#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.

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The Ex-Factor

It’s not every week that This American Life and No Doubt have major message overlap. But as I was listening to Starlee Kine remind her NPR audience that every person you’ve ever dated has become your ex (ep. #339), I realized this was a lesson I’d learned before. Cue Gwen Stefani’s warbling voice:

I kind of always knew I’d end up your ex-girlfriend.”

Oh Gwen, truer words have never been spoken. A staple on my breakup playlist (you know you have one too), Ex-Girlfriend flattens you with the heartbreaking truth that you’re going to have far more exes than you will Dearly Beloveds.

As I find myself in the midst of one of those rip-your-heart-out-knock-the-wind-out-of-you kind of breakups, I can’t help but notice the ex lurking behind every song. At the Jay-Z and Beyonce concert* I relished every single chick anthem, and dumb-girl cried during “Song Cry.” I’ve subjected my male roommates to better-without-you anthems and never-love-again ballads belted from the shower. I listened to Drake (‘nuff said).

And so, with exes on the mind, I tried not to think about the kind of ex-girlfriend I am, and, according to Gwen, will continue to be. I turned instead to the exes we’ve all known and loved. I dwelled on them the best way I know how: doodle form. Please forgive the terrible images, as they were taken in a poorly lit bedroom with my phone. May they serve as a reminder to us all: we’re all just remembered as someone’s ex, and doodles are the best medicine.

All perceived relation to Molly’s exes is probably entirely valid, but let’s just go with any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I love my exes, they’re actually a group of pretty legit human beings.

 

Doodles on a Monday Night

Doodles on a Monday Night

 

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Songwriting Ex, equipped with old school mix-tapes, journals of feelings, and hipster microbrews

Songwriting Ex, equipped with old school mix-tapes, journals of feelings, and hipster microbrews

Stoner Ex will leave you with munchies, chill rap jams and some easy sleep

Stoner Ex will leave you with munchies, chill rap jams and some easy sleep

Sports Fan Ex: Bearer of tacky sports accessories and worn out sofas

Sports Fan Ex: Bearer of tacky sports accessories and worn out sofas

Ah the recent ex, who must be drowned in wine

Ah the recent/current ex, who must be drowned in wine

 

*Full disclosure: Beyonce covered Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor“, and did it damn well, providing the inspiration for this blog post title.