I’m taking part in The 100 Day Project 2019

At the beginning of this year, I discovered my current most favorite account on Instagram that started to speak to my soul, made me feel less alone and human in my journey as a creative. Jamie shared these words in the early days of 2019 and they struck a chord with me,

“You know all the things you wanted to do in 2018 that you didn’t do and now have carried over into 2019? Might I suggest you let those all go, throw them in a discard pile, and think of things you’d actually want to do in 2019 and don’t require you berating and shaming yourself in order to get them done? Ever consider the things you need to shame yourself into doing aren’t really worth doing? It’s not your fault for not doing things you don’t want to do. How about you trust yourself that if you truly want to do something, you’ll find a way to do it – and everything else isn’t worth your anxiety, time, or shame? Try that mentality out and see how it goes. If shame hasn’t worked, maybe love and kindness toward yourself will.”

Oh Jamie, thank you for sparking something so beautiful inside me. That spark is leading and guiding my way to build a creative practice that I’m craving – to be able to create something every day and the 100 day project seems like the best answer to hold that kind of space for myself and my creativity.

I discovered about the 100 day project just last year when I came across Elle Luna’s article on medium then her book, Crossroads of Should and Must and ended up watching almost every other YouTube video that she was in and I felt absolutely in love with her as a person but also because of her conviction, listening to her intuition and following her deepest and wildest desires and for cultivating the courage to carve her own unique path. Another reason was that I could really relate to her being a designer and having a deep aching desire to paint in a huge white-walled studio with big bright windows. I have been meaning to hold some space for my creative dreams to come to the surface and make such a commitment to myself for a long time now. In fact, I am craving it. After reading what Jamie wrote, I was certain that maybe deep down I resent myself for not taking the plunge and waiting for the perfect timing or inspiration to hit me and I realized this is as perfect as it could get. There is no doubt that I have been battling with a ton of imposter syndrome, indecisiveness, hell a lot of fears and quite a few self-limiting stories about my creative potential and abilities. I have a choice to make. Either I take concrete meaningful action towards making this dream happen or I let it go for good, once and for all. I am oh so ready to take the leap of faith and I’m trusting that I will come stronger and happier on the other side of it.

If you don’t have a clue about what the 100 day project is – It’s an online art/ creativity challenge kind of thing where you pick up a project that you’ve been thinking of doing for a while or a skill that you want to improve or basically anything you can think of. The goal is to hold space for yourself and your creativity and commit to doing that project for the 100 days straight. It is more about building a habit of creating something every day with deliberate and committed practice. Here’s a link to the official website. You can also search #the100dayproject on Instagram and see what everyone else is up to. As hundreds of creatives are participating every year, it is a great way to get some support from the creative community, some accountability and make some real connections with fellow creatives and like-minded people online. It starts on April 2nd and my project is 100 days of unapologetic painting.

100 days of unapologetic painting

I’m going to create multi-layered abstract impressionist paintings as an exploration of my own perception, feelings, emotions, and the moods but also an exploration of line, color, texture and the paint itself. I’m going to explore my current inspirations and the things that spark joy in me on a day to day basis such as nature; flowers (Spring is on its way!) skyscapes and seascapes.

I am doing it because I want to show myself some commitment with kindness towards myself to show up as who I want to be and hold space for myself, my creativity and my wildest possible dreams. I have almost a hundred (exaggerating a little bit) Pinterest boards where I have been pinning what I want to paint whenever I will get the time, energy and motivation to do so. This is me holding space for those ideas to come to life.

My hopes and dreams for this project are to visualize and experience what does it look and feel like for me to be an unapologetic painter who paints and creates art for the sake of it, to enjoy the process and lives her truth out loud.

I am giving myself permission to try, experiment, explore, make mistakes, be a beginner, want what I want and to live my truth out loud.

Ways in which I am simplifying the project to make sure it happens and brings in what I am aching for:

– Making a list of inspirations in advance:
I am going to put those Pinterest boards into good use. All the things that inspire me, I am making a list of them to have them handy when I feel bored with one thing so I don’t suffer from decision paralysis when it will be the time to paint.

– Setting up a routine: 
I am setting up a routine, a fixed time to get up in the morning and a fixed time to paint every day.

– Starting small:
Even though I love huge size canvases but I am choosing to paint on smaller ones for this project so I get to finish one every day for 100 days straight.

– Getting the materials ready:
I am thinking about getting all the relevant material ready by the end of this week so I don’t have an excuse to not do it.

– Cheap drugstore paints:
I am investing in cheap drug store paints instead of going for the expensive branded ones so I don’t have to hustle with me using or rather wasting the expensive paint on practicing.

– Allowing myself the freedom to choose medium on the go:
I am not choosing to stick with a specific paint medium either. I am allowing myself the freedom to switch mediums when I feel the need to. I love oils but they do take a little longer to dry. You have to wait for the first layer to dry to be able to apply the next layer and that drying could easily take a day or two. Acrylics – I have never really painted with acrylics and I am not sure how I will feel about the medium, texture or color mixing in comparison to oils but it has been on my list to try for years now and I am going to allow myself want to try it if that feels right. Watercolors are my new found love just like writing. I have always been very meticulous in things that I do and I never allow myself to break free, experiment and see where the process might lead me. I always like to be in control and I believe watercolors are good for me to loosen up a little and let the process and medium itself guide me.

– Saying no and making time:
I am going to say no to other time commitments and potential opportunities when it might conflict with my time that I’d like to dedicate to this project.

– Choosing to practice self-compassion:
If I’ll end up missing a day for whatever reason, I will not let it become a stick to beat myself up with or to shame myself rather I will choose to show myself some kindness and practice self-compassion and pick up where I left off.

I am announcing it online because I’m in need of some accountability and support.

I am having a little hard time answering this question, will I be sharing the day to day progress online on the blog or Instagram? The honest answer is, I am not sure how many of the paintings I will be sharing on Instagram. I feel it hard at times to concentrate on showing up on social media (Instagram is where I am at) as it seems to take up all of my energy and time and my focus. Maybe I will share 3 days of progress after every 3 days on the grid but daily progress on the stories. I haven’t decided it yet and I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself. I will most certainly be sharing my daily progress here on the blog though. I have made a separate page for the 100 day project which you can find under the main menu. I might not be writing much about the paintings but I do need some accountability and support as I move forward so I will be sharing the paintings only mostly (that’s for sure) and sometimes maybe the process and my writeups along its side too but I am not committing to that as I believe in starting small. Sometimes when we start big in our initial enthusiasm we set ourselves up for failure and I’m aware of that and of my patterns too. I want to keep it as fluid as possible. I will still be writing on the blog though, as always, every Wednesday.

You can also follow along my 100 day project on Instagram with this hashtag that I plan on using #100dayproject_hira and if you join the project itself and by any chance if that’s painting too, how about using #100dayproject_letspaint with all your posts on Instagram so I can follow your progress too and cheer you on along the way?

Have you ever participated in one or any other similar project before?

How did you make it happen and how did it impact your creative work and life?

If you’ve got any advice for me, please share in the comments below!

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  • Yayy so happy for you. I have also just signed up for the 100 day project yesterday and I am doing reading/ writing poetry inshallah. 😊

  • Hi Hira,
    I hope this project brings you joy. I wouldn’t worry too much about sharing the results. A project like this is, in my opinion, mainly for yourself. The next months I will have another type of project called ‘finish that master’s degree’ so I won’t participate in the 100 days project, but I might next year. Who knows?