Seven thoughts

Today has been a day. This week has been a week. Fully-formed ideas are just not happening for me. So here are seven thoughts too small to broadcast and too big to quell. Consider this a peek straight into the parts of my brain that have been overactive since the day I uttered my first word, and that have been working on overdrive recently.

I’m cheating and calling this my #100DaysofPhotoshop as well, and saying that today I worked on organizing my layers and rediscovering the tedium of text. Layouts are not my thing, so design-minded individuals please forgive me.



#100DaysofPhotoshop: Falling Flat

I have to confess something that fills me with deep, deep shame: I failed. Yesterday, I completely skipped a day of my #100DaysofPhotoshop for the first time. I wondered how long it would be before I cracked under the pressure, and it turns out it only took 15 days.

The positive in this is that I’m not yet ready to give up. So I failed. It’s not a first for me, and certainly won’t be the last. I’m giving myself a free pass to say, “Ok, next time I’ll do better.”

The best thing this project has done so far is to teach me that some days, it’s enough to show up. I think I might have just confirmed everyone’s worst fears about millennials, but I’m not asking for a participation trophy. It feels reasonable to say that on top of the demands of work and friendships and a relationship and various projects on the side, some days it’s simply enough to show up and put in some work.

With that in mind, I’m learning to embrace the work in progress. Some of the things I’ve made so far in photoshop have actually been more fun as a snippet or a work in progress than a finished piece. And for someone who beats herself up to finish things I didn’t even want to do in the first place, it’s a breath of fresh air.

I’m hoping that the next 15 days bring more finished projects and fewer failures. But I’m glad to be showing up either way. In the meantime, here are a few of the snippets of half-finished pieces (most of which I did wind up finishing) from my #100DaysofPhotoshop so far, as well as some doodles and drawings that have distracted me from the task at hand–oops!

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The painted layer from a colored half-tone image I made of Coachella artists–can you guess who each is?

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The sweet in sweet tooth.

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Playing with brushes and layering painting over images.

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And the drawing distractions. Sometimes I have to step away from a screen and just doodle, write, etc until I can see straight again.



A is for Accountability. And boy do I need it.

Recently I rediscovered a creative itch that needs scratching. The problem is that with the demands of work, friendships and relationships, I’ve been dragging my feet on getting started on anything substantial.

For April, a few friends and I set some goals, and the plan is to hold each other accountable. They range in ambition, but by writing them down we’re all saying “I need you to punch me in the face if I don’t do this.”*

Today I also started in on the 100 Days Project—a way to force a bit of routine into the creative process, and another attempt at accountability. Led by Elle Luna and The Great Discontent, and inspired by Michael Beirut’s Yale class, the 100 Days Project has a simple premise: commit to doing the same creative act every day for 100 days. People take on various creative endeavors (a friend is doing font pairings!), but there are also projects involving cooking, keeping in touch with people, and being kind to other people.

I committed to 100 days of Photoshop, during which I’m going to do small projects, create silly things that make me laugh, and hopefully learn some new tools and tricks that apply to photo editing. As you can see from the images above, my Photoshop skills have primarily been deployed in creating pictures for Twitter. Ideally by the end of this I’d like to be able to better create things in Photoshop that feel like my style, and to develop some actual photo-editing and manipulation skills. I know a few other people participating, but it’s comforting knowing there is a whole community of people committing to filling these same 100 days with creativity.

I’ll be posting on Instagram with #100DaysofPhotoshop, but I’ll try to share here from time to time as well. I’ll include some updates on my other goals as well, which include some small amounts of coding, writing and Accountability, bruh. It’s a good thing.

*I do not condone violence. Do not punch your friends in the face.