Thursday, July 19, 2018

The 100 Day Project...and Beyond!

If you've been following me long enough, you know that I love art and that I've dabbled a bit in illustration in the past. I've even had a few illustrations appear alongside my writing in children's magazines over the years. However, I've never really had the guts to truly pursue illustration as part of my career in children's literature. I've told myself that it's because, no matter how skilled an artist I am, those skills don't translate well to illustration.

But the truth is, I've just been a big chicken. 

Something happened recently that changed that. Over the last few months I participated in a creative challenge on Instragram called The 100 Day Project, during which I illustrated one poem a day for 100 days straight. It was a way for me to get outside my comfort zone and begin to test my skills as an illustrator.

Admittedly, there were a few flops. And some days I barely had ten minutes in which to create and share my illustration for the day. But overall, I felt it was a big success, mainly because, at the end of the 100 days, I was less afraid to try.

My goal is to transform "less afraid" into boldness. There is no reason that my art can't be something more than a creative hobby. Does that mean you will one day see written and illustrated by Rebecca J. Gomez on the cover of a book? I don't know. But one thing is certain: that will never happen if I don't take the first steps.

Click here to see all 100 illustrations

So, what's next for me? I'm taking it slow, but I've already given myself another challenge. The other day I took a pile of blank cards and divided it into two stacks. On one stack of cards I wrote down various character types. On the other I wrote down various activities. At least once a week I plan to pull a card from each stack and then draw a picture of the result. The first time I did this the result was "toad" and "holding a balloon." Here is the resulting illustration:

I think he turned out pretty great! 

How have you challenged yourself to get outside your comfort zone lately?