I’m setting myself this challenge again, would I be able to do it?
In my 2019 art goals blog post I talked about starting this project once again, but, this time I’m gonna try to organise myself better and actually make progress.
I’m writing this blog post in hopes that it helps me plan it better and get into the right mindset to do it.
As well as hold myself accountable.
At the same time, I also let you know more about this challenge you might not have heard of & that might interest you!
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So, what’s the 100 somethings project you might be wondering?
Well, it’s a project that consists of designing 100 somethings of your choice, created by Jake Parker – the Inktober creator, I know I’ve talked about him before.
The theme should not be too wide, try to be somehow specific – but maybe not too much or it would complicate things a lot.
Also, try to add some constraints: maybe work with something you’re not as comfortable with or something you want to improve on.
Jake Parker explains it perfectly on the following video:
THE FAILED ATTEMPT
I started one back in December 2017 – January 2018, I can’t remember exactly.
The plan was to work on FULL ILLUSTRATIONS with a pen I found quite hard to use – the pentel brush pen – and black ink, creating b&w illustrations.
The theme was witches – more specifically now-a-days young witches.
In the following video, you can see me explaining the 100 somethings project and my ideas to work on it, back in the day, if you’re curious.
Now I can see clearly why this try was a complete failure.
I did two or three illustrations and slowly forgot or excused myself from it.
There were several factors that contributed to my failure – apart from my complete lack of passion for it & huge disappointment after the first horrible try.
First of all – full illustrations?
What was I thinking you might be wondering?
I think that my brilliant idea was to develop a better composition sense, as I was – and mostly still am – really bad at designing environments & backgrounds. Basically because of my lack of practice on these matters. It’s good to put yourself some constraints, but for me, it’s really hard to come up with backgrounds.
So thinking about doing a hundred, without any other practice before that was suicidal.
Besides, it turned me off drawing, because I had 0 ideas.
Then the ink. I hadn’t used liquid ink washes before at all.
For me it was really frustrating cause I thought it would act similarly to watercolours, but it doesn’t. At all.
Ink dries way too fast!
And furthermore, I didn’t want to spend additional money on a thicker paper for it – especially on a 100 pages – but it looked horrible in any other blocks of paper I had.
So, with this, the first 2 attempts looked so bad it discouraged me a lot from trying further.
Then, it was the case of the pen.
I was not familiarised enough with it to create the kind of lines I had in my mind.
Well, that was the point, to practice them.
But, what I didn’t know back then is that you can’t get fine-liner like lines with a brush pen – that’s actually the fun of it – and in my mind, the illustrations had that fine liner look I couldn’t achieve even if I tried.
And last but not least I wasn’t enough familiarised as I thought with the witchy theme to be able to imagine too many compositions.
To sum up: lots of frustration.
THE LESSON I LEARNED
I’ve been slowly building up a Pinterest board for inspiration in case I pick it up again sometime – hopefully soon. You can take a look at it here if you’re interested.
You can see there was four constrains and only one plus side for me – that I’m familiar with drawing females & women anatomy.
It simply wasn’t enough to push me trough it.
And the point it’s for the 100 somethings it’s actually 100 designs. Which means not full-fleshed illustrations but designs of something concrete.
Aeroplanes, boats, potion bottles, robots (like in Jake’s case), …. You see where I’m going?
So I’m starting it again! – hopefully, wiser and stronger with the lessons I learned from the failure.
Actually, Jake Parker only mentions a couple of constraints: One that involves the theme to not be too broad and then to pick another to make it also some sort of practice.
It’s already quite challenging as it is, and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t put some restrictions to make it a bit more challenging, just that four might be too much.
It was basically all cons for me!
I’m not gonna completely excuse myself with that though, I didn’t feel inspired at all and maybe I didn’t plan it through as much as I should have.
Basically, I tried it just enough to feel frustrated, and then felt guilty for not trying it hard enough.
THE “NEW” PLAN
Let’s start over with a clean slate. And a new sketchbook, that always helps…
I’ve had about a year to think it trough and resonate what I can do to make this work.
Actually, I re-did the initial video where I talk about all of this, if you’d rather watch me paint while I tell you all about it!
WHAT I’M I KEEPING?
The theme. I think witches is a very fun theme, besides, I’ve been improving my Pinterest inspiration board for it.
Also, with the show “Chilling adventures of
Btw, you know I have an Enamel pin & stickers in my shop inspired by the series? Look!
The style. I had in mind a clear picture in my mind for the linework back in the day – something really clean – and I’m planning on working towards that.
WHAT AM I LEAVING BEHIND?
The liquid ink. I had time to properly try it while I did Inktober this past year and I had enough. I do want to practice it further but it’s not a priority – or something I want – right now.
I’m leaving it white. Unpainted. Linework only!
The Pentel brush pen. Another thing I had time to try properly – though I still haven’t completely mastered it – and now I know that it’s not the look I was going for.
Instead, I’m gonna use fine liners, I have tons and I’m quite used to work with them even though I’ve abandoned them a bit lately. And maybe the Tombow cheap brush pen alternative I talk about in this post.
The full background illustration mode. This was one of my main frustrations back in the day and I still haven’t practised it enough. So, it’s out of the picture.
The focus would be on the characters, though I’m gonna try to practice to add objects or some sort of setting to them.
I’m gonna try to work on bettering my compositions, try to make the designs appealing – some might fail but some might succeed!
As you can see I basically eliminated or modified a bit my most challenging constraints. Although I believe it’s still gonna be quite challenging to do them all.
I feel like nowadays I have a bit more experience dealing with challenges, so I know what to do to approach them better. If you feel like you need some tips, I wrote this post to help anyone that might need it: “How to Tackle an Art Challenge (without going bat-shit crazy)“
This time, I’m gonna try and see the big picture. I know this is not a project you easily get done in a short period of time. Might probably be more than a year or two.
I think I underestimated how much work I could do and fit in with the rest of my art projects – and of course other side obligations – thinking that this was going to be a short project.
A more cohesive look on the process and idea of what I have in mind would be:
I’m gonna take this 100-page sketchbook my bf gave me as the size/paper reference. The paper is quite thin, but it’s drawing paper so it would work nicely, and the size it’s perfect.
I’m gonna do brainstorming doodle sessions on digital – photoshop.
I would later clean up – but not too much – the ones I like and transfer them to the sketchbook. This is way faster for me and I won’t ruin the thin paper of the sketchbook with erasing.
Then I’m gonna ink those doodles so they look as clean as a colouring book.
That’s it. I just have to repeat till I have the 100 somethings.
One of my ideas is that I might get some designs that I can use for a colouring book.
Get 10-15 good ones from one hundred can’t be that hard, right?
Another is that if I do linework only I can easily scan them and paint them later in digital or print them out to use with other mediums. Like Stickers! (Update from the future: I already did)
Lastly, I could offer small witchy themed colouring packs on a digital format.
It’s always good to think about your projects as possible products, cause that helps you put in the effort and time.
I might end up doing nothing with them, or even not finishing it again – hopefully, it’s not the case this time – but I feel like there’s a lot of possibilities with this so it motivates me to create.
A little update from the future (I added the images too so you can see I’m actually making a bit of progress): I got 5 done so far & a couple sketched out and ready to clean up when I have time.
As I said, I realised this is a long-term sort of project and I’m still happy with this small progress!
I usually post them on my instagram when I have a new one, if you’re interested!
What do you think? Is the 100 somethings challenge one you see yourself taking?
Wanna bet in the comments to see if I’m actually able to do it this time? 😂