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Creative Life

When 100 Days Did Not Feel Like 100 Days

Did you ever hear about the #100DayProject? No?

Never mind, neither did I until the summer of 2018 when I started using Skillshare and heard about the #100DayProject for the first time. It is an amazing way to establish your own creative practice, but let me start with how I learned about this idea.

At the time I was going to the gym several times a week which was really not my thing. I find it very boring to spend time on the treadmill or on the machines. My only solution was to binge-watch creative classes on Skillshare. This really kept me going as I could not finish my workout before the class had finished. ๐Ÿ™‚

Creative practiceSo one day I watched a class on the so-called #100DayProject and it got me hooked. The idea is so simple and so powerful at the same time. You decide to do one specific thing – like a skill you want to improve or something new you want to learn – and you do it every single day for 100 days. And because we all donโ€™t stick to the goals we set for ourselves, you post it daily on social media with the hashtag #100dayproject to hold yourself accountable.

You can either join the official #100DayProject which happens every year in spring. Or you do it on your own or with a friend. Then you can start basically anytime during the year. You just have to announce it on social media and you keep doing and posting your daily creative practice.

Let’s start the project, but not today!

Great, I thought! Letโ€™s do this! I can do this on my own, I thought. But best to wait for a good date to start. Something like the 1st of September or the 1st of January. Such dates are usually good to start a new project!

No, they are not! On the contrary! And guess what, I kept postponing doing the #100DayProject from one month to the next month for almost two years. There was always a good reason to not start establishing my creative practice. I had to finish some other project first. Or I had started a new job. Or a holiday was planned. Or maybe I was just afraid to fail!

And would it not be for Covid-19, I most probably would not have started in 2020, too!

Covid-19 helped me to establish a creative practice

Shortly after we all started to stay at home, work from home, and just spent all our time at home, so many great online classes emerged. And I just dived into all types of Zoom classes. I love online classes which is why I am such a big fan of Skillshare. But this new in-person approach to online teaching made these courses even more valuable to me. I am more likely to be held accountable if I see the teacher talking to me than I have been when consuming pre-recorded courses on Skillshare.

So I combined the online classes I was doing anyway with the official #100DayProject to finally establish a creative practice. It officially started on the 7th of April 2020. And this combination of courses and daily postings really got me going. I enjoyed every bit of the process!

Quickly I learned to not put too much pressure on myself. Your daily exercise should be doable and you should be easy on yourself if you feel that you need to pivot your approach on the way.

Islamic Geometry

I had planned to work on my repeat pattern skills as I was doing Bonnie Christine’s Immersion Course at the same time. Most of the participants were focused on floral patterns. But I was sitting at home in a desert country and plants or florals were out of reach. I lacked inspiration!

Broadening my topic helped me to be more focused

So, I decided pretty quickly that this would not work for me and I broadened my approach to focus on Islamic Geometry instead. My focus for the #100dayproject2020 became patterns in general instead of repeating patterns, or surface pattern design with Illustrator.

After all, these geometric patterns are also repeating patterns, but they are hand-drawn. So there is a relation to surface pattern design. And by transferring a pattern into a patchwork cushion cover, I also managed to connect to my other passion – sewing, and patchwork.

I cannot describe how much progress I have done over the last three months in my geometry skills. My drawings are much more precise today than in April. I pick up ideas and patterns much quicker and also my coloring skills improved a lot. The learning curve was really high and after about 20 or 30 days into the project, it became a daily habit to produce something creative after my home office time and post it.

And what comes next?

My creative practiceAfter the project came to an end officially on 15 July 2020, I felt that this can’t be it. I counted my social media posts and analyzed which skill I had practiced for what amount of days.

Turned out that I had spent ONLY 75 days on Islamic Geometry! Unbelievable! ๐Ÿ™‚

So I decided that I should extend the official project for myself and keep going for another 25 days. At least, if not longer! Let’s see how long I feel doing Islamic geometry and when the surface pattern design will take over again.

If this made you curious about the 100-Day Project, check it out on its official website. I really recommend joining the official project though. I will put it on my calendar for 2021, but don’t hold me accountable for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

And if you want to read my top 6 tips for participating in the #100DayProject successfully, sign up for my newsletter now to receive them in your inbox with the welcoming email.

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