I used this personal project to develop my painting skills. The consequence is I’m getting paid to do it. Here’s how it happened.
The 100 Day project kicked off, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. According to Elle Luna, the founding organizer, the 100 day project is “a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making…it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.”
I participated in its inaugural event in 2015. I hand lettered approximately 150 names of family and friends which I offered to all the people whose names I lettered. During the process I discovered that I like to make unconventional letters.
This year I tossed around ideas for the 2016 event. Hand lettering? No, did it last year. What about, ummm, hand lettering, naw did it already. How about some hand lettering? Nope, been there, done it.
Prompted by a friend who was sharing his photos of buildings, I decided to illustrate buildings, dwellings, and objects from my hometown of Warren, OH. Armed with an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, the ProCreate app and the internet I would ‘visit’ Warren.
I would illustrate familiar and unfamiliar places to learn the process of painting.
Through social media I posted and shared my first building with family, friends, and arts and non-profit organizations in Warren. I asked for subjects to paint. After I posted the third piece I was contacted by a local non-profit who wanted to know about the project. After painting more subjects I opened an online shop and discovered an untapped market. In late summer I was invited to exhibit in a group show. As that show was underway I was asked if I was interested in a solo gallery exhibit. Ah, yes!
As of this post I painted 54 subjects. I continue to sell art prints and consumer products of the subjects I paint. The illustrations are appreciated for memories the subjects elicit.
The residents of Warren see the city as a source of pride. Consider what came from Warren, Ohio – Halsey Taylor Drinking Fountains, Packard Motor Cars, National American Woman Suffrage Association, first city in the nation with all electric street lights, and Clarence A. Crane, inventor of LifeSavers candy.
Update: The day I landed in Ohio the local newspaper contacted me for an interview. Here’s the link to the story the Tribune Chronicle, Warren, OH. The opening was fun! I reconnected with friends and family and met admirers.