one who sees my day in the context of an entire lifetime and the grand unfolding of the universe as a whole.
Though I longed for my work to display the more apparent consistency of form and composition visible in my friends’ projects, by allowing myself to explore any subject that came to mind I was ultimately able to piece together an organic portrait of my own psyche. Tendrils of focus would branch off and meet back up again. Colors and figures would appear and disappear. Thoughts would pop up as little messages throughout, forming a rhythm best seen with the expanded perspective that 100 or more days can give.