The 100 Day Project: Finish

A fraction of what I created during the 100 days

A fraction of what I created during the 100 days

Tuesday (July 14, 2015) was the culmination of my 100 Days Of Day Break Play project. The quick project explanation is that for 100 days I played with craft within the beginnings of my day. I averaged about 35 minutes creating each morning spending over 55 hours total in time. Because making is something that fundamentally grounds me the goal of the project was to carve out time and routine in my day that would give me this space for making, EVERYDAY. I wrote a blog post at the project's start with some of my initial thoughts. You can also learn about the whole larger 100 Days Project here.

Having my project be tied to a specific time of the day was really helpful for getting it done. I could not procrastinate the activity because I knew that if I was not creating by a certain point in my morning there would be no going back in time. I could not let the morning slip away. There were only a couple instances where I fudged a bit. Like waking up on the forth day of camping after staying up almost 'til dawn singing and drawing by a campfire. I needed to hit the road home first thing so I decided that the spirit of my project had already been fulfilled.

I thought the beginning of the project would be the toughest part but at about day 52 I was surprised to find I'd hit a bit of a wall. This was after returning from the forest and I think I was feeling exhausted and grumpy with the constraint I'd put on myself. But I powered through and at a few days later it felt easier again.

The only other challenge was planning around travel and making sure I packed art supplies that would allow me to make wherever I was in the morning even if that was at the airport. (A bonus was it made waiting in the airport more enjoyable.)

Knowing I'd have my project to work on in the morning almost always brought a positive start to the day and flushed away any awkward feelings from the day before. Overall I felt rejuvenated each morning.

The circular Zendala pictured the largest was my mornings creation on the hundredth day. I combined imagery from the tiles and palms I was inspired by on my trip to Mexico.

The circular Zendala pictured the largest was my mornings creation on the hundredth day. I combined imagery from the tiles and palms I was inspired by on my trip to Mexico.

Two weeks ago I went to Sayulita, Mexico which brought lots of creative inspiration for the sprint to the 100 days finish line. I stayed in a hacienda with an abundance of patterns that I could draw from (pun intended).

I am so thankful for the 100 days project and the routine it helped me to create for myself. I'll be keeping it up even if I don't share everyday on Instagram. Being able to see what others on Instagram were creating was also motivating combined with having my friend Ann along for the ride to reflect on the project milestones with. Do take a look at her paper experiments.

I've enjoyed the Instagram community aspect of the project but I'm also excited to see what I'll make without feeling the obligation of sharing everyday. Obligation might be a heavier word than I intend but not sharing everyday I think will bring a different type of freedom to my morning routine. But I do plan on sharing those morning creative stretches here and there because the sharing has become routine as well.

In the future I'd like to do the 100 days project with more focus. My project was focused on a new habit with very broad creative freedom... next time I'd like to try something with more parameters. Here are a few of the projects with specific parameters I enjoyed watching unfold over the last 100 days. 

100 days of paper experiments
Grid the grid
100 days of Cafcaf
100 days of tiny things
100 Snuffys
100 days of people parts n flowers
100 days of costumes

And here are a few blog posts highlighting bigger projects within my project:

Explain the Sun
Gelatin printing — American flags and exploring the Playing with Surface Design book
Strike Away Show submission

Gelatin print American flags

I'm hooked on gelatin printing ever since learning the process from the book Playing with Surface Design. And this time of year I'm always inspired to play with the American flag. As I've explained in a previous post the gelatin is used as a printing base. It is not what is producing the color of the print... though I like to imagine these flags where made with the classic patriotic Jell-o deserts I never had as a kid.

I cut out stars and striped paper masks to create the flag prints.

I cut out stars and striped paper masks to create the flag prints.

Printing on colored paper

Printing on colored paper

This flag really shows the paper strips I used to print with.

This flag really shows the paper strips I used to print with.

A couple of my favorites

A couple of my favorites


Show and tell: Strike Away show

A few weeks ago I shared my process and final submission to the Strike Away show. The show is up! It's so lovely but only up for a bit longer (until June 30th, 2015). I couldn't come to the opening night but I imagine it was packed with people because over 200 artists created over 400 mostly little works of art.

While working on my own project and leading up to the show I saw the continual work flow of other artists on Instagram using the #strikeaway hashtag. Courtney Cerruti and Alicia Dornadic who curated the show shared their progress of receiving and organizing all the work for display. Even with all that visual knowledge it was a pleasant surprise to see how they displayed everything. Because most of the art is small and light in weight the match boxes and books are pinned to a display surface in wall cases. The presentation has a very entomological feel, full of curiosities, perfectly fitting of it's location at Paxton Gate's Curiosities for Kids. You can gaze a long time and still see something new.

Mobile by Jill Russell

Mobile by Jill Russell

Courtney and Alicia used Instargam to call for entries. Because art flowed in from reaches beyond San Francisco I imagine many artists haven't seen the show. I hope this little taste helps give an idea of the exhibit. I've done my best to link to artists I've shown in the pics. Do let me know if I missed someone.

Go check out the curiosities until June 30th, 2015!

 

Q. Explain the sun? A. Contrast

A few weeks ago I caught an installment of Science Friday on NPR. They announced a Science Club challenge to Explain the Sun. It was an open ended question that could be answered in anyway, about anything relating to the sun. The project sparked my interest and I instantly thought of explaining the contrast the sun provides. So the last couple weeks I've been creating images around that idea and the importance of the suns contrast to me personally. You may have seen them on my Instagram as part of my 100 Day Project.

I love the sun. For me the word contrast is a thread that explains much of the sun. There is of course contrast from day to night. There is the contrast when the sun is shining and shadows are cast. And there is contrast in mood as the sun is capable of bringing a shift, good or bad, to emotion. When it shines or is behind clouds my mood is magnified. I embrace contrast because without it there would be no measurement for contentment. 

I feel energized by the sun and often find myself having a very productive day indoors even when my internal logic would be inclined to go outdoors. 

ExplainTheSun_7263.jpg

Ironically San Francisco has been doused in fog most of the time I've been creating these little images.

The micro climates in San Francisco often mean fog blocks the sun. Sometimes I embrace the fog but if it's been hanging around for days (or even a whole day) I long for sunshine and the contrasting shadows it casts. Sometimes the sun/fog contrast is even more extreme and you can see a clear dividing line of fog layering one half of the city while the other is in full sunshine.

Lastly if we follow the thread of contrast to it's end, we get to, THE END. The sun is our star that we see shining (mostly) everyday. Many stars we see at night have long ago blinked out and someday our beloved sun will meet this same end.

Super simple printing method + GIVEAWAY

In this weeks post I've got a little update, instructions for a super simple + addicting printing method, and a book giveaway for you.

This past Monday (5/25) was day fifty of The 100 Day Project. I've got to say I am totally in love with my project (#100DaysOfDayBreakPlay) and plan on keeping some version of it on the other side of the project's completion. I have done less hand lettering than I expected. Instead it's been perfect for working on mini-projects like building a lego Sydney Opera House and making my Strike Away Show submission.

When I got an early release copy of Playing with Surface Design by Courtney Cerruti I knew it would play into my morning routine. You may remember me sharing the book Playing with Image Transfers last year, also by Courtney. Like the former, Playing with Surface Design is full of technique and project ideas. In the book she covers; gelatin printing, paste papers, mark making, and briefly touches on marbling. 

Because gelatin printing has been on my craft to-do list for awhile I jumped to try out that project first.

One of my first prints using cuttings from my parents garden.

One of my first prints using cuttings from my parents garden.

Leaves and lavender stems

Leaves and lavender stems

Paper cut outs

Paper cut outs

The second printing of paper cut outs and string after they've been removed from the gelatin plate.

The second printing of paper cut outs and string after they've been removed from the gelatin plate.

Bubble wrap 

Bubble wrap 

Strawberry baskets printed on blue paper

Strawberry baskets printed on blue paper

I can't stress enough how easy this printing process is. If you've been wanting to try any form of printing, try this first! It will make you feel like an instant success and is a good building block for understanding other printing methods. And if you have experience with any other kind of printing you will likely find yourself equally enamored with the jello print process.

As a printing method the cost of investment is very low, as little as $40. You probably already have some of the supplies needed.

Supplies
— Plain unsweetened Gelatin (not Jello, though it is fun to say Jello Prints!)
— A cookie sheet (you probably own that), or a disposable baking pan has more depth.
— At least two colors of water soluble printing ink
Rubber brayer
— Acetate or a smooth tile from the hardware store
— Paper (try starting out with card stock or bristol).
— Space in your fridge
— Two hours of time (1 hour for your gelatin to set-up and 1 hour to print. Though when you start printing you might not be able to stop)
— And of course, as a helpful resource the book, Playing with Surface Design

Basic Steps (more info in the book)
1. Make gelatin to fill a low wide dish. (This will be your printing plate)
2. Use your brayer to roll out ink color on hard surface.
3. Roll ink onto gelatin plate 
4. Place flat objects onto your inked plate. (leaves, string, paper shapes, or anything else you think of)
5. Lay a sheet of paper down on top, pressing firmly
6. Lift to see the magic.
7. Keep repeating the process to your hearts content. Add more depth to your prints with multiple layers of color.

One recommendation I have is to do your printing inside with moderate temperature. My first try at printing was outside in weather over 75 degrees which was a little too warm for a long print run.

GIVEAWAY
To enter for a chance to win a copy of Playing with Surface Design:
1. Head over to my Instagram and make sure you're following me.
2. Also be following @ccerruti
3. Tag a friend who you think would like the book in the comment section of the photo with the book cover. (Which will be posted the evening of Wednesday 5/27)
4. The winner will be chosen Sunday 5/31/2015. Winner must be in the Continental U.S. to win. As a bonus I'll also be sending the winner some gelatin prints to play with.

Full disclosure. I was given a pre-release copy of the book to promote. All recommendations are my own.