#the100dayproject, 2021 Edition

Another round of The 100 Day Project is in the bag! This is the fourth time I’ve participated (third time completed) and it’s a real learning experience, every time.

For this round I drew stuff in the city where I live (Hamilton, Ontario) and used the hashtag #100daysofhamont. My intentions for the project definitely evolved over the course of the 100 days and I’ve spent a bit of time over the past few days reflecting on what I learned (sidebar: here are similar recaps from 2018 and 2014).

One thing that’s abundantly clear to me is that drawing buildings is my comfort zone. Buildings will likely always (always!) be my favourite thing to draw because I don’t have to think about it too much. Given the state of things lately, committing to a daily habit that doesn’t require too much effort and reach was just about all I could manage in this weird moment.

Speaking of buildings, another recent realisation is that it’s ok to play fast and loose with perspective. I’ve been drawing buildings for a long time so I finally feel like I have an intuitive understanding of perspective (though I still make mistakes!), which is why I don’t get too fussed when my buildings look wonky or like they are about to fall over (always to the right). I’ve learned to accept and embrace and maybe even love the wonky! It’s how I draw and it’s ok.

I picked a pretty vague theme and hashtag to allow myself some latitude to draw whatever I wanted, not just buildings. I had grandiose plans to do a bit more reportage drawing, including people and events and such. Instead I drew a building. Every. Single. Day. (See above about not having a tonne of bandwidth to step outside the very comfortable comfort zone.) Also? We’ve been in lockdown for much of the last 100 days, there are no events to draw. And mostly the people I see are in boxes on a screen. (sigh)

One of my intentions with this round of the project was to enjoy the process as much as possible and to not get too caught up in the outcome. For maybe the first time ever, I think it worked. There were many (many) days when I didn’t really like what I drew, but I posted those drawings anyway. A recently-developed habit that helped here was forcing myself to find one or two things about the drawing I liked — even if it was a drawing that I ultimately thought was unsuccessful (for whatever reason), I tried to find something about it that I could appreciate. A window here, a sky there, a lampost over in the corner, whatever.

A final observation? On just two of one-hundred days I abandoned a drawing and started over. That’s not to say that I nailed it right away with the other ninety-eight (not even close!) – I just forced myself to push through that doubting stage, where what I had on the page in front of me felt like pure rubbish. If you’ve read anything at all about the creative process, you know that any creative practice has a crappy/awkward/i-hate-this stage that you have to just push through to get to the other side. 98% of the time (literally!) it turns out ok.

p.s. I’ve ventured into the world of art prints and many of the drawings from this series are available as giclee prints in my shop!