100-Day Project: Time to Make!

A while back, at Reunions 2013 to be exact, some friends and I were talking about how we were discontent with where we were headed in our careers. We were doing well by any standards but we just weren't passionate about our work at the time.  It was then that I resolved to start up my own creative business (it just took me a year and a half to finally step away from the security of my 9-5).  My friend Tamar kept up her blogging pursuits at Everything Curly and took up some new hobbies after leaving her full-time job in 2014.  And our friend Cordaro stepped away from the legal world and went on to get 4th place on America's Got Talent with his [newly created] band Sons of Serendip (overachiever!).  Essentially, when we were all talking back in 2013, we kept saying that we wanted to start making.  And by that we meant passionately producing meaningful, creative work that would give us a renewed sense of purpose.  

It was then and there that I resolved to start making one thing a day, but, with very little structure, that goal never materialized.  My most successful serial project to date has been a photo-a-day effort I did back in 2011.  I called it "2011 in 365" but unfortunately lost steam somewhere in October of that year.  The thumbnails below show some of the photos in the series, capturing the end of June and beginning of July. 

I later began 2014 with a New Year's resolution to make one sketch a day...but I ended up making them too complicated, didn't enjoy the process, and decided to quit the project after just a few days.  A few of the pages I doodled on are below. 

And now there's a great opportunity to try out a new project (hopefully with increased success)!  My friend (and studio neighbor) Sacha Baumann just posted the Ella Luna: 100-Day Project up on her studio's Facebook page and it looks like fun!

Basic details: 

  • Start April 6 and end July 14 
  • Make one thing a day and post about it for each and every one of those 100 days 
  • Follow @greatdiscontent on Instagram to get updates
  • Tag all posts with #the100dayproject and create your own unique hashtag, like #100daysof[insert something awesome here] so you can keep track of your progress

Not only will the 100-Day Project help me commit to MAKING but it will also provide a structured project and a community of fellow makers to inspire me to stay on track!  Since I've started Modern Tiki Lounge, I've been working on a lot of business-y back-end things while itching to start being more creative so this will be perfect.  Plus, since I'm still pretty new to this freelance world, I'd love to make more creative friends while further expanding my site & brand. 

So, now what am I going to make every day for 100 days?  Some options based on recent interests of mine: 

  • Take photos with my NEX-6 so I can really master using that camera (maybe with a line cut across 1/3 of the frame for each one...I've always wanted to do that so all of the photos match up in a way).
  • Create works with watercolors because I've admired how so many bloggers, artists, and stationary designers make such great art with those paints.  My dad is a watercolor artist as well but I've always been too stubborn and anxious to jump right in to really let him teach me his techniques. 
  • Post to my blog daily to really boost the amount of content on my site and get into the groove of being a blogger.  I've been considering this for a while now while drafting up weekly content calendars but still somehow fail to post EVERY day.  But hmmm...I don't know if this is the level of creativity I've really been going for.  I could still post daily about whatever I decide to make. 
  • Develop textile designs that fall within the mid-century modern/tiki theme and can be used for future home accessory, furniture, and fashion projects.  These would be sketched and then either colored by hand or in Illustrator.  I think a good way to focus this effort could be by randomly selecting from my running list I've got of mid-century modern/tiki words so that I don't have to spontaneously figure out what to make each day.  I think that's one of the biggest hang-ups in my creative process: deciding where to start.  At the end of this effort, I'd have 100 options to take fully digital and get printed through Spoonflower
  • Create Adobe Illustrator projects to increase my proficiency in that software while also improving my graphic design skills. 
  • Invent new tiki drink recipes to potentially be included in a future cocktail book. This one doesn't lend itself to being away from home, though. I think I'll just stick to Tiki Mug Mondays for now. 
  • Focus on sewing projects so I can get more comfortable with using my machine. Also not really portable, most likely difficult to keep within one type of project that can show progress, and potentially too expensive.  
  • Sketch a new furniture piece each day because I ultimately want to focus my design efforts on those larger scale products.  I could choose one type to design over time - most likely a chair.  This would give me 100 options to inspire a more detailed design development (and, ultimately, construction) effort. 
  • Go to the gym! Alright, yeah, this isn't an option for MAKING something but if I could be active for a 100 days in a row while also doing this project, I would feel like the biggest rock star in the world come July. 

Sacha and I agree that our 100-Day Projects need to be focused so I'll also have to determine some constraints once I pick the medium that I'll be working in.  I'm also going to be traveling A TON during this timeframe so I'm going to have to select a project that is not only feasible but also portable and relatively easy to create with limited free time.  Most of all, I want my 100 days of work to produce something meaningful both for myself and for Modern Tiki Lounge.  Thinking cap on.  I've got til April 6 to nail this down!

Anyone else want to join us?  It's going to be fun! If you're interested, sign up here