I completed my 100th drawing in Erik Ehn's 100K Project last week. That means I've finished the first stage of the process I'm undertaking for this big group project. See more context about what the heck that means below the slideshow of images.
In these last 25 drawings, I definitely felt the pull to be done. I had to be mindful to stay present instead of rushing through to the end, especially when other creative projects were fighting for my attention. I felt how much of a durational project this is and I started getting more tired, bored and impatient. I had to find more ways to treat myself for drawing time. While I knew it wasn't, this started feeling more like a waste of time ("What? Go draw? I have a book to finish and promote! I have a play to finish! I have another play going into auditions and starting rehearsals! My students need me!").
That sense of resistance alerted me all the more that I needed to continue. In the middle-to-end stage of any process worth doing, I can feel lost at sea. This reminds me that the last 10% of a creative project can take 90% of the time, or how I can get caught up in discursive thoughts in the midst of meditation, or perhaps how an ultra-marathoner might feel in the middle-end of a long race.
Having reached 100, I feel quite joyful at this stage of the work. We'll see how I feel as I begin the next stage. Stage two is adding text. Stage three will be adding a bit more to either the words or the drawing of each text/image piece. Yesterday I bought myself new pens for the next stages, some replacing well worn instruments, some in color.
If nothing else, here is a moment of praise (not to me, but to the universe) for being able to reach 100.
Again, for more context (basically a repeat if you've read any of my last three posts):
Erik Ehn likes to bring big groups of artists together to generate material in experimental, experiential ways. Earlier this year he invited a large group of folx, myself included, to create 100 things by next Leap Day (February 29, 2024). The overall aim is a social reflection on praise. He hoped to gather 1000 participants -- a thousand artists committing to generate a hundred artistic gestures each, on the theme of praise, so 100,000 gestures. I don't know how many people ultimately agreed, but there are a lot of us making 100 things.
I decided to make 100 drawings of objects, items, living beings, environments, all in the same sketchbook -- so no do-overs -- and all using pigma archival ink pens -- so no erasing. After making 100 drawings, I'll go back and add text. I'll write whatever strikes as I look at each image again. After that, I'll go back and try to add to/improve either the drawings or the text -- again, without erasing. Maybe I'll add color. Maybe I'll tend more to shading, form, line, detail. This comes from an exercise I learned from Cindy Shearer in another durational text/image project I participated in while I was an MFA student at California Institute of Integral Studies.
This week I completed my 100 drawings. See the photos (76-100) above as process photos, not formal, well-cropped or composed in any way, marking my progress through the quantity rather than quality. You can check out 51-75 in the post below this one, 26-50 in the post below that one and 1-25 in the post below that. When I finalize them more (with text and so forth) I plan to share those as well, here and/or on Instagram.
After I spend time looking and sketching, everything in the world looks more like pieces of art. That makes me approach the world and day with more gentleness, more openness, more willingness to see the magic surrounding us at all times. Less judgment. It's all just stuff. We're all just stuff. It's all okay.
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: