What Is the 100-Day Project?
It’s a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making. The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.
How Can I Play? It’s simple. Follow these steps to participate.
What should I do for my project? We’ve put together a few questions to help you get started.
What are you passionate about? Is there something you used to do that you gave up, something you’d like to explore, something that intrigues you?
Pick an object or objects. What do you already have in your possession that could be used to facilitate this project? it could be as obvious as paint and paintbrushes, a camera, fabric and a sewing machine, or a musical instrument. Or it could be less obvious, like your great dance moves, paint chips, a wooden chair, or strangers.
Consider your location. Will you be home, traveling, or a combination of both? Pick something that’s feasible for you to complete.
Choose your action. What’s your verb? Here are a few to get you thinking:
stand, speak, drive, study, drop, act, remove, repeat, examine, replace, introduce, perform, jump, pass, test, roll, kick, run, cook, thank, place, pick, save, throw, cover, shake, count, dance, break, walk, form, deliver, show, raise, reach, catch, sing, sort, develop, measure, discuss, draw, dress, write, meet, climb, take, look, climb, wish, shout, wash, decide
Illustration by Elle Luna from The Crossroads of Should and Must; learn more
The Inspiration Behind the Project
Initially inspired by a grad school project conceived by Michael Bierut—a prolific, talented designer, writer, and teacher—Elle and a group of friends decided to launch a social media version of the project in 2014.
For years, Michael Bierut led graduate graphic design students at the Yale School of Art in a workshop that he called “The 100 Day Project.” The premise for the class was simple: each student chose one action to repeat every day for 100 days. For example, one student made a poster in under a minute every day for 100 days; another danced in public every day and made a video; another student, Rachel Berger, picked a paint chip out of a bag and responded to it in writing for 100 days.
In 2014, Elle and her friends banded together and decided to share their projects on Instagram, tagging images with #The100DayProject. People of all ages joined in, and it was incredible! Those who participated were empowered by the accountability of doing the project alongside others in a very public way on Instagram.
Now, the 100-Day Project is back with Elle at the helm, asking anyone who will answer: What could you do with 100 days of making? Who should participate? Anyone. Anyone who is hungry to jump-start their creative practice, who is curious about being part of a community that celebrates process, and those who are busy with work and family commitments, but searching for a bite-sized way to play creatively. Learn more in TGD’s feature on Elle and the 100-Day Project.
The People Behind the Project
Elle Luna paints, designs, and writes. She also runs a textile venture, the Bulan Project, a collaboration between designers and master batik artists in Bali, and has previously worked as a designer at IDEO and with teams on apps and websites, including Medium, Mailbox’s iPhone app, and Uber. Elle speaks to groups around the world sharing the story of her latest book—The Crossroads of Should and Must—and lives in San Francisco and online at instagram.com/elleluna.
Lindsay Jean Thomson a champion for finding the best in yourself and others. She is the co-founder of Women Catalysts, a membership organization dedicated to inspiring more women to action. Women Catalysts has a thriving online community and hosts events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. In addition to leading Women Catalysts, Lindsay is a writer and has most recently been chronically her story of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Lindsay’s motto is anything is possible (a message she shares wherever she can)!