There's something quite lovely about The 100 Day Project, the commitment to show up each day to create. This year, I gave myself an easier task than last year, a 100 days of finding a creative way to share something on botany each day. Which went really well for the first 14 days or so and then I got a little fed up of sharing tidbits. I'm a sucker for long research sessions and getting to the bottom of things—or at least I try—and spending quite a bit of time on each article I undertake. My illustrations develop faster, but I do have a trip up point there as well. I've been illustrating plants for about a year and a half now, and in the beginning I was quite happy with drawing the generic versions of those plants, but around December (2015) I wasn't any longer. I wanted to illustrate the specific, the fine details that truly set very closely related species, and their infraspecific taxa, within a genus apart. Which meant I needed excellent reference material and the correct information on that reference material. Because true botanical illustration, however simplistic or complex it is drawn, needs to accurately represent the morphology of a plant.
One thing I really enjoy about the work I do is that for large parts of it, it isn't about me. But, sharing things daily about what I know and learn about plants takes that away. And, there is a beauty about keeping what you've learned just a bit longer to yourself. To let it brew, to question it, to make connections whilst doing so.
So, this week I shared a little less, researched a lot more, and probably got a less sleep because it was good to be in full on article mode once more. Why do this project, if I don't like sharing on such a consistent base—if I need time to reflect. Partly because I'm an ambitious dummy when it comes to the scale of my projects and partly because projects like these connect me to a larger community. It's a way to find your people and to discover new work. Because creating in the dark can be damn right scary, but there's breathing space as well. And, even when it's nice to share your progress, I don't want my drive to create to depend on each like.
Let's see how the next week unfolds. Create on.