The 365 project and Insta-pressure
On my 30th birthday this year I decided to take on a 365 project, I knew that 30 was a special year to me, over the past few months I had really grown into myself, I was starting to better understand who I am, what I want from life, and what makes me truly happy. I wanted to commemorate that by recording the thing that drew me the most each day. It could be a sketch, a doodle, a painting, I just wanted to create each day to remember this year.
I merrily set about drawing my first drawing, and my second, and then it happened. I hit a snag.
I learnt something new about myself within days of starting my project, I learnt that I get stage fright when it comes to sharing what I create on Instagram. There is something about sharing online which creates enough pressure that I am scared to put onto paper what I want. It felt like I was performing in some way and I just could not get past it. I promptly decided that perhaps sharing online wasn't the way forward for me.
There is always this discussion in the online art community about "accountability" and using Instagram to make you do something, I decided that day that I don't need to be accountable to anyone but myself, and that I would go forward how I wanted. When I feel under pressure I run away from it, it loses its fun and becomes a chore, where as when there is no pressure I will sketch and doodle to my heart's content.
I had also made a little plan for myself whereby I would work through my sketchbooks one by one, filling each page in turn and seeing my progression through the pages. That fast went out the window too. I am not a one book kinda gal. I love paper, I will not philosophise about it too much as it could completely take over this post, but I love paper, and notebooks, and using whichever one I fancy for however long I feel, before moving on. It is the way I am with notebooks and planners, and evidently with sketchbooks. I couldn't force myself to stay in just one sketchbook, so I decided not to, I have my sketchbook for random bits, and ideas, and proper pieces of work, and I supplement that with my journals. I've just got into Traveler's notebooks, more on that in a post soon, but I have found them the perfect place to journal, or do single little drawings for when the whim takes me.
So, what of my 365? I still try to draw everyday, it may take me 400 or 500 days to complete my 365, but I really couldn't care less. I like that I record things when there are things to record, and I am not just drawing for drawing's sake. I work full time on top of running my shop, so some days the inclination is just not there and that is A-OK!
I like to think that rather than pushing for 365 days of drawing and risking burn out, I am instead fostering a healthy habit. I still post my occasional doodles onto my feed, but it isn't an everyday thing, and that makes me happy.