Or, how to distract yourself from actual work.

I’d seen the 36daysoftype project before and always loved seeing what different artists and illustrators came up with but never thought about doing it myself. I kind of hate those prompt things that people do on Instagram, I don’t know why and I don’t really ‘hate’ them. It just seems like a total waste of time as they’re either crap or they’re so full on you have to dedicate all your time fulfilling the prompts each day. It never seemed like a fun thing to do so I never really questioned doing it myself, I just enjoyed seeing others seemingly fire them out each day whilst still creating fantastic work in their ‘day job’.

I kind of felt like I’d hit a wall recently though – I still do as theres a lot of work I’d like to do but just don’t seem to get round to doing it for one reason or another. it’s massively frustrating and is on a constant loop in my head when I’m working on one thing, my brain is telling me to hurry up to work on something completely different. So, I felt I just needed to do something that wasn’t connected to anything. That didn’t have any ‘work’ aspect or monetary value attached to it. Something that was prompted by someone else and let me just draw what came to me each day. Not overthink anything. Just create depending how I felt that particular day.

I’ve always loved text and fonts and incorporate it everywhere I can since as long as I can remember. So when I saw the 36daysoftype hashtag appear again, I thought it was the perfect project for me to do to kind of (excuse the shit boardroom expression) ‘get the creative juices flowing again’. I was playing catchup for the first few days and had every intention to do actual letters (like the ‘A’ I started with) but got bored pretty quick sketching letters each day and trying to make them something new. Seeing what other artists were coming up with was amazing as there were some awesome designs appearing and made me feel that the project wasn’t going to give me the boost I’d hoped it would if I was trying to compete with lettering artists and designers.

So, I stopped. And just drew what came to me on each day. Not the first idea every time (coz some of those were total guff) but I tried not to spend too much time on any of them as I found out after starting that it can kind of take over your day and in turn, the work you should actually be doing! I found that I enjoyed doing more illustration based pieces – not so much an actual letter but a letter within a scene or picture. I think that unless you have a theme or a very specific style for the alphabet then just doing a standalone letter each day can be quite dull. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of lettered alphabets out there for 36daysoftype, but they’ll all have a theme running through them which ties it all together and makes it work. Maybe next year I’ll think about it beforehand and come up with a theme that would help each letter work as a coherent font? And who knows, if I plan for it I may get the numbers done too!

It was still fun though and did actually help me be more productive with other work and get a few ideas going which had been dragging for a while.