100 Days project: some thoughts on being a quarter of the way there

Day 11 of the 100 Days Project. The word was spoon. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Day 11 of the 100 Days Project. The word was spoon, and it made it into the Project Highlights for Week 2. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

I’m just over a quarter of the way through my 100 Days Project.

My  project involves using a random word generator to give me the inspiration for each day’s effort; a single word that I respond to in some way.

My efforts seem to have fallen into two quite distinct categories; a photograph (with or without text attached) that somehow represents the word for me, or a doodle that is a play on the word itself.

Day 14: vase. Graphic: Su Leslie, 2014.

Day 14: vase. Graphic: Su Leslie, 2014.

Most days the work falls into the former category – and I think in general those tend to the be posts I’m happiest with.

What I’ve learned over the last four weeks

  • I like the discipline of having to create something every day
  • I don’t have too much trouble thinking of some way of representing each of my random words
  • I have lots of trouble finding something that I can achieve in the time I have available — that doesn’t seem too lame

Some days are definitely easier than others and while I love some of my efforts (like those above), others definitely fall into the category of “well, the tank was empty today…”

Day 26: onion.

Day 26: onion. Graphic: Su Leslie, 2014

An on-going dilemma

Most of my efforts are of the photograph-and-text variety and this has created some internal tension over whether to add the text to the image – as below – or simply write a separate description.

Day 18, Map. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Day 18, Map. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Day 25: bridge. I aged and grunged this photo of the bridge to Tyringham House in Buckinghamshire. For me, memory is a series of photo editing apps. Image: Su Leslie, 2013

Day 25: bridge.  I edited this photo of the bridge to Tyringham House in Buckinghamshire quite a lot. For me, memory acts like a photo editing app. Image: Su Leslie, 2013

The text that accompanied the image was, I think, one of the better pieces I’ve written – yet it didn’t belong on the image itself.

Time can’t be bridged like a river. As soon as you cross, the world behind you shifts, and there’s no going back. You can look, but all that’s left is the memory of the road and a glimpse of that almost-you reflected in the slow turbid water.

The tension around how to display both words and image troubles me and feeds into a wider sense that the project lacks some cohesion. The unifying factor – a random word – turns out to be insufficient to bring unity to my daily efforts.

In the big scheme of things, this doesn’t matter of course. I am spending time every day engaged in a creative activity that generates visual work that I mainly like as individual pieces. The lack of thematic consistency is just something that may have to wait until next year’s project.

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