Back in July, I announced that I’d decided to have a go at my own 100 Day Project, with the intention of creating a piece of original hand-lettering each day. There were a number of reasons for having a go at the project; one of the main ones was that I felt I was starting to lack inspiration for my Instagram feed, and some days I was struggling for ideas of what to post. Secondly, I really wanted to develop my hand-lettering skills, and I liked the idea of being able to do so digitally. Finally, it would be an excellent way to count down to the baby arriving and document some of those important milestones along the way.
Now that the challenge is over, I thought it would be good to share my honest experience of doing the challenge, both positive and negative!
I’m going to start with the negatives, so that I can finish on a high! The main issue was time; I tended to do my lettering each evening, and admittedly there were times when I could quite happily have forgotten about the whole thing as I was tired. However, I still managed to post, and if there were occasions that I knew I would just be too busy, I made sure that I completed my piece earlier in the day.
Next up was inspiration; you’d think that finding 100 quotes/lyrics/sayings to letter would be easy, not so much! Most of the time I was able to get myself out of a hole by searching on Pinterest or by looking at my Spotify playlists. When that failed, I found that by relating pieces to events that day, be it a baby milestone, or the Great British Bake Off, I was able to come up with an idea.
I found the reaction to quotes quite mixed; some I thought might be more popular whereas others were unexpected hits. This is probably down to a number of factors, including the Instagram algorithm, which has been causing me headaches over the course of the challenge, and some pieces just being too niche.
Onto the positives. The challenge gave me the freedom to experiment. I started off with similar styles and colours, but as the challenge went on, I was finding it quite repetitive. Whilst some core colours have remained, I’ve tried to work with different colours and change things up a bit. I was also able to experiment with Instagram itself, posting at different times of day compared to my usual routine and mixing up hashtags.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from my 100 Day Project was that I really developed my style, and found a way of working that I liked. This was really helped by the feedback I was getting along the way from followers. I can honestly say that I feel a lot more confident now in working on-screen, and although I’m not going to continue to post a piece every day, I’ll certainly look to share more.
So, now that the challenge is over, what’s next? I’ve already launched a series of prints that are based on some of the more popular earlier pieces, but I’d also like to look at launching some postcards or greeting cards of some of the later ones. There were a few that I definitely think could work really well, and seemed to be popular. I also want to continue the habit of fitting in a small period of time each day to be creative. Over the coming year, my creative time is going to be less than it’s ever been, but even if I just pick up a pen and doodle for ten minutes each day, I’m hoping that I continue to develop my skills.
If you’ve been following along with my project, a huge thank you for sticking with me. Every single like, comment, share, or request has meant the world to me! I’ve included some of my favourite pieces in this post, but if you’d like to see the full 100, head over to Instagram and search the hashtag #emsletteringproject . I’d also be interested in hearing what your favourites were, and if there were any you would like to see be made into prints or cards!