100 Days

A temporal exercise in observation, inspiration & discipline

Areas

Conceptual Practice
Illustration

Timeline

Fall 2021

Tools

Copic markers

Overview

For 100 days, execute one design operation daily. The chosen practice should be something repeatable every day, and must be documented in some form. It should reflect change and evolution as time progresses.

This project was inspired by Michael Bierut's 100 Day Project and conceived for the course Design Principles and Practices at Carnegie Mellon University.

Approach

An exercise in self-discipline, immersing in the present moment and accepting imperfection; finding acceptance and nuance in both the incomplete and the refined. Working from a 1 minute sketch on Day 1, 2 minute sketch on Day 2, etc. each successive day will follow a timed condition leading up to and back down from Day 50, creating self-imposed restrictions through timescale, subject matter, and medium.

Time acts as the independent variable, creating an opportunity to immerse in the present moment and accept any imperfections and mistakes along the way, serving also as a cyclical exercise in self-discipline and adaptation.

Each sketch is drawn from life, "first take", with Neutral Gray Copic markers on 3x4" Bristol.

The first and last 10 days of the exercise

Inspiration

I hoped to initiate a project prompt that would create opportunities for growth and regression, that would help me address a personal tendency to overanalyze and overwork, and that would allow me to explore how perceptions of importance and significance change over time.

Reflection

Not only was this an exercise in working quickly and gesturally before building up to complexity, it served as several forms of documentation and expression, both a conceptual and literal self-portrait. Material outcomes reflected changes in self perception as a subject, and in my observational approach and practice.

Select sketches chosen to represent a wide range of attitudes, approaches, and outcomes on different days

By setting tight constraints and challenging myself to find novelty in an "unchanging" space over time, I found a form of natural acceptance in both the notional and the highly resolved– and observed an interesting shift in the synthesis of visual information as the portraits were condensed, expanded, and came to converge again.

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Ann Li 2022