This post has been published on medium.com
From August 6 to November 15, I have created 100 doodles for “100 Days of Doodle”. It is a personal creative project inspired by The 100 Day Project from Elle Luna and The Great Discontent. This project was both such a joy and a challenge. Here are 3 things I learned from it:
1. Be A Collector
“All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.” — <Steal Like An Artist>
When I started the project, I had no idea what to doodle. So I searched keywords like “sketch” and “doodle” on Pinterest and found many inspirations. Since then I created a board called “Doodle” on Pinterest and started filling it with as many inspirations as possible. It turns out that the more good ideas I collect, the more I can choose from to be influenced by in my next doodle.
With my “Doodle” board, I started with copying the existing piece that resonates with me, later I started to remix of one or more ideas to create my own pieces. Since I’m trying to record my daily life (e.g. my travel, food, experience), my doodle tends to become more and more authentic.
2. Do Not Wait
“You’re ready. Start making stuff.” — <Steal Like An Artist>
I have always been scared to start. Sometimes I will sit in front of my Moleskine notebook for an hour trying to come up with ideas instead of picking up the pen. Since I have a full-time job and usually spend time doodling at night, any procrastination will lead to lacking of sleep, thus affects my next day job.
To better manage my time, I decided to timebox my doodle routine. The one-hour before bedtime is broken down into 2 parts: 30 minutes of brainstorming and 30 minutes of doodling. Once the first 30 minutes is used up, I will start doodling even if I haven’t come up with a perfect idea yet. The results are surprising: it’s usually in the act of drawing that I figured out what I want to draw.
The same is true for the 100 days project: if I’d waited to collect inspirations before I started the 100 days of doodle, I’d still be sitting around browsing Pinterest forever instead of making things.
3. Share & Do It For Yourself
“Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you’ll start meeting some amazing people.” — Bobby Solomon
I started sharing my doodles on Twitter and Instagram on day 14 and 56 respectively. Since then, I will receive a few “Like” every morning. Those kind of support from friends and community has made me more accountable. As a result, my doodle has become more creative.
However, as more people paid attention to my work, I started feeling pressure because I didn’t want to disappoint them. For a while, I fell into the “Likes Trap” by wanting more “Like” and more recognition. I forgot the reason why I started this project: this project was for me. I started this because it was fun, because I craved exploration, because I want to make things.
“People will like things for reasons out of your control. Arts speaks to different people in different ways and the number of likes does not determine the value of your work.” — Veronica Wong
The 100 days of doodle project has been the creative refresh for me. It allowed me to develop new skills, discover a great community of designers, and know myself a little bit better. Right after I finished it, I started another 100 day project called “100 Days of Lettering“. I’m excited to see what will happen in the next 100 days and where this personal project takes me.