It’s been a month since I finished my 100 day project. As you know, I chose to paint 100 flowers on watercolor ( #100flowersonacuarela was my chosen hashtag). A few days after I finished, I sat down to process my experience and I wrote on my journal a few things I learned by doing this project. I would like to share some of my reflections here, in case you find them inspiring for your own creative processes.
- I learned to pay more attention. I’m sure I passed by many of the flowers I really saw for the first time when I stopped enough to look at them. I hadn’t noticed them until I stopped and paid attention. I discovered many wonderful ones, most of them I had really close to my house and I hadn’t seen them before.
- I learned that I can do hard things. I’m capable. If I’m determined to do it, I can do it. And if I can do it, anybody can.
- Beginning something (any creative project) es bold. Finishing something is great, and produces great satisfaction. But the real transformation happens in the middle, in the process, in the “in between” .
- If it’s important to me, I’ll find the way. í, encontraré la manera. Si no es importante, encontraré una excusa. I took steps to make it possible, I included my children, I made time for it, I collected materials. It was important to me, so I made it happen.
- Consistency (not perfection) is the key. . Sometimes I will feel like I’m stuck or that I’m not progressing enough. Keep showing up to do what you are called to do. This is applicable for this project, for marriage, for parenting, for work, study, for writing or for any activity which involves the soul.
- Your abilities improve by practice. You become the expert as you practice, practice and practice. That’s the best way to learn.
- People will want to participate. When they see your passion and your enthusiasm, they will want to be a part. My neighbour who is an architect, wanted me to expose my work in the city, my kids would bring me ideas or point to me flowers I hadn’t painted. An “instafriend” corrected my technique and gave me advice, others talked to me as if I were an expert in botany. That was my experience. Enthusiasm is contagious and people will come alongside to make it more beautiful, bigger and better and more complete.
- Nature is awesome and infinite. If I hadn’t stopped in number 100, I will still have flowers to pain. Nature is never ending.
- You will never run out of ideas. The more ideas you have, the more you will have. Creativity follows creativity.
- Slow is good for my soul. Some of the 100 days were stressful and hard. At the end of a hard day, painting my flower, far from adding stress, it helped me to slow down and relax and I went to bed feeling calmer and peaceful.
- Creativity is contageus and brings the best from people. People who didn’t know me cheer me up and celebrated with me. This is so cool!
- It is good to celebrate your achievements. Even the little ones. Painting 100 flowers, publishing a book, graduating, going for a run three days on a row or having that difficult conversation. You name it. Little or big, it’s worth to be celebrated.
- Beauty does something to your soul. produce algo en tu alma que es difícil de explicar pero que es muy real. Each flower I had on my hands connected me with beauty in profound ways and made me feel thankful, they made me feel like giving thanks to God for his work and his creation.
- Community is powerful. To do something together in community has a powerful effect. Doing this project with thousands of people from all over the world was something amazing.
- How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. I want to live a creative life, one that is in constant learning, in awe for creation, showing up every day to do what I’m called to do, being kind (with myself and with others) and living without haste.
16. I didn’t know I had all these jewels inside me until I painted them. As Elizabet Gilbert would say, “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels––that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place — that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one. The often surprising results of that hunt — that’s what I call Big Magic.”
I discovered I had all these jewels. One hundred flowers on watercolor, and I want to share them with the world. If you like any of those, please send me an email or visit the hashtag #100flowersonacuarela on instagram to find yours, o visit mi store to see the ones that are currently available (if there’s anotherone you like and it’s not listed, please send me an email to request yours).
To conclude, I join Vincent Van Gogh’s words, “And I say, let’s paint and produce in abundance, and let’s be ourselves with our shortcomings and qualities” –Vincent Van Gogh, Letters to Theo, p.112