100 Days of Doodle

3 things I learned from the 100 day project

From August 6, 2015 to November 15, 2015, I created 100 doodles for “100 Days of Doodle”. It is a personal creative project inspired by The 100 Day Project with Elle Luna and The Great Discontent. The goal is to show up day after day and celebrate the process of making.

Here are 3 things I learned along the way:

1. Nothing is original.

“Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.” — Jim Jarmusch

When I started the project, I had no idea what to doodle. I would google “doodle” and whatever other keywords I feel like doodling that day and copied the results into my notebook. Later, I created my own board on Pinterest and started filling it with as many inspirations as possible.

With my growing collection on Pinterest, I found it easier to find piece that resonated with me and related to my daily life. Later on, instead of copying the existing piece, I started to remake of one or more ideas to create my own pieces.

Technically, my doodles are not “original” because they are usually inspired by the existing pieces. However, since I presented them using my own voice, my doodles became more and more authentic.

Day 82: Movie <Wreck It Ralph>
Day 67: Chinese Tea Egg Recipe

2. You’re ready. Start making stuff.

Getting started was the scariest part. Sometimes I will sit in front of my Moleskine notebook for hours instead of picking up the marker. In order to stop procrastination, I had set rules for my doodle routine:

10:30pm-11pm: Brainstorming

11pm-11:30pm: Doodling

Once the clock reaches 11pm, I will start doodling even if I think I wasn’t “ready”. The results were surprising: it’s usually during drawing that I figured out what I want to draw.

The same rules applied to busy days: instead of skipping the day, I would quickly scribble something and call it done. After all, the goal of this project was to show up every day, no matter how fancy/simple your work is.

Day 44: Barre Class (2-min doodle)

3. Do it for yourself.

I started sharing my doodles on Twitter and Instagram on day 14 and 56 respectively. Since then, I would receive a few “Likes” every morning. The support from friends and community has motivated me greatly and made me more accountable along the way.

However, as more people paid attention to my work, I started feeling pressure because I didn’t want to disappoint them. For a while, I had a hard time making the first stroke.

It was Veronica Wong’s writing <183 days of hand lettering> that helped me walk out of the “Likes Trap”:

“People will like things for reasons out of your control. Arts speaks to different people in different ways and the number of likes does not determine the value of your work.” — Veronica Wong

While the likes were validating, I will never forget the reason I started this project: I started it because it was fun, because I craved to create. This project was for me. I’m doing it for myself.

Day 57: Just Do You

The end is a new start.

The 100 days of doodle project has been a creative refresh for me. It allowed me to develop new skills, meet amazing people, and reignited my passion for making things.

Right after day 100, I started another 100 day project called “100 Days of Lettering”. I’m excited to see what will happen in the next 100 days and where this personal project takes me.

You can find all my posted doodles and follow my 100 Days of Lettering on Twitter and Instagram.

Day 100: Thank You

Special thanks to Steffie and Nina for their help with this article.