Last year around this time, I participated in The Great Discontent's 100 Day Project over on Instagram. Not only was the project was challenging and super fun - it connected me to a bunch of new amazing artists, and introduced a new sense of discipline to my art practice. (I wrote more about that experience here.)
Now that I'm back to freelancing full time again, I've been craving this structure again. Creating artwork for others is fulfilling in its own way, but sometimes can leave you scratching your head for things to create on your own time. Three days in to this project, I've already found this second round of the 100 Day Project to be a tiny sliver of salvation in a hectic day.
This time around, I'm doing 100 days of blind contour drawings. I've been thinking a lot about how we as artists present ourselves to the public. Social media has proven to be a great new way to connect artists with their audience, but it has also encouraged a very cleaned up, beautiful and "perfect" glimpse of what it's really like to be a working artist. We post only our best work, leaving behind all of the crappy sketches it took us to get to that point.
I'll admit I was a little nervous choosing blind contour drawings for this next round of the 100 Day Project. By its very nature, blind contour drawings are very raw, imperfect and weird. That is exactly what I love about them, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry that it might make others question my validity as an artist. Would people get what I was trying to do? Would they think I was a total sham, completely untalented?
Although it made me nervous, this was the very reason I decided to do it despite my doubts. My hope is that it will contribute to a new direction in social media, where we show the more raw parts of our process, the parts the make us question ourselves and our talents. All (or at least some) of the failed attempts, or unpretty things it takes to really be a working artist.