I first came across The 100 Day Project last year when a few people I follow in Instagram participated. When it started popping up in my social media feeds again this year in March, I started thinking of ideas for my own. I almost decided to sit the whole thing out in fear of adding yet another thing to my plate but eventually decided that as long as I chose something small and simple, I could make it work.
I’ve wanted to play around with patterns and surface design for years — basically since I started sewing and getting exposed to all the awesome fabrics available these days. But I initially rejected this idea for my 100 day project because I was thinking about sketching and scanning and digitizing and a whole lot of steps that would take a lot of time. Too much time on a daily basis! Then I realized I could pare it down to just step 1 of that whole process and doodle a pattern by hand. If I loved it, I could then consider cleaning it up and making it digital. If I hated it, I’d just move on to the next day.
And thus #100daysofsaroypatterns began! Every day since April 4 — yes, it’s more than halfway done while I’m finally getting around to writing about it here — I’ve drawn a repeat pattern on a 5.5″ square piece of paper. (There’s absolutely no reason I decided on 5.5″ square other than that’s what I started with and decided to just keep it consistent.) The technique for making a repeat is something I learned years ago and it’s really, really simple — here’s how. All you need is paper, scissors, tape and something to draw with. I started out using pencil but switched over to a set of fine point markers after the first couple weeks to make things more interesting and colorful.
I’ve drawn 57 patterns now with 43 more to go. There are some that I really hate. Most are so-so. But there are some that I really love, and isn’t that the whole point? (Cue this Ira Glass monologue on creativity that I have referred to before and will continue to refer to forever because it’s SO GOOD.) I also noticed that the 9 “really love” patterns I showed here span day 3 to day 56. It’s pretty cool to see that my ideas haven’t taken a nose dive as time progresses, and that I’m able to come up with something I really like on a fairly consistent basis.
When the project is said and done, I hope to find the time to clean up and digitize a few of my favorites and put them on Spoonflower. But even if they never go anywhere, this exercise has been fun, challenging and 100% worthwhile.