#the100dayproject: What it is, Thoughts, Encouragement & more

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This April 3rd, I started my first 100 day project. It’s a global art-focused (but not exclusive to art) community project of your choosing. In the past I’ve started a passion project at the beginning of the year (#calligraphynameoftheday #calligraphyquoteoftheday), but  this year I decided to do something different and do it in 100 days and with the art community at large. This is not my own idea. I’m not the organizer. The 100 day project originated from senior design critic at Yale University: Michael Beirut. He challenged his students to come up with a project to do for 100 days. Then Elle Luna & Lindsay Jeane Thompson took the concept to a more global format on Instagram. You can read more about their mission right here on the100dayproject.org.

Check out a process/tutorial video of this week’s marigolds right here: 

My project this year is 100 watercolor floral paintings in 100 days. I’m not sticking to doing 1 painting every day format. I’m painting at least 3 every 3 days. So I’m allowing myself the freedom to batch my efforts. But your project could look completely different. The global 100 day project started on April 3, so you’ve got some catching up to do ;), but anyone is welcome to join and start at any time! And you can do whatever strikes your fancy!! 

Here are some tips to make your project successful: 

  • Give yourself constraints
  • Make it simple
  • Keep it specific
  • Do something you’re genuinely excited about
  • Start with tools you already have
  • Use pre-generated content wherever applicable
  • Be nice to yourself

Use constraints: basically make up fake rules to follow. Whether you’re doing art on a specific size canvas or you’re only allowing yourself 10 minutes to do the project each day, keep those things consistent. For me, I’m sticking to the same size paper. 

Make it simple: this art effort isn’t the endit’s the beginning. Don’t look at making each piece or project so crazy and lengthy or complicated. Use constraints to simplify your process. 

Keep it specific: this project is a chance to become an expert in something. If you want to become better at cooking an egg, explore 100 different ways to cook an egg. You’re not exploring any other ingredient, just the egg specifically. 

Use your excitement: I’ve heard, (this is my first time doing 100 consecutive days for a passion project) that day 30-35 are the hardest. If you’re not genuinely interested or excited you’re going to quit. Simple as that. 

Use what you’ve got: this goes with keeping it simple. No need to buy and have to learn to use all new equipment for this project. And chances are, you’ve got supplies or tools that are collecting dust that could use a little love. 

Use pre-generated content: Reducing the amount of decisions you have to make every time you sit down to create is key. It helps simplify. For me, I’ve written down 150 different flowers to choose from. I just go down the list and start from there. I don’t have to research flowers every time I sit down to paint. 

Be nice to yourself: chances are, you may not initially see what you have envisioned in your head when you start this project. But the whole point of the 100 day project is to get better or more comfortable with something. There are some flower paintings that I’ve done (like Cleome and Chrysanthemum) that I wasn’t too excited about. That’s okay. I got it done!! DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT. Learning to be kind to yourself through this whole project is benefit enough to get started, don’t you think? 

So, there you go. It can be as easy as making eggs for 100 days. Making your bed for 100 days. Painting flowers for 100 days. It’s entirely up to you! 

Artists I love doing it too…

I hope you follow along and perhaps get in on the project, too!! 

 

 

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    How to Hang a Gallery Wall Vignette

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    I’ve wanted to share this with you for some time now. Creating gallery wall vignettes with a wide variety of artwork and found objects is what my house is made of. Just a couple weeks ago, Hayley and I set out to hang artwork on the walls of our entertainment space in the new kitchen. Over the next few months, I’m going to share with you the updates that we’ve made over the course of the last year (still ongoing :/). So to kick it off, I’m sharing with you the process I use for hanging artwork on the walls. 

    I love taking medium to small sized blank walls and create little galleries with a wide range of artwork and objects. I hope this can serve as inspiration and motivation to get your creative side going and hanging some artwork!! 

    As an introduction, this space is quite the multi-functional spot. We dine and craft and relax in this space. We have no formal dining area, so I wanted to tone down the gigantic black box in the middle with some lively artwork and clean up the bar from the artwork I had piled on there so we could use it as a buffet when company comes over. Getting the art from the counter to the walls really cleaned up the space so much. So let me take you through the space….

    So let’s get on to hanging artwork! 

    These are my must-have tools for hanging art work. 

    I really love the above hangers. They’re really stable and great for heavy pieces, especially if you’re not hammering into a stud. You can find these at home depot, but they’re in various sizes in the Fixa set. Seriously, $5 very well spent there. I’ve had that little set for a couple of years, and it’s well worth it. It’s self-contained which makes it easy to keep from the children “playing” with the materials.  

    Finding ways to unify pieces is great. Sometimes if you have a variety of styles that you want to bring together (like, for example, family portraits in a wide range of eras and styles). But hanging artwork on every wall in your house in the exact same frames gets really stale. So start collecting art and objects in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and frames! This is where being a little scatter-brained and ADHD comes in handy. 

    Collecting a variety of prints, original art, found objects gives you lots of variety, texture and depth. But by having a variety, you need to find ways to bring back unity. 

    Grouping pieces together that have similar color schemes and making sure that art is spaced evenly brings in consistency that the eye enjoys. 

    HOT TIP: if you stand back from your grouping (whether on the wall or the floor as a mock-up), defocus your eye. You’ll see what spots are visually more heavy and where to add pieces. 

    Gallery walls don’t need to fit into a tight rectangular shape. As you’ll see from the grouping on the top right hand side, that it peeks out of the rectangle, but it takes up roughly the same negative space as the tighter grouping on the left. 

    So what do you think? Will you be hanging art vignettes on your walls any time soon? 

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    Mondays? Mon-YAY!!

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    Sometimes I feel so lonely in a world of Monday-haters. I LOVE Mondays! It’s a fresh week. I get so much done. My motivation is fresh. My ideas are fresh. I’m refreshed from a day of rest. They’re the best. 

    I did this little real-time calligraphy showing you the stylistic differences between one nib and another. It’s HUGE, right? I didn’t change anything about my style, grip, materials; just the nib. Think about that the next time you’re in a calligraphy rut. If you’re still in a rut after that? Try taking one of my classes!! I’ve been teaching for 8 years, I’m encouraging, thorough and helpful. If you’re in the Utah area, check out April’s local workshops below! If you’re not, the online class is the next best thing with one-on-one feedback and encouragement in each class. Check it out here.

    APRIL 6 | 5-8PM | DRAPER, UT

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

    Learn the foundations of pointed pen and how to apply your own modern personality to your letters in this 3 hour intensive! It’s perfect for beginners or if you’re looking to brush up on your skills. Seats are very limited so we have a small, intimate group. You’ll get lots of one-on-one attention and feedback as we go through the lowercase letters and forming words together. Time allowing, we’ll work through numbers and capitals. I’ll give you the skills necessary to take your practice home with confidence. Materials and snacks included. 

    APRIL 21 | 9-5 | BLUFFDALE, UT

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

    I’ve teamed up with Natalie Malan & Cents of Style for this day-long retreat! We’ll be covering flourished brush lettering and watercolor florals! The florals will be gorgeous, vibrant loose and modern (like we are all obsessing over these days). And the calligraphy will be with waterproof brushes so that we can create dynamic pieces with our watercolors. Workshop includes lunch, materials and snacks. 

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    REVIEW: Laser Square & Mat by WRM

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    I had the pleasure to check out the latest Laser Square & Mat by We R Memory Keepers. It’s the hottest thing to hit the shelves for calligraphers. It’s basically a replacement for the slider writer (which I have). Now you can’t find the Slider Writer anywhere. Not that you were missing out on much, because the laser never sat still, the apparatus was bulky and only right-handed users really could ever take advantage of the set-up. 

    See above for the full video. Hayley & I got to play around with it (thanks to WRM for providing us with product). Check it out to see it in action. Some of the video we took was completely blown out, so there’s not a ton of footage of us using it. :( And speaking of technical difficulties, the mic (we decided to use a new mic) didn’t end up recording, so you get to hear my tinny room instead. #sorrynotsorry I’m not going to fix it. Next video will be better. We’re having fun figuring out this whole film production thing. 

     

    TOOLS USED: 

    PROS

    • You can take it apart. It’s a little hard to take the square part apart, but you can take the mat off easily and store it in a tight spot. 
    • No erasing! No need for drawing in lines on dark or opaque paper!
    • The laser is a little bit above the surface of the paper so it’s not so harsh on the eyes. 
    • You can set it up easily for lefties or for righties. 
    • The bottom has a grid, so you can easily keep your papers aligned!
    • The gridded mat is self-healing material!
    • The lasers don’t fall out of alignment easily. They stay in place until you want to move them. 
    • The work area is 12×12, allowing you to work on a wide variety of sized papers.

     

    CONS: 

    • Each laser requires a 9v battery. 9v batteries aren’t very common, you can find rechargable 9v batteries, and I would definitely recommend getting some because replacing 9v batteries often is expensive!! 
    • The lasers weren’t perfectly aligned with the grid out of the box. I could do some minor 1/2 mm adjustments before using the laser, but ultimately it’s just a little off. But it stays the same degree off no matter where on the ruler you position the laser, so it’s consistent. 

     

    WISHLIST: 

    • I wish the laser angles could be repositioned so that I could align with the grid but also so the vertical laser could serve as an angle line. 
    • Hayley brought it up that it would be so cool if there were two lasers per axis point. Then you could set up x-heights or cap heights. 

     

    Perfect for house drawings, right? Hayley did the cutest little house drawings using the laser lines as guides. 

    This is great for dark envelopes. I really liked the flow. I could easily hold the paper down with my non-writing hand and reposition the envelope OR the laser to get new baselines for each line of text. 

     

    VERDICT: I’d put this one in the win column. I think it’s a great tool, especially for envelopes and quotes. I felt like I could quickly and effortlessly write out envelopes and quotes without a ton of planning ahead (you know how lazy I am). Click here to purchase.

     

    What do you think? Will you be using one in your future? 

     

    Product was provided for free from WRM, but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Affiliate links used help support the continuation of the blog and YouTube videos. Thank you for your support!

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    1. GloryI Torres says:

      I detach the laser guides from the 90 deg angle and use one laser as the horizontal guide line and the other laser is at 54deg for slants. I don’t use the matt. I tape them on my desk with painters tape and mark on the desk the horizontal line stops, and just move the lasers along as I need them. I you want me to send you a pic let me know.

    Spring Motivational Quote Printable

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    I’m on Studio 5! It was so fun to go on to film this segment. I wanted to do something that related to spring and new beginnings and starting anew. So I found this quote as a little motivator. See the end of this post for the free file to download. FREE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. 

    WORKSHOP SCHEDULE!!

    I’ve got 2 workshops coming up next month! Be sure to sign up before spots sell out! 

    Modern Calligraphy Workshop – April 6th 5-8pm in Draper, UT! Learn basics of modern pointed pen calligraphy. 

    Brush lettering & Watercolor Workshop – April 21 9-5pm in Bluffdale, UT! Come to Cents of Style headquarters for a DAY filled with watercolor, calligraphy, food and creativity. 

    Who doesn’t need a motivator like this? I mean come on! I think you could print this out and mail it to your buddies who you know may be struggling through something. Even the most beautiful flowers still have to grow through dirt (and sometimes manure). I’m totally obsessed with Natalie Malan’s floral skills, so I thought i would put her most recent paper pack to good use and print the quote on there! It was easy peasy. See below for instructions and tools. 

    Tools: 

    Print out the quotes on a laser printer. If you don’t have one at home, head to your nearest copy center and have it printed on black and white on your desired paper. I loved how substantial this Natalie Malan paper pack was, but it went through my laser printer no sweat. 

    Then turn on your laminator in the highest heat setting. Once it’s ready, cut out a piece of foil the size of the lettering (as to not waste foil material). Lay it overtop the printed area, slip inside a folded sheet of parchment paper and send through the laminator. 

    Pull it out and remove the foil. TADA!! It’s done. 

    I did experiment with watercoloring on plain paper after I did the foil transfer and it worked quite well! The chalkiness of the beginner paints, however stuck onto the foil so it wasn’t as mirror-like and shiny where I painted overtop the lettering. But it still turned out ok. Just an option. 

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE

    I know it’s super simple, but it’s so fun to add a little bit of gold sparkle to some pretty decorative paper! 

    And if you don’t have access to gold foil, just print it black and white!! Look at how pretty just the black and white turned out….

    This freebie is free for personal use only. Alteration or redistribution of this file is prohibited. If you’d like the artwork for commercial use, please contact melissa@melissaesplin.com.      

    Affiliate links are used. Sales from these links help support this blog and the content created here. Thank you!

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    1. Jani says:

      thanks

    mobile site