I’m envious of those who complete 100 day (or longer) projects. Sticking with something for more than a week is both impressive and provides a valuable opportunity to really explore a theme—to pick it apart, bit by bit, and take it to weird and wonderful places. For 76 days (and counting!), craft dabbler and monster enthusiast Becky Margraf has created tiny faces out of of felt. Aptly-called Felt Faces, she produces a daily portrait that’s similar yet different; each follows the same square portrait format and is affixed with the same beady eyes.
Throughout the two-plus months she’s embarked on this project, Becky has created a variety of characters. Some are fuzzy, others scattered, and one is a window. Each has its own charms and fits neatly into the palm of your hand. Once Felt Faces is complete, Becky will sell them through her Etsy shop. But for now, enjoy seeing them on her Instagram!
Last week, I presented a challenge for 2017, and I’m hoping you’ll join me! The project is called 1 Year of Stitches, and it’s a 365-day project in which you fill a hoop (or two) with a crazy amount of colors, patterns, and stitches. 1 Year of Stitches is the brainchild of Hannah Claire Somerville, who has invited anyone interested to join in this impressive endeavor. Inspired by her work, Michelle Anais Beaulieu-Morgan embarked on this craft journey in mid-2016. Now, she’s about halfway through (you can start at any time of the year).
I’ve written here before about my penchant for 100 days projects, and artist Samantha Russo has recently completed one that’s full of color and pattern—plus, it’s all contained in her sketchbook. Page after page, she uses paint, markers, and pastels to create vibrant abstract compositions that experiment with scale and texture.
If you’re looking for a project to start 2017 (or finish 2016), this seems like a good one. It makes you focus on play, and I’m sure that elements from these pages will be incorporated into Samantha’s work somehow.
If you’re a long-time reader to this blog, you might know how much I love daily art projects like #The100DayProject. I’m enthralled by the process and the lessons learned when you’re forced to make something everyday. Artist Kate Keara Pelen (previously) recently completed this type of endeavor with her One Pot Per Day series. “Every day in 2015, I produced one soft hand-made vessel using simple crochet techniques,” she wrote to me in an email. “This project came out of the desire to find a manageable way of sustaining a commitment to my artistic output during a period when extensive time in the studio was not possible.” As someone who finds embroidering calming, I can imagine that this project would contribute to a mental well-being, too.
As a group, the sheer number of pots are very impressive. Individually, each has unique characteristics, making them fun to study. Some are tall with long necks, while others are short with a shallow opening. Kate worked with a variety of colors and types of yarn, which makes some vessels appear soft and others rigid.
Now that the collection is complete, the pots are going on tour. Later this month, it’ll be Collation of Craft in London.
I’ve spoke of daily, short-term projects before—like #100daysofpapercutz by Melissa McFeeters. You can learn a lot from exploring a single topic for a set number of days. In this same vein, illustrator Victoria Fernandez successfully completed #30daysofcats. Each day, she would create a cat-themed artwork and post it on her Instagram. Some are cute, others are sad, but all are done in Victoria’s bold, vintage-inspired style.
“The result was a beautiful and interesting experience,” she writes on her website, “not only due to the illustrations I produced, but also due to the unexpected participation and support of so many people reinforcing the project.” She ended up completing #30daysofdogs afterwards—this one a commissioned gig by La Guia del Perro, a Spanish guide for dog owners.
Here are some of my favorite cats. You can buy Victoria’s book of them in her Etsy shop. Meow!
Illustrator Melissa McFeeters participated in The Great Discontent’s 100 Day Project with her own, called #100daysofpapercutz. The Instagram-based series features a myriad of subject matters, including plants, animals, landscapes, and of course, pizza. Her cut outs, with their subtle texture and three-dimensionality, are totally delightful. Viewed together, they showcase the potential these projects have—not only can wonderful artwork be produced, but valuable creative lessons can come from working on something every day for 3+ months.
After completing her 100 Day Project, Melissa has continued to create paper illustrations. For October, she created some awesome spooky compositions in #31daysofpapercreepz. I’ve included a few of them here, too. (H/T Laurent Hrybyk)