What I learned from my 1st 100-Day Art Challenge, Part 1

Today is the LAST DAY of the 100-day art challenge that I started on January 1st. Wow. I MADE IT! I'm still over the moon about the whole experience and want to share more about it with you.

I’ve spent the last few days, as we counted down to the finale, reflecting on:

·       why I decided to do it,

·      what I learned about myself through the process,

·      some key strategies that helped along the way, and

·       the importance of having a supportive community to do it with

Because this is a lot to cover, I’ve decided to break it into two parts. This week I’ll cover the importance of having a supportive community around you and what this looked like for this particular 100-day art challenge.

Next week, after a bit more distance and time to reflect, I’ll cover why I did the challenge in the first place, what I hoped to accomplish and what I'm most proud of now that I can look back upon the entire experience.

Let's jump right in and start at the beginning. How did this challenge come about?

I’m a member of The Roost Tribe, Bonnie Christine’s paid membership group for aspiring pattern designers. Another member, fellow artist and friend, Dylan Mierzwinski, threw out to the group, back in December, that she was considering embarking on a 100 Day Challenge starting on January 1st. She had done several before and wanted to know if anyone else in the group wanted to join her. I said yes!

And so did over 275 other people! Dylan took on an AMAZING leadership role for this giant group and did many, many things over the course of the 100 days that were critical to our success. Five key things stand out.

1. Creating a private Facebook group

The cover image of our private Facebook group.

The cover image of our private Facebook group.

She set up a private FB group for us right away called 100 Days in 2018. Everyone interested in joining the challenge was invited into the group. This immediately created a safe place for us to start to get to know each other. And the positive energy and enthusiasm of the entire group emerged very quickly.

2. Logistics of daily posting

Once the challenge began, it became clear very quickly that keeping track of everyone’s posts was going to be unwieldy unless we came up with a system. Two ideas emerged. One was for each participant to create their own folder inside the group and place each day’s work there. The other, and the one that we moved forward with, was for Dylan to create a post each morning and for everyone to comment on that post and attach their work there. This kept everything chronological and organized.

3. Spotlights on each member

Once we had settled into a routine and had several weeks under our belt, Dylan started to add member spotlights to each daily post. Everyone got the chance to share their story in 500 words or less (or not!?!) along with a handful of pictures. This was an amazing way for us to learn more about each other, find similarities and differences, and it re-enforced the feeling of community within the group.

4. Constant support

Dylan emerged, from the outset, as a passionate, kind and thoughtful leader. She was endlessly supportive and encouraging throughout the challenge. She helped everyone get focused at the outset by suggesting we create a personal "manifesto" outlining both tactical and strategic issues surrounding our reasons for participating . I've attached mine here as an example.  This document was helpful to reference back to whenever my energy or commitment started to lag.  

2018 Sketching Challenge.png

Dylan also provided constant encouragement. If someone dropped out for a few days, she would remind us that it doesn't matter if you miss a day or more. What's critical is to jump back in, don't beat yourself up about it, and KEEP MOVING FORWARD. 

5. Solidifying our values as a group

As we entered the home stretch, we needed to decide whether the group would continue or dissolve once the challenge ended. Dylan helped us create a set of values that really made it clear that we want to stay together as a group and figure out how to support each other beyond this challenge.

Our group values

Our group values

Now, I’d really love for you to meet her! Here is a link to her website and to her Instagram account. She also teaches fabulous design and illustration classes on Skillshare which you can find HERE. She is brilliant, talented, kind and has a beautiful, unique and distinctive style. I’m sure you will fall in love with her and her work just like I have. Her energy, support and enthusiasm played a big part in helping me successfully complete my first 100-day challenge. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Dylan!

That wraps this week's blog! I'll see you next week when I'll recap why I did this in the first place and what I learned about myself in the process. I look forward to seeing you then.

And don't forget, if you are on my email list, which you can join HERE, you can chat with me every Wednesday at noon PST in our very own private Facebook Group, Anne's Art Club. I can't wait to see you there.

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!