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What I learned doing the #100dayproject

For the past hundred days I've been sketching a dress a day as part of the #100dayproject. It was not as hard as I thought it would be, but it was frustrating, inspiring, overwhelming and liberating. I can't really remember the last time I committed to something like this for such a long time. I learned a lot through the process like...

1) IT'S OK TO SUCK

Tan, braids, first day. #100daysofdresses #100dayproject #illustration #practice

A photo posted by Stephanie Echeveste (@etxeco) on

This was my first sketch on the first day of this project. Isn't it awful? I've never been good at sketching and much prefer draping fabric on a dress form when I'm working on a garment. This project was a way for me to face my fear and dive in. 

#100dayproject #100daysofdresses

A photo posted by Stephanie Echeveste (@etxeco) on

2) JUST KEEP GOING

I hated most everything I sketched in the beginning, but I kept going and little by little they got better. On days that I was particularly tired or traveling I tried even harder to keep it up because I knew once I skipped I would just keep skipping it (you know, like when you stop going to the gym for a week and all the sudden it's been three weeks). I learned the power of doing something daily and I really enjoyed the ritual of it. When I was home, I would make coffee and then work on a sketch before I got dressed for work. When I was traveling, I would try out new surfaces, like a coffee cup or a napkin. I found I much prefer to work in the morning in my home studio, but that I could make do in other environments if I had to. 

A few years ago I took a fashion illustration class at the Community College in San Francisco. The class was excellent and my teacher was always pushing me to practice more and take more time. I found that by doing this project - not only did I practice more, but the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it and would effectively take more time on my sketches. While I'm still not an amazing fashion illustrator, I at least feel confident sketching out an idea and now enjoy the process. 

DC represent. #100daysofdresses #100dayproject #aCreativeDC

A photo posted by Stephanie Echeveste (@etxeco) on

3) YOU NEVER KNOW HOW OR WHO YOU INSPIRE

One of the coolest parts of this project was the reception I got from friends and strangers. A co-worker actually asked me what I was doing and I was thrilled to share the project with her and invite her to join in. Since I was sharing the daily pieces on instagram, I was able to see what people liked in real time and get feedback.

I am definitely wary of being preoccupied with social media activity in lieu of enjoying face-to-face interaction, yet I felt like using my instagram account to share this project was a really healthy way to share a part of myself with my network and, hopefully, inspire others to be creative and try new things. I think we all have the capacity to create, and I hope in putting myself out there and doing something I was pretty bad at initially inspired others to do the same! 

Cowboy grapevines. #100daysdresssketches #100daysproject #acreativedc

A photo posted by Stephanie Echeveste (@etxeco) on

Slouchy day. #100daysdresssketches #100daysproject #acreativedc

A photo posted by Stephanie Echeveste (@etxeco) on

NYC Meetup at FiftyThree with The Great Discontent via The Great Discontent

NYC Meetup at FiftyThree with The Great Discontent via The Great Discontent

CELEBRATING CREATIVITY IN NY 

I happened to be in New York during the celebration meet-up and got to meet Elle Luna and other participants in the project. It was really amazing to meet so many other creators and view their projects. I was so impressed by the body of work we collectively created! The event was hosted by FiftyThree and The Great Discontent with a special guest from the leader of the project, artist Elle Luna. 

It was really funny to hear how similar our experiences were - we all had a hard time facing our work in the beginning, had some lulls, felt like failures at one point or another, got behind and then would feel a push to keep going. Some people hadn't actually finished, some people hadn't even started, but everyone was inspired and willing to try. 

I'm super thankful I could be a part of the celebration! I wish there was one in DC...(if you are local - let's plan a meet-up!). I now want to do another 100 days - what should I do next?