Reflecting on what Instagram has meant to me in the last 4, almost 5 years. It has truely been a map of my creative path. In 2016 I made a small piece of artwork for a local show and I posted the process. I only posted 6 times that year! In 2017 I posted 3 times! I often start strong and then taper off, not just on Instagram but in my creativity. In 2018 I made a commitment to myself, I started taking online illustration classes. I always thought I’d go back to art school “someday” but kids and work and life kept pushing it farther and farther off. My dear friend, who is 10 years older than me, said “the next ten years are going to go by no matter what, you may as well start now.” It was so good to shift my perspective and just dive in. Committing to classes helped me to draw most days and to share my process. I posted 66 times in 2018 and I got the idea to start the A to Z memory book. In 2019 I kept taking classes and worked on the book and finished it by November just in time to get it to the printer and gift it to my kids in December. Sharing the process of creating the book meant that I posted more than ever - 87 times! Still so small to most but a lot for me. I signed up for “My Year of Art School” with @makeartthatsells in late 2019. I was all in - 2020 was going to be my most committed year. It certainly started off that way, but in late January we were getting the news that a pandemic was sweeping the globe and by the week of March 16th we were sheltering in place. For me, that didn’t mean I had extra time. It meant my day job was busier than ever (communications for the Town is Fairfax) and that my three kids were home 24/7. It was not easy to balance everything and my classes slipped further and further down the list. But somehow I was able to launch a Kickstarter campaign so that I could print and share the book. It was funded and then some and so I committed to creating and printing the companion workbook which just came this week! Through all that I posted 69 times.
I’m weary from the year, but in the last few days I’m feeling the “buzzy feeling” again and I want to make a commitment that I know I can keep. It’s the first time in three years that I have not signed up in advance for MATS classes. I hope to sign up for Bootcamp in March but I need to see what the next few months hold. So here is my commitment. Starting today, with this post, I will post for 100 days. I have never done a 100 day project but I need this structure right now and when I counted forward I realized that if I start now, it will take me to the week of March 16th, exactly one year from when Shelter in Place went into effect. For me, that holds deep significance. I need to find a way, no matter what, to draw and create or just notice and collect, everyday for the next 100 days and see where I am in March. I will have posted more that I have ever posted in an entire year. I still want to maintain what makes Instagram work for me - I only follow creative feeds - it could be food, painting, clothing, photography, but it must fill me with joy. I would love more followers but I am going for quality over quantity. I'm not sure yet how posting everyday will effect my presence on Instagram but I do know that it will make me make something everyday and that is the best gift I can give myself, especially in these upside down times.
Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the right time... I long for a bygone era and yet I dream of a future that holds the best of technology mixed with the “old ways” that are so much gentler on us and the earth.