FINDING YOUR ARTISTIC STYLE
As I type this post, I am currently on day 51 of #the100dayproject. What is this 100-day project I speak of?
“#The100DayProject is a free art project that takes place online. Every spring, thousands of people all around the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity.” —www.the100dayproject.org
The rumor is that participating in a 100-day challenge will change you as an artist— most importantly it is said to hone and define your artistic “style”. And as a new-ish artist, I am definitely looking to settle into what my style is.
Challenges like this are also great for breaking through creative blocks. It’s an opportunity to create without a purpose — without parameters. A chance to explore without borders.
Maybe you aren’t feeling very inspired lately? Try a 100-day challenge!
Pick anything creative: writing, quilting, gardening, sewing—just get started!
I have tried 100-day challenges three times now. The first one, I chose to draw a flower a day. I ended up drawing 100 flowers, but not for 100 days. For the second challenge, I was using a book by one of my favorite artists and authors, Jennifer Orkin Lewis (@augustwren) called 100 Days of Drawing: Sketch, Paint and Doodle Towards One Creative Goal.
This book would serve as the backbone and structure of the 100 days. I made it through the entire book, doing all of the projects listed, but it was not a consecutive practice. Some days I would do a single project and maybe skip the next day (due to other time commitments with family things) and then I would double or triple up on projects to catch up.
Looking back, I can see patterns emerge in both my drawing and painting during both of these challenges. I guess you would call that the evolution of one’s artistic style. I discovered techniques and subject matter that I adored — and some that well, I didn’t adore.
THE 100 DAY PROJECT
Time marched on and I caught wind of an official 100-day project — and I was on board!
I set myself some parameters this time around. First of all, I bought a VERY small blue sketchbook so that I would not be intimidated—nor pressured to fill a huge page. The type of paper in the sketchbook was also suitable for light watercolor or gouache if I chose to use that medium. Secondly, there wasn’t a subject I would be drawing or painting. I just wanted to show up daily and make art—whatever that might look like. And my initial thinking was the faster the sketch — the better. Just get something on paper and begin to make art more of what I do each day.
I am a mom of SIX kiddos. We are a homeschooling family (more on this another time), and FIVE of them are home with me daily so I have to squeeze in the quiet moments to make art.
Like I mentioned earlier, I am well on my way into this current 100-day project and I have to say that I am so pleased with my progress! I am showing up daily to do a quick drawing. If it’s for 2 minutes - or 20 my rule was to just show up.
The first couple of days of the challenge, I was using a pen and gouache. However, it seems that I am finding a sweet spot for line art — particularly botanical line art!
The funny thing about using a pen for me is that I used to avoid it at all costs. Like, please-don’t-make-me-use-a-pen-ever kind of person! I am not sure if it’s the type of pen I am using — which I LOVE by the way. Or maybe it was using a pen for 30 straight days during the most recent Inktober project on Creativebug. Whatever it is, I am down with it.
I look forward to the moments that I sit down to draw each day. The subject matter has been completely random. Remember, no pressure. Some of it turns out great — and some not so great. I am sharing on social media most days — but have grace with myself on others to let it slide.
There is a definite shift in my artistic style. As with previous 100 day challenges, patterns are emerging and I am loving what I see!
BUILDING MY TRIBE
Something else VERY excited has been happening during this challenge — my Instagram following has been increasing at a steady pace—and I have now reached 1000 followers! This is exciting me because it means my “tribe” is growing and I get the opportunity to share my love of art — and the art process with more people!
To celebrate this milestone in my journey, I am going to be hosting a giveaway AND I am going to launch a botanical mini collection! YAY! These are literally “mini”. These prints are going to be available as an 8 x 8 inch print —ready to frame. It’s fun size to pop onto a styled shelf or little corner in the kitchen!
The giveaway will be a simple one. Head over to Instagram, like the giveaway post and tag THREE of your friends. Easy as pie! On May 27 at 9pm CST, I will choose a winner of ONE FREE print from my latest botanical mini collection.
BOTANICAL MINI COLLECTION
My first mini botanical collection is the culmination of over 50 days of daily drawing practice. During this time, I have explored a variety of subject matter and become more comfortable using pen and ink in my artwork. Botanical line drawing is an age-old art form that was historically necessary in the study of plants. While my artwork is more abstracted and drawn from the imagination, I attempted to pay attention to the natural details of shape, line and movement in the plant forms.
These mini prints are available in my shop.
Does 100 days seem like a long time to you? Maybe you could start with a 30 day creative challenge? I have participated in quite a few 30 day challenges, often led by an instructor on a web-based platform such as Creativebug. Head over to their site to find your next 30 day creative adventure!
Also, take a look at this blog post where I go over a few of my favorite online art classes and a handful of my favorite artists and online art teachers!
Until next time,
All images, patterns and designs are © 2019 Erin White of Ink and Flora. You may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way. I’d be thrilled if you share this content on your own blog or social media outlet, but please direct your readers to this post to see my artwork. You're the best!