The Power of a Daily Practice- #100daysofthreaddrawing
Late in 2015, I decided I would start a new creative challenge, beginning Jan 1. I’ve been creative my whole life, but I have usually followed what I wanted to try and created what interested me at that moment. When I was done with it or I lost interest, I moved on.
Committing to something for a length of time- every day for 100 days, for example- is committing to learning and exploring it in the context of you and who you are. Your own art, your own ability to dance, write, etc. It’s committing to doing it on the days you don’t really have the time, or would rather not do it. Or doing it all day on some days when you feel inspired. It’s about accumulating a body of work that tells a story. The creative person I am today believes in the power of repetitive practice to learn and explore. Anything. I believe its an incredibly powerful way to learn something new.
Long time blog readers may remember that a few years ago I committed to a daily sketchbook practice that lasted for most of a year. It was the first intentional creative discipline I’d ever done. Every day, I did a sketch, simple or complex, whatever I was feeling that day and had the time to complete. The portability of taking my sketchbook and a few simple tools with me, allowing me to complete my daily sketch away from home, anywhere I was. I experimented with drawing faces, flowers, everyday tools, food, whatever inspired me that day. I learned so much about myself. That I can, in fact, actually sketch, something I did not think I could do. I have filled sketchbooks on my shelf that show me I can. Sketching every day did make me better at it, quicker, more intentional. But probably the most important lesson I learned?
I don’t really enjoy sketching every day!
A valuable lesson in and of itself, something I would not know about myself had I not tried out this exercise.
So. I have thought long and hard about what I’d like to get out of this new challenge.
- 100 days feels more manageable, but still plenty of time to explore.
- It should be doable in a manageable amount of time each day. I can’t spend hours a day on it (at least not every day)
- I must hold myself accountable by making the resolve publicly (to you!) to post daily- a very important thing for me to do considering I work alone most days.
- Certain consistencies should run through the entire project- whether it be technique, size, color, etc.
- I must be excited to learn more about it.
One thing I learned about myself while making the quilts for my book this summer is that I LOVE free motion quilting. The repetitive patterns I can make on the surface of a quilt with thread, I just love it and look forward to doing it on every quilt I make. But there’s lots of room for improvement. Wanting to explore free motion quilting in combination with pattern work and sketching, I arrived at #100daysofthreaddrawing . Each day I will create a small thread drawing with free motion quilting, experimenting with shapes, different threads, thread painting techniques, etc. Each are 7″ x 7″ finished, done on solid fabric, 3 layer mini sandwiches: muslin, batting, and top. I draw simple pattern lines to follow as I start stitching, but allow myself to play around with the pattern details once I get going.