This is my second year participating in the Elle Luna-inspired 100-day project on Instagram (#the100dayproject), where artists from all over the world make one thing every day for 100 days (e.g., 100 days of fruit drawings, 100 days of paper fun, 100 days of miniature ceramic sculptures) . Last year, I did 100 black-and-white drawings. This year I wanted to do something equally doable. "Something small and quick." Having seen Jim Jarmusch's great new film Paterson, the matchbox came to mind. Though what made me think decreased area—a matchbox surface is approximately 2 inches x 1.25 inches—would equal increased speed, I'll never know.
When it comes to writing, in the short-short form, for example, or in poetry, this is an untruth. Brevity is not faster. Or easier. Conception takes just as long. And in a small space, gesture isn't enough. Articulation becomes key. Efficiency too. And contrast. And clarity. There is no room to "explain." So I fail a lot (I don't draw in pencil and erase and start again until I get it right. I start and end in ink). But there's something intensely satisfying about the finish. Because these pieces are small, I can look at them together and all at once. As I'm making my day's matchbox drawing, I imagine how the new one will look next to yesterday's. I draw in response: With a question. Or an answer. Or in opposition. Or in the spirit of camaraderie.
It's not a small thing to commit to (and follow through with!) a project like this. Last year, I honestly astounded myself by completing the full 100 days (sharing on social media is key!). A long ways and many matchboxes to go, but I hope to do it again.