Roughly 52 days ago I decided I would start a 100 Days Project like I have seen other artists do on Instagram. Or some do 365 Days of Paintings or 52 Weeks of Something. There are any number of ways to slice and dice the concept.
Before I started, I pondered what I would—and could–commit to. I decided to do 100 Days of Advice as my concept and hashtag. I thought this would give me a broad enough subject so if I wandered about with funny ones, or super serious or heartfelt advice I would still be within the parameters I had set up for myself. But it also allowed me to stay focused and not head into the all too familiar “what the heck should I do?” territory of creative life. And I reminded myself that there weren’t any 100 Days Police out there ready to write me a citation if I headed in a new direction, skipped a day or abandoned the whole idea and turned to How to Make Oven Mitts out of Bath Mats as my next project.
Here are some things I learned so far:
- Some days it’s really hard! Even though you have set your intention about what you want to do, actually continuing to have ideas—or enthusiasm–can be difficult to conjure up. But soldier on, my darlings—let yourself off the hook by doing simpler designs some days or a shorter message and get on with it!
- Consistent daily action toward anything will bring you progress. If you picked up a harmonica tomorrow and practiced for the next 99 days thereafter, I’m pretty sure we could recognize a lively rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”*. In 100 days you will have an enormous body of work that you didn’t have before—now how cool is that?
- As I look back on even these first 50 days, I am definitely seeing an evolution of my work. I don’t know where it will take me yet but I know that at the end I will have 100 seeds of ideas to develop further, to group together in ways I couldn’t see before and I suspect a few creative a-ha! moments.
- Posting for 100 days in a row (more or less, trust me–people aren’t counting) will increase your visibility on Instagram and wherever else you post. More followers, potential clients or interesting projects have the potential to come your way because You. Showed. Up. Doing a consistent daily action and not sharing it is a valid way to grow as an artist, but if you want to be seem—or make money—you need to show it to the world.
So how do you start?
Pick a date. Any date. Or join a group that is doing it together. The adorable folks at They Draw and Cook are starting one beginning April 19th. Go see them on Instagram to join the fun.
Pick your topic. Make it broad but specific (ha!). You might just share 100 Days of Sketches or 100 Days of Flowers or you can get more specific and do 100 Days of Wildflowers or 100 Days of Cupcakes—you get the idea. Pick something that you are pretty sure you can accomplish but not so narrow that by day 37 you are sick to death of it!.
Once I finish my 100 Days of Advice, I know what my next topic will be—it may kill me, but I won’t know until I try, right?
You can follow along with my #100DaysofAdvice—I am @ronniewalter on Instagram.
*It’s the only thing I learned to play. I apologize to my family. And the dog.