Last week we talked about how to successfully complete a 100-day challenge and how important it is to join a community to get daily support and encouragement. I didn’t embark on my first challenge alone and completing it with supportive, like-minded colleagues made it a whole lot more fun!
Today’s blog is Part 2 of the story and I’ll dive deeper into why I decided to do a 100-day challenge in the first place, what I hoped to accomplish and what I learned about myself through the process. Perhaps most importantly, I'd like to share how I’m carrying this forward in my art journey now and some advice for you should you decide to embark on a challenge like this yourself.
If you aren't quite ready for a 100-day challenge, a great way to start on a creative journey is to take an online art class. I created a guide called Kickstart Your Art Journey, which highlights my favorite online resources. You can download a copy HERE.
What were my biggest takeaways from the 100-day challenge experience?
WHY I DECIDED TO DO IT:
My main motivations were:
· Curiosity – what will doing something for 100 days feel like?
· Skills Development – will I see progress in my work?
· Community – I want to get to know this group better!
WHAT I HOPED TO ACCOMPLISH:
· Ease my fear of the blank page,
· Make progress towards developing my own personal style,
· Create a lot of content without judgement
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF:
My love of routine was a big asset. I enjoyed silly little things like writing the date in the bottom corner of my sketchbook before I’d start sketching each day.
Devoting time, on a consistent basis, to something I truly love was more important, in the end, than what I created on any particular day. Sometimes it was good and I turned it into an art print or a pattern. Sometimes it wasn’t very good but that was okay because I knew that I would try again the following day.
I became very curious about how each 20-minute session was going to feel. Each day was different. Would today’s session go quickly or would time seem to stand still? What new tricks could I come up with to keep sketching when time seemed to drag on forever. And conversely, how long could I actually keep going when time completely disappeared.
Remembering who I was doing this for was critical: MYSELF! I’m a notorious people pleaser and can, seemingly, find infinite ways to do things in service or support of others. But this type of challenge is hard. Whenever I was having a bad day or my inside voice was saying: “I’m too tired” or, quite frankly, I'd simply forgotten and all of a sudden it was 10pm, I would stop, take a deep breath, and ask myself: "Why am I doing this and who am I doing this for?" Re-enforcing my resolve with the answer to these two questions really kept me going. I was doing it for MYSELF.
As you know, I have already jumped into my next challenge: The 100 Day Project. Today is Day 15, the beginning of week 3! I'm happy to say that the lessons I learned from my first challenge are definitely helping me stay afloat in this new challenge.
Here's a FREE downloadable cheat sheet with my Top 5 Tips to help you complete a 100-day challenge yourself!
I'm also happy to provide additional support to other creatives, whether you are doing a 100-day challenge or not, through my FREE private Facebook group, Anne's Art Club. Click HERE to join!
In closing, perhaps the most important thing that I’m carrying forward and that I'd like to pass along to you is reminding ourselves to look inward as much as possible and enjoy the experience. Lean into it for yourself. Don’t get distracted by the noise or the hype around the challenge on social media.
While being part of a community is important and certainly provides support in many wonderful ways, it can also, at times, be intimidating as you see the work that other people are posting each day. It's always easier to see someone else’s personal style than your own. And we are always more critical of our own work than anyone else's.
Do not lose faith that your work is valid or that your own style is indeed revealing itself. It is! You are unique and your style is unique. There is only one YOU! Keep moving forward. I believe in you.
Remember, It’s Never Too Late To Create
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Here is an audio version of last week's blog. Download it and listen on the go!