Personal Challenge : 100 Illustrations in 100 Days

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know that I have made the goal of illustrating 100 objects on my kitchen in 100 days (thanks to The Finders which I talked about in this post). I'm calling this project #myillustratedkitchen.

As I type this I am waiting on day three to dry, when I press "publish" I hope to be going strong on day six. As this is my second year to do this, and my third attempt at a 100 day project, I had some "hacks" that I've learned that I wanted to share with you in case you're in the middle of your own personal challenge.

Don't worry about social media

I purposely set this as a goal of this project from the very beginning. The mental pressure of "go make 100 illustrations" is mega intense, at least for me. The addition of "it has to be good enough for the entire world to see via social media!!" is just a bit too much for me. 

To tackle this I post my initial sketch with a totally unedited photo to The Finders FB group as soon as I'm finished. That looks something like this:

Photo Jan 02, 10 38 02 AM.jpg

This immediate posting (to a private group of people who are there to encourage one another) allows me to say, "Goal accomplished!!" which takes the mental weight off. 

From there, I can paint, line, scan and digitize at whatever pace my day (or week or month) calls for. The finished piece of the illustration above looked like this:


work inside the box

When I made the illustration at the top of the page, I didn't have any parameters in mind. Which made this process insanely intimidating- The fact that I could draw 100 ANYTHINGS... Well, my mind basically exploded with all the possibilities... in a bad way.

Which is why I put the constraints around myself and said, "I will only draw things that are physically in my kitchen." This served another two goals:

1. I'm really wanting to do more editorial food illustrations and confining myself to the kitchen allows for me to focus in that space.

2. I'm lazy and forgetful. As in-The less work I have to do outside of drawing and painting, the more likely it will be accomplished. By constricting my scope of objects to that I already have in my house, I am less likely to put it off. I also have to think less about it (no additional items to the grocery list please!); less thinking, more doing.

Make a Plan

The lazy Saturday of December 31 I literally stood in my kitchen and listed out the first ten things I wanted to illustrate and put each object on the calendar on its corresponding day. Will I continue to do this every week? Probably not. But it was another really good example of taking the thinking out of things so I could more easily do the thing that needs doing.

have a bigger goal in mind

This is a bit more philosophical but I think it's important. If you have this crazybig goal looming I think it should "matter". One of my big goals of 2017 is to be published in a national food or home magazine; while this project doesn't directly relate to exactly how that will be accomplished, I know that every day I work on this project I am honing my illustration style and building my portfolio. Those things matter to me and makes it easier to make this a priority.

Have any other suggestions?
Catch me over on Instagram and let me know.


Paige Meredith Ray is an artist and illustrator residing in the Ozark hills. Her word of 2017 is : LOVE. She figures she will need as much love as possible to make it through this next year in one piece.