100 days

observant nomad | 100 day project

After my declaration of taking a break from freelance, it wasn’t long before I immediately began thinking about what my next ‘big thing’ was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a bit crazy to get the itch right away to start making something so soon. But as a creative person, I’ve realized I’m not happy unless I’m creating. The problem before was just why I was creating.

I had spent the last 3+ years creating for everyone but myself. Pouring myself into design that not only satisfied me (which is hard enough as an artist) as well as trying to please anywhere from 1-12 other people was difficult to put it mildly. It had been ages since I actually created anything that was just for me.

So when I found out about Becky Simpsons‘s 100 day project I was hooked.

The 100 day project isn’t necessarily a new idea. It’s something I read about last year when the Great Discontent brought attention to the concept. If you’re not familiar I suggest you check it out. But when Becky started documenting her experiences with the project it reminded me of what I loved so much about the idea to begin with.

I was enamored with the purity and simplicity behind it. There were no clients, little pressure, and not a ton of expectations. It was all about just ‘getting started’, experimenting, playing, and discovering things you loved and maybe had forgotten.

As I delved deeper into the project I found so many wonderful ideas and was inspired by each person’s take on it. So I rounded up some of my favorites to maybe inspire you to think about what you could do with 100 days.

observant nomad | 100 days becky simpson

Becky Simpson

I’ve always loved Becky’s illustration style. I even bought one of her awesome charts for my home. Here are a few of the pieces she created for her project that I really liked. Especially that ‘YES’ work. BTW she’s as awesome in person as you think she would be. Can’t wait to see her again this year at Designer Vaca.

observant nomad | 100 days faces of el paso

Enrique Barrios

When I started chatting with my guy about possibly taking on a 100 day project of my own, he threw out the idea “why don’t you draw on match books?” Ha! Well turns out the brilliant illustrator, Enrique Barrios already did this. What’s really cool about this project is that he ties a story of the person with each image. I love the raw authentic feel to his work.

observant nomad | 100 days faces of journeys

Sally Chan

I love me some good infographics, and Sally Chan’s quick but quirky charts make me smile every time. She observes some really interesting intersections and paths that we all experience out in the world. Some of my favorite charts of hers are usually ones involving shopping (like self-checkout isles).

observant nomad | 100 days musical science

Katrina McHugh

Katrina’s project really appeals to my inner nerd who loved natural science tv shows and books growing up. I was enchanted by the diagrams, charts, and graphic styles of these now ancient learning formats.  Obviously so was Katrina. Her project breaks down famous songs into scientific figures – pretty ingenious and cool. Besides who doesn’t love a sly Prince reference?

observant nomad | 100 days discussion

Jennifer E. Snyder

The last project I found that peaked my interest was the simple idea of starting a dialogue. Jennifer simply asked a thoughtful question each day on her Instagram account, and people responded within the comment section. I love reading some of the answers and seeing different people’s perspectives. I thought it was pretty neat that her project was more community based than others.

Now that you’ve seen a few projects that really inspired me, you can understand why I would want to begin a 100 day project of my own. I’ve already started spit-balling ideas of what my subject would be. It has to be something I’m already interested in learning about, as well as something that I realistically can find time to do each day.

I spend all day at a computer screen designing, so I think something off-screen feels right. I keep leaning towards naturally made elements coming together into objects; like jewelry, artwork, home goods, decor, or other items with more practical uses. But I also struggle with trying to choose only one of these areas to explore. Defining too many limits to the project seems to be counterintuitive to what I want to accomplish with it. I want to leave room for exploration and discovering new passions and forms that I like to work with.

So I still have some figuring out to do, but if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

What do you think?

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I LOVE THESE! And I totally think you should do your own 100 days of something. I wish I could think of something to help guide your creativity. Perhaps something to do with your gorgeous paintings I’ve seen pop up on your Instagram every now and then?

Can’t even explain how much #The100DayProject has helped me – creating ‘just because’ and keeping my eyes open for new ideas/ways of thinking was so beneficial. I 100% recommend doing the project and although I did feel under pressure at the end, I am thinking about continuing it somehow…

I met 3 strangers last week and brought together by the project we had a great evening of discussion, reflection and celebration.

Look forward to seeing what you choose for your project :)

P.S. You can check my 100 days out here:

I love the last idea about posting discussion questions for your community. Are there ways the visual arts can help facilitate deeper conversation? Maybe you post a discussion and illustrate one answer?

These are all really cool and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! xo


I love your photos – as you know! How about one photo each day for 100 dyas of something totally random that touches you. Some days would be creative things, some thought provoking, some days ordinary. You get the idea. I would love to see you do something more with this medium. You’re so good at it. Can you find the extraordinary in ordinary. I know you do that for me all the time!