100 Days! What I Learned

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As the 100 Day project comes to a close, I wanted to reflect upon what I learned from the process.

Keep it Doable – Everyone’s interest, energy and time varies, so it helps to keep your project aligned with where you are. I kept my works small – 4 in. by 4 in. – and it didn’t seem like an onerous task to make one each day. Your project has to be something you enjoy doing, otherwise it will languish, for sure.

Discipline – A daily art practice takes dedication and discipline. But it really is not like hurdling a huge boulder, more like lifting a small rock each day. Mindfulness was helpful – I had to order substrates ahead of time so I would have enough. Planning – Sometimes to have a daily artwork for a day I was busy or had a family commitment,  I had to work ahead. Sometimes I’d do two or three panels ahead. Or other times, it was good to spend time thinking of what to do next in your series.

Random Words – My plan for this year was to randomly select a word or phrase each day and use that word as the theme for the daily artwork. This worked out mostly, but sometimes I wanted to create without the theme in my head, or I just couldn’t come up with something for a particular word…. So I did add a few words to my list. And sometimes I created a work first and found words that matched it later. No worries because I made up the rules! I guess what I learned was the restrictions of rules can sometimes be helpful, sometimes not. But it’s fun to break rules!

Creativity – Like a muscle, creativity gets better when it’s worked. I found some days when the small works were a wonderful starting point for other projects. Some days I created a larger work from the smaller one, other days I felt “warmed up” by the process of creating the small work and ready to work on something completely different.

Stuck – To get over a stuck feeling, I’d just start somewhere. Somewhere small. Maybe apply gesso to raw wood panels, paint the side of panels (mostly black), or just do something that gets the paint out, a brush in my hands. Once the small steps were begun, I could take bigger ones. (And sometimes I’d go for coffee or tea, or take a walk!)

Small & Big – There is value in small. Accomplishing a small piece felt good! And I can use a small format to create whole little worlds or just emphasize one hue. And the small images or techniques sometimes found their way into my larger works.

Lots to ponder and think about this project. Thanks to all who followed and liked or commented along the way!

Check out all the works and the accompanying text on my IG profile – cmillerartist

How do you do something for 100 Days? One Day at a Time!!!

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