100 days of creativity: my digital doodling project

It’s no secret that I am a huge believer in the power and value of creativity to enhance our lives. This can take any form – it’s simply doing something which you love and which makes your heart sing.

Q: what is creativity?

A: the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration

~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

At the start of a workshop recently, attendees were asked to introduce themselves – you know, that initial ‘creeping death’ exercise – to include something about ourselves that we felt other people should know. I found myself saying that being creative every day was one of the most important aspects of my life, to the extent that an absence of creativity causes detriment to my health and wellbeing.

Cue a rather uncomfortable tumbleweed moment, as the other participants looked at me blankly. Admittedly, this was a somewhat unusual thing to say in the context of a business meeting about strategic planning. In fact, it even came as a surprise to me to find out that this is how I felt. And yet, as I was speaking, I could feel in my bones the compelling truth of my words.

I consider myself to be very fortunate that I have the time and mental energy to make things on a regular basis. I have written plenty of times on this blog about my knitting and crochet projects, baking escapades, photography etc. But it occurred to me that I don’t actively prioritise being creative as an essential part of how I use my time.

A couple of days ago, I was on a train to Glasgow for a meeting. Whereas I would usually be checking e-mails, ticking stuff off my to do list etc, I chose instead to make some art. I had been reading a book about the Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh over the weekend – this year marks the 150th anniversary of his birth – and decided on the spur of the moment to close the inbox and doodle some CRM-esque roses:

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed working on this sketch, for which I used the Procreate Pocket app on my phone and a stylus. Just 30 minutes of this activity gave me a zing in my heart and a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

Developing a regular sketching habit has been on my list of ‘things I really want to achieve’ for far too long now. So I have decided to have a go at the ‘100 day project’ challenge. This is where you commit to doing something small each day for, yes, 100 days in a row. It can be absolutely anything – I have seen examples of people doing yoga, taking a photograph, publishing a favourite quote. You get the idea. In my case, I will be publishing a digital doodle on Instagram each day. Here’s the first one:

Sitting here at my desk, I can hear a wide range of different birdsong – goldfinches, great tits, chaffinches – but what stands out are the swoops of the swifts’ rasping screech – a wonderfully iconic sound at this time of year.

I wondered whether it was wise to write about this project at the start, or whether it would be better to discuss it at the end, once I could say I had actually done it. I decided that sharing the experiment as I went along might be more interesting. Who knows, in a few weeks’ time, I might be writing about how difficult it was to maintain. But let’s not be too negative. I am actually expecting to be writing about all the very positive and joyous results of finally embracing a habit which has long been my wish to develop. We’ll see! 🙂

27 thoughts on “100 days of creativity: my digital doodling project

  1. I think going public with the commitment is a good idea–it’ll keep you motivated, I hope! I also hope you’ll share your sketches here occasionally since I don’t spend time on Instagram!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like such a lovely thing to do, Liz. I agree with Kerry on both counts. The two sketches you’ve shown us are lovely – I do hope we get to see more 🙂


  3. Beautiful sketches! I think I can hear the swoop of the birds too. That’s a great idea to do a 100 day project filled with creativity. We don’t get enough chances to be creative, that’s for sure. Best of luck and I’ll look forward to seeing the results!


  4. It will be very interesting to see how your sketches and ideas develop over the 100 days.i enjoyed painting my 31 paintings in 31 days. One hundred is a real challenge but you’ll do it, I know. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Liz – I know exactly what you mean about creativity being the foundation of well-being. Well said. What book are your reading about Charles Ronnie Mackintosh? I did not know about his 150th anniversary. Looking forward to 100 days of creative excellence. You continue to inspire me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here is a link to the book I mentioned – it’s a gorgeous, sumptuous coffee table book packed full of glorious images and a fascinating text about Mackintosh, his wife, her sister Frances and their friend McNair. It celebrates all aspects of their shared artistic endeavours. I am delighted that the author will be speaking at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival and, of course, because of the anniversary, there are plenty of exhibitions etc – total Mackintosh immersion! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-Rennie-Mackintosh-Art-Four/dp/0711236844/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528959163&sr=1-1&keywords=charles+rennie+mackintosh

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Liz! What a wonderful thing to do! I wish you all the best in your endeavours xx A couple of years ago I followed someone who was doing a challenge that involved at least one drawing/sketch/doodle every day for a year! She managed it, but only just!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Clare – much appreciated! 🙂 A year does indeed sound a lot. Having said that, I am hoping this will naturally develop into a daily habit, so who knows – I might race past the 100 days into infinity!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great thing to do, Love your first sketches already. I don’t have Instagram but hope you show some more on your log too.. You could do a weekly sketch post with your creations in one go ??? You are so right, being creative gives joy and peace. I really need to find the time for it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sharing helps you to commit and also if you have trouble you have our support and encouragement. This is a pretty epic challenge and we can all rally around and help you if things get tough. Good luck, my friend and a great start.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.