100 Days of Creativity

100 Days of Creativity

Posted by Solii & Isla Munro on 24th Apr 2019

You might already know about The 100 days Project in some form or other, but we thought we would introduce you to it in a little more detail as we love the idea behind it so much.

Our friend Isla, the very talented freelance designer behind Isla Creative, who we recommend if you're looking for an artworker/ interdisciplinary designer, and who also teaches in the Design Department at Edinburgh College of Art, got involved in the 100 days project in 2017, having been aware of the Emma Rogan's 100 days project in New Zealand prior to this.

However, Isla is never one to do things by halves, so not content with just taking part, she realising that the only way she would probably finish the project is if she decided to commit to creating a collective exhibition at the end of the 100 days. Now going into her third year of organising what has turned into the European exhibition of the 100 days project hosted by '100 Days Scotland' and always keen to get more people involved in being creative, we thought you might be interested in knowing a little more and maybe, just maybe, get involved yourself. So with that in mind, we'll hand you over to Isla. 

So, what is a 100 Day Project all about?
As Stephen Hawking once said about life and success “half the battle is showing up". The key to the 100 Days Project, as with many things in life, is starting, show up every day to your creative task, and simply do. 

Initially a coursework assignment led by Michael Bierut at Yale School of Visual Arts, the 100 Days Project principle is to repeat a simple creative task every day for the duration, and record each day's effort...it’s that simple, and that difficult! Emma Rogan heard about this project and decided to use it as a way to refresh her typography work, and after telling a few friends what she was doing, gathered some company along the way. Overtime there ended up being upward of 2000 people worldwide involved throughout the years. 

What is appealing about the project is that it gives anyone the framework and permission to get creative. It challenges you to pick your creative outlet and only needs your willingness to work to achieve a creative boost. It can end procrastination, and develop resilience. It takes energy, and yet the rewards can resonate for a long time after the 100th Day is over.

At the time, so focused on teaching and paying bills, I had lost connection with a freer creative practice. Knowing myself, I told anyone who would listen that I would be taking part so I had multiple accountability partners. I also booked an exhibition space and announced that I would put on a show to celebrate the process. These were the tools I would use to keep me on track; the goal to aim for. So on the 22nd May 2017 I joined the 900+ participants in Emma Rogan's New Zealand 100 Days Project and started my daily creative challenge.

In 2017 I immersed myself not only in my chosen project but in the organisation of the show and delighted in making it as accessible as possible for other participants. The 2017 Day 100 Show Edinburgh was actually held on Day 103, in the University of Edinburgh's TENT Gallery, and was the most northerly show of Emma’s project. Me and 21 other participants, including illustrators, authors, photographers, and multi-media artists, celebrated our 100 days of creative effort for a short exhibition...and I was hooked.

In 2018 with Emma Rogan's blessing, I ran a Scottish led version of the project in the hope that local sponsors and participants could get more involved (with none of the time zone issues making us all feel a day behind!) On May 14th 2018 the 100 Days Project Scotland began, and culminated in the Day 100 show in September 2018. 

My project in 2017 involved drawing/painting/printing to capture a piece of contextual art everyday and folding it into an origami crane, then photographed in context. A 14cm square of paper was the canvas for my daily mark making, using a variety of methods and materials. Some days the work took 10 minutes, others took hours, depending on the time I was able to spend on it. I replicated this in 2018 with a change to the origami form, from a crane to a lily. 

Our youngest participant, Erin, was 6. Inspired by her favourite film, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, and her favourite author Cressida Cowell, Erin drew a dragon everyday. At the exhibition she sold greeting cards of some of her favourite dragons and gave the money made to her favourite homelessness charity - Social Bite. Her creative and charitable endeavours gained her a coveted Blue Peter Badge! 

This year we are starting the Scottish project even earlier on the 1st of May and the exhibition to celebrate the process will be held mid-late September. This gives participants more time to prepare (though the exhibits are built up over the 100 days, some come from as far as Germany), and also allows me more time to find sponsorship to fund a larger exhibition.

Participants I know about already this year include several illustrators, a musician, author, book-binder, textile artist, spin instructor, journalist, ceramicist, interaction designer, and I am delighted that Erin is returning with a plan to draw a sweetie a day.

Fancy getting involved?

Why not pick something new you want to explore, a skill you want to develop, or maybe get back into the habit of doing something you love? The trick is to give yourself a manageable amount of work so that the daily task doesn't become a chore or un-achievable.

So if you’ve decided to give it a go, what do you do next?

1...ANNOUNCE: Announce your involvement by stating what you intend to do every day. Use the project hashtags #100daysprojectscotland #100daysprojectscotland2019 and give your project your own unique hashtag.

2...START ON THE 1ST MAY 2019 & POST DAILY: Post your effort each day using all 3 hashtags (so you can be found!) If you miss a day, don't worry, keep going! Post everyday (you can) until Day 100: 9th August

3...FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM: Like the 100 Days Project Scotland Facebook page for regular updates and to see what others are up to, and follow the Instagram feed for the project (social media icons in the footer).

Did you know you can now follow hashtags? 

Not sure what you might do?

Check out the some inspiration here.  There is also a 360 scan of the Scottish 2018 show where you can look around the TENT gallery, and get a feel for the show, by following the link to the website.

For all information and contact details, please go to 100daysproject.co.uk or 100 Days Project Scotland on Facebook and Instagram. I look forward to welcoming you to the project, or simply to follow the project and look around the exhibition in September.