Yesterday was the last day of this year’s 100 Day Project, which is an annual global art project, free for anyone to join in. All you have to do to take part is choose a creative project that you can work on every day and do it every day for 100 days. If you choose, you share your work online with the hashtag #the100dayproject.
I’ve taken part twice in the past, making patterns and hand lettering. This year I decided that every day I would make a small drawing with a botanical theme – flowers, fruit, vegetables, leaves… These are the 100 drawings I made and as you can see, I played around with different mediums and styles and I really enjoyed it.
There were times when it felt difficult or like I really didn’t want to draw another flower ever again but I kept going and I’m glad I did. It’s been a really good way to create a new body of work and be playful at the same time.
I have some ideas about what I want to do next but for the moment I have a big piece of work to finish and then I think I’m going to have a bit of a rest from making new drawings for a bit.
In the meantime, I’m slowly adding all of these 100 drawings to my Etsy shop. Some have already sold but if the one you like isn’t there yet it will probably appear over the next couple of weeks.
During April for MATS Bootcamp we were asked to create a magazine illustration that could sit alongside a magazine article written by Beth Kempton the topic of Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese view that nothing is perfect, everything changes, that that’s OK – and in fact there is beauty to be found in that imperfection. Beth’s article, which was an extract from her book Wabi Sabi:Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, focused on how it’s helpful to accept change in order to be more resilient when change inevitably occurs.
It took me a long time to work out what I was going to draw for this assignment but in the end I decided to illustrate the bamboo that Beth referenced in her article. I also came across lots of examples of cyanotype photography online, which inspired the textured background and white leaves.
I don’t know if it was coincidental or not but around the time I made this illustration I kept coming across quotes and articles about accepting imperfection, including a quote from Stephen Hawking, which was on the front cover of Flow Magazine (issue 29). I think maybe this was something I needed to be reminded of and it was helpful to have it reinforced.
There’s one more assignment for MATS Bootcamp but in the spirit of being comfortable with imperfection, I’ve decided to give myself permission to skip that one and continue focusing on my current 100 Day Project, which you can follow along with on Instagram.
In letting this go I feel like I’ve given myself some space to think about and plan the next pieces of work I want to make. Is there something you can let go of that would help create space, either physically or mentally?
This year I joined in with the Inktober challenge again, which involves making an ink drawing every day (or as often as possible) during October and sharing each one on Instagram.
In the past I’ve stuck to black ink and last year I just used a fineliner for the whole month. This time I decided to add some colour so I used liquid inks – mostly India ink and occasionally acrylic ink.
I used a pen once or twice for lettering and black areas but otherwise I used inks and brushes. Here are my 31 drawings from the month. You may recognise a few of these as the new postcards which you can now buy in my Etsy shop.
A few more are (or are going to be) available as prints too.
Click on each image to see a larger version.
For April’s MATS Bootcamp assignment we were asked to design organisational trays/cups on the theme of sewing accessories, or sewing notions. I tried a few different ways of drawing and colouring my ideas and eventually decided on these designs for a tray, some trinket dishes and 3 different storage cups.
For the design of the trays and cups I was inspired by a few things I’d spotted on Pinterest and also in online shops like Anthropologie. With the drawings I decided to stick with simple line drawings in ink which I coloured digitally.
Making patterns is one of my favourite ways to play around with my drawings so I also created 2 repeat patterns using the same images – one using all the drawings I’d made and another that used just the buttons.
This was probably my favourite assignment so far in Bootcamp because the work I made felt very ‘me’. I felt like I was learning new things but at the same time using a style that is familiar and comfortable. We have one more month to go and I’m curious to see what that assignment will be, but in the meantime we have an extra week before that work starts so I’m enjoying a little break and resting as much as possible.
Until the end of May I’m taking part in the MATS Bootcamp run by illustration agent, Lilla Rogers. I really enjoy learning new things and feel that there’s always room for my work to develop. We’re given a new assignment to work on each month, which starts with a ‘mini’ warm-up assignment before the main assignment comes out. In January we started by drawing the contents of our bags.
The main assignment was to create a cover for a children’s book, showing what we imagined a particular well-known person/character might carry with them. There were 12 different people (fictional and real life) assigned to the group and I had the task of illustrating what I imagined Lilla Rogers (the agent running the class) might carry in her bag.
It was a challenge and it was also interesting to see so many different styles and approaches to the same assignment. The gallery of our work is now public so you can have a look at the full range of work on the MATS website.