As someone who considers herself to be creative, working on my art should be easy, right?
Enter the procrastination monkey, comparison traps, and good old-fashioned fear.
Sometimes having a big goal (e.g. become a surface pattern designer) can be so overwhelming that it completely stops us in our tracks. The gap between where we are now and where we want to be can seem so huge and impossible that what we do today doesn’t seem like it will make any difference whatsoever. So what’s even the point?
A little over one year ago, thanks to artist (and all-round superstar) Dylan Mierzwinski, I heard about the concept of a 100 day art challenge. As you have probably already guessed, this type of challenge involves spending time working on art every day for 100 consecutive days. The idea is to push past that pesky resistance (whatever form that takes for you) and make teeny tiny steps every day towards a big scary goal.
One of the most important parts of this challenge is to set a minimum viable daily deliverable (or MVDD), which is the absolute minimum amount each day that you can commit to. Think of a day where you’ve not had enough sleep, had to work a full day in the office, commute home in the rain, feed the cat, and then scrape together something marginally edible for dinner. What could you commit to on that day? For me, this is 15 minutes of sketching.
Often this 15 minutes turns into 30 minutes or an hour – or even an entire evening!
Another essential component of this challenge is accountability. Who (or what) can keep you on track, help celebrate your achievements, and tell you it’s ok if and when you miss a day? For this component I will be forever grateful to Dylan for spearheading the ‘everyday creatives’ facebook group. This group was initially a way to stay accountable to the
challenge – by posting a progress photo on the daily post – but it has become so much more (think a mix of cheerleaders and therapists).
Jan 1st 2019 marked the beginning of my third 100 day challenge with the everyday creatives group. My first challenge was all about flexing my drawing muscle again and feeling more comfortable in my sketchbook. I didn’t have a clear goal for the second challenge, but because of the magic of the 100 day challenge, I managed to make enough patterns that I accidentally uncovered my signature style (yippee!). For this third challenge, I hope to build a portfolio of patterns that reflects this newfound style, so that I can create what I would love to see out in the world.
As I write this post, I’m entering day 3 of the challenge. If you’d like to follow along, I’ll be sharing my progress on Instagram. Or, if you’d like to join in, search for the everyday creatives group and say hello!