Creative Projects

An Amateur Creative’s Experience With The 100-Day Project

by Pam Llaguno

I’m in the middle of doing my first ever 100-day project called 100 Days of Acrylic Lyrics. This blogpost will serve as my “journal” where I document how I’m approaching this HUGE challenge (it’s a hundred days, you guys…), the things I’ve learned throughout the process, my best from-the-trenches tips and advice to anyone who wants to take on this challenge for themselves and of course, lots of photos of my daily creative work!

If you’re not familiar with The 100 Day Project, it’s a “free, annual, global art project that anyone can participate in,” masterminded by Elle Luna. The whole concept is to choose an action that you will perform every day for 100 days, and if you’re up for it, share your daily output on social media (particularly Instagram).

This year is the sixth year of The 100 Day Project in existence, the fourth year that I’ve known about it and the second year that I’m actually participating in it. I participated last year with #100DaysOfInaccurateIllustrations but I failed to finish/complete the challenge.

At the end of this massive undertaking, I will definitely go through this blogpost and give it one final update so that you can go through my 100-day journey of creating something every single day*. I’m also thinking of doing a physical product out of all the paintings but more on that later.

* Spoiler Alert: I did NOT creative something every single day for 100 consecutive days. But more on this later.


My 100-day Project Idea + Game Plan

I mentioned earlier that I have known about this challenge for three years before I actually decided to join in on the fun. The main hesitation that I had with this challenge was this unrealistic expectation that I put on my shoulders: I thought I had to come up with a perfect, Instagram-worthy, beautiful output every single day for 100 days.

That was incredibly crippling — every time I thought about the project, the next thing that will come to my mind is how awful it would be for me to join in and upload a sucky output on Instagram and be embarrassed by everyone else. I knew that it was all in my head but I’m sure you know how it feels to be completely crippled by your own self-limiting beliefs. It seriously sucks.

Last year, I planned to do 100 days of inaccurate illustrations where I tried to illustrate something in using different mediums. I liked that idea because it gave me the freedom that I reluctantly gave to myself in the past and to approach this project as an amateur creative. I did not succeed in completing the challenge last year (a story for another time) but I am determined to redeem myself this year.

My 100-day project this year is 100 Days of Acrylic Lyrics.

Every day, I’m sharing an abstract acrylic piece with some of my favorite song lyrics written on it. I’m trying to challenge myself to be a little looser with my paintings and just go with the flow of what I’m feeling at the moment rather than overthinking each stroke. Also, I need to listen to a lot more music since I’m the type of person who listens to the same ten songs on repeat until I get sick of it, haha.

The specific constraints are:

You can follow my updates on Instagram with the hashtag #100DaysOfAcrylicLyrics or you can bookmark this blogpost and check back every couple of weeks for an update 😉 My intention is to share my experience on this blog every time I complete a quarter (25 pieces).

Okay. Let’s do this!


Quarter 1 Update: May 13, 2019

I started out this challenge strong. I painting every single day and uploaded daily on Instagram. At the time, I was still in California visiting my family so every time I wanted to paint, I had to take out all my acrylic paint, brushes and paper from a storage box and find a spot at the house (usually the dining table) to paint. It was a hassle, I kid you not, especially since painting with acrylic isn’t as portable as painting with watercolors. Despite the inconveniences, I think I did pretty well because I still had that “new challenge” adrenaline coursing through my veins.

I had a lot of color combinations that I was excited to try, a good number of song lyrics that I really wanted to share, and it was easy for me to get into a flow state while painting. I think I only spend about 30 minutes each day (which includes set-up and clean-up) to work on the challenge.

Things were going along perfectly up until Day 16. After that, things pretty much fell apart for a bit. I missed a day because I met up with my boyfriend’s brother and her family who were visiting San Francisco from the Philippines. I toured them around from early in the morning to late afternoon. I had a lot of fun (and I ended up splurging on art supplies at Blick’s) so I wasn’t really feeling bad about missing mg 16-day streak.

The thing with me though is that once I miss a streak, it becomes difficult for me to get another streak going. There’s a little evil voice in my head that keeps say, “You already missed a day anyway, it doesn’t matter anymore.” At this point, I was less than three weeks away from packing up everything and going back home to Manila so I really had that couldn’t-care-less attitude. I made the decision to take a break and resume once I get back to Manila on May 4th.

Now that I’m back in Manila, one of the first things I did was do a marathon catch-up session on this daily project. At the time, I was around 17 or 18 days behind everyone. So I cleaned up my studio desk just enough that I could set-up my acrylic painting supplies and filmed a Paint With Me video catching up on my acrylic paintings. I managed to do 14 (!!!) paintings in one sitting — some I love, some I really dislike — which was awesome.

You can watch the Paint With Me video here:

I actually had fun filming this because I was forced to focus and work on my paintings rather than getting distracted by my phone or watching something on Youtube. I’m probably going to film more of my painting process for the next pieces (I’m thinking of doing a timelapse for Instagram and Patreon; maybe a livestream too?).

Here are the first 25 pieces for my #100DaysOfAcrylicLyrics:

I’m still having a lot of fun with this challenge despite losing my streak (that’s not really important in the grand scheme of things) because I’m now entering that stage where I have more information on what I enjoy painting and what I’d like to improve. My goal for this challenge is to (1) do something consistently, (2) show up on Instagram more frequently and (3) learn more about acrylic painting. So far, I think I’m doing pretty well on these goals but I know I do better.

The next update will be after I do 25 more pieces so I’ll talk to you then 🙂 I also upload everything on Instagram so you can always follow me there to see the pieces daily.

What I plan to do for the next quarter

I’m honestly a little bit tired of the style of painting that I’m doing now so I’m thinking of switching it up and trying out different styles of abstract painting. For the next set of paintings, I’m going for a softer approach in terms of color and painting technique. I want the colors to be more cohesive and to blur the lines in between the colors to create gradients instead of edges.

I also have some specific goals in mind:

Art supplies that I’m using in this challenge:

I’m excited to update you on my experiences in future updates to this blogpost so stay tuned! If you don’t want to miss an update, you can sign up for Studio Sessions, my newsletter,  where I send weekly e-mails every Tuesday.


Keep creating,