105 artworks in 105 weeks
It started with an act of kindness: I would make 105 artworks in 105 weeks and donate each artwork to the person who would most want it. I wanted to make art fort he sake of it.
I wanted a radical art of kindness.
I also wanted a way to connect with an audience. Each artwork would serve as the illustration to a short story on medium.com and the process would be documented in my blog.
Creating, publishing and donating artwork every week is not for the faint of heart. There's work to be done, ideas to be generated. And then, there's the exposure...or not.
Within a few weeks I came up with a process where I would publish the artwork on my website and on social media and invite those who were interested to email me a request for the art.
There weeks where hardly anyone responded and weeks when I was overwhelmed with requests.
Interestingly, it's a lot harder to deal with a large number of requests. It's hard to say "no" to genuine interest. Much, much harder than it is to say "yes". There were weeks when I found myself mailing out free art to several people, just so I would not break their heart.
When a project is complete
I ended up creating 55 artworks out of 105. I stopped donating the artwork at number 52, about 18 months into the project. I was spent. It takes a great deal of energy to give, week after week, often to complete strangers. For a while, I felt sad and defeated that I had not completed 105 artworks. I gave myself a break and promised I would get back to the project.
Six months later, I had not added a single artwork. It was time to end.
As it turns out, there is power and strength in calling quits.
Project 105 had given me the gift of continued production, stamina and a core audience that was willing to cheer me up.
That core audience had remained and I was left with valuable skills to mental space to start larger, more complex projects.
To quote Barbara Kingsolver, the end of Project 105 was "a season of precipitous ends and beginnings".