100 Web Characters
A Book of 100 Illustrated Characters And Their Stories
The 100 Web Characters project is a collection of 100 illustrated characters and their stories. Each illustrated character is based on a web or technology term, and is accompanied by a hand-written story of who they are, and what they get up to.
I illustrated the characters and wrote the first version of all their stories during the official 100 Day Project in 2019. I posted the character along with their story to Instagram each day. One of the funnest things about a 100 Day Project is collating the days into something at the end. When I started, I was planning on putting the characters up online, but after the 100 days I decided to hand-write each of the stories and make a book out of it! Why!? Because I absolutely loved the project! Coming up with the stories and illustrating the characters in Procreate was a blast. And I wanted them to exist in real life for people to experience on a coffee table, or as a bedtime story.
Buy the book
eBook & 8" Hardcover
I put a lot of love and time into making this book—I even became a yellow-belt ninja at InDesign and learned how to self-publish a book!
Purchase the eBook. You’ll get PDF + EPUB versions, along with all the animations and time lapse videos.The EPUB book, which you can read on Apple Books, has 15 animated characters in it.
Purchase the hardcover. It’s a beautifully printed hardcover book, measuring roughly 21 x 21cm, or 8 x 8 inches. Along with the actual book, you’ll get the PDF + EPUB versions, along with all the animations and time lapse videos.
In the EPUB version of the book, 15 of the characters are animated. See below for a few examples.
I recorded and exported most of the time lapse videos. At some stage I felt a certain pressure to be illustrating “properly”, and not making so many mistakes and changing my mind—so I stopped caring about the time lapses. But I found a lot of them at the end of the project again.
What is a 100 Day Project?
I made a 30 minute class on doing a 100 Day Project. You can take it on Skillshare or TapTapKaboom School. The basics are doing something for 100 days in a row. It can be big or small, but having an easy way to come up with content ideas for 100 days usually helps a lot. And that’s why using web and tech words worked so well for me. Whatever you choose, you need to do each day for 100 days. Some people get bored. Some people run out of ideas. Others run out of inspiration. Making it short, fun, and intentionally-not-perfect are usually good ideas. But a 100 Day Project can be whatever you want it to be.
My 100 Day Project
So, why did I choose to illustrate web characters? Because I wanted to make the web more fun and approachable. And I wanted to spend more time illustrating and using my imagination—and learning Procreate! During the project, I not only learned how to illustrate in Procreate, but how to use it for basic animation. I created a Procreate animation class during the 100 days, and animated a bunch of the characters. My unicorn tendencies came out big time!
I learned a lot during the process. 100 days in a row can be hard, but it’s even harder when you’re a perfectionist. During a 100 Day Project you’ve got to learn to let go and post what you’ve done—whether you are 100% happy with it or not. Going through this process allows you to discover, for yourself, that you cannot always create something better than the day before. Some days were brilliant. Other days less so. But what you learn is that quantity leads to quality. If I had stopped because I didn’t like what I created on one day, then I would never have gotten to illustrate and write stories for some of my favourite characters. It would be nice to spend endless time creating perfect illustrations, but that’s not the point of a 100 Day Project. Most people can only give 5–15 minutes a day when doing a 100 Day Project. I gave roughly 1 hour per day. Some days I spent longer because I was animating, or because I was learning how to do something new. Sticking to a time-limit can be tough, but it pushed me to create quickly.
I started each day by selecting a web or tech word from a list I was keeping. For the first 26 days I worked my way through the alphabet, from A–Z. After choosing a word, I sketched it in my notebook, made notes about the character, wrote a rough story, and wrote down how I was feeling about creating. Then I opened Procreate, sketched a rough version of the character, after which I would illustrate the character from start to finish.
There are bits of me and people I know in each character—along with a lot of imagination! I’m sure you’ll identify with some of them.