My Big No

Is My New Favorite Yes

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Welcome to the Iridescent Ordinary where we talk about the art of the daily practice and sometimes (not always) that means actual creative art stuff. It’s time to revisit our discussion of #the100dayproject.

I know I’ve mentioned my struggles with my own versions of #the100dayproject (a community art project on the internet in which you create and post art daily for 100 days).

For many people, like Leila Simon Hayes, it can be amazing and transformative.

It can also be a real drag.

I’ve completed the endeavor several times. While I found the end product to be rewarding, my projects (always a series of quirky little digital drawings) tended to take up a lot more time than I wanted. In some cases, hours and hours every day.

I’m the one who concocted my own cockamamie design briefs—and set myself to be overwhelmed by what felt like an unpaid part-time job for almost three and a half months every year.

The thought of another year of self-imposed drudgery didn’t excite me.

Nah, that’s not right. It’s not drudgery—I look back on some of the work and I love it, it’s great. Some is utter rubbish, but that’s the beauty of an undertaking like this: you don’t have time to dwell on your sucky days, you just gotta keep going. It’s just alot, the goals I’d set.

Also, I’ve become a bit disillusioned with Instagram. The platform is all algorithm, action, and ads, with a lot less art. Memes and videos, baby, it’s what the people want (or so they’d lead us to believe).

It’s not just me, so many artists are struggling with this current iteration of Instagram, of their posts and artwork not being seen. The algorithm favors videos while images get buried. But videos take an exceptional amount of time, skill, and labor to create—even process videos. So many visual artists don’t have the resources to spend hours making a video that only 14 or 150 or 427 people will see. That time could be spent making actual art. Or resting.

So, I said “No.”

No, I don’t want to dedicate a huge amount of time to this. No, I don’t want to feel like a content machine. No, I don’t want to do what I’ve done before. No, no more little digital drawings around a nebulous concept.

I was a hard no—at first. This was a big deal for me to walk away from, something that has been so important to me.

But…

… I really do love the idea of a big project made of many small components. I just didn’t want this particular one to rule my life like previous ones had.

So, here are my rules:

  1. look for a vignette/moment in real life with a view towards its color composition

  2. photograph it

  3. create a 5-color palette from it

  4. post it my Instagram stories.

  5. Photo cannot be of someone else’s work or art (i.e.: their color palette).

  6. In an absolute bind, if I don’t take a picture/find inspiration, I can use one from my camera roll.

Easy peezy.

I’m just about at the halfway point, and am delighted by how much fun this is. I’m not painting Guernica or orchesrating The Dinner Party, but I am enjoying myself. I try to not make it all about flowers, but it is spring and there are so many amazing blooms popping open.

Apparently I have a thing for radishes, as well.

I’ve created a compilation video of my work so far1 to share with you.

Here’s a little thing to keep in mind as you watch. Based on the weird shape for IG stories, this may look best viewed on your phone or tablet. The pictures reel through twice. The first time, you’ll only be able to focus on the image: its subject, composition, etc. That is natural. When it comes around the second time, shift your gaze to the color palette bar at the bottom of each image.

To see each day in real time, follow my IG and check out my stories.

OK, thanks for watching, let’s meet back here in a few days for a birthday party!

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Yes, it took a lot more time to create than I expected.