Here we are, British summertime is officially around the corner as May came to a rainy close yesterday. Despite the unlucky weather, this week has been shining with reasons to celebrate. Monday marked the beginning of The Takeover at The Customs House in South Shields.
The Takeover is an annual arts festival ran by teenagers for young people in the North East, up to the age of 25, to get involved, showcase their talents, take creative workshops and network. Five of my artworks were lent to The Customs House Gallery this year for The Takeover Exhibition and many flocked to the Gallery Preview for the grand opening on Monday evening.
My boyfriend and I arrived at the upstairs venue before the refreshments were served at 7:30pm and we were met with a well curated exhibition, filled with diverse pieces decorating the walls. It seemed that no particular age group, style or medium stole the show and the space itself was large enough to comfortably accommodate all of the people who arrived after us.
I had the pleasure of overhearing strangers compliment my work; it was a lovely opportunity to mingle and enjoy the work of others too. Everyone gathered for a welcoming speech which was delivered by The Takeover Team who arranged this event. I handed out business cards to those who wished to know the price of the Dita Von Teese illustration on display. For the first time out of my house, I am happy to report that Dita was my most popular piece of the evening.
Please check out my Instagram @hannahrichillustrator to view more images and videos from the Gallery Preview.
Following that success, Katy Wheeler wrote an article about the celebrity responses to my take on the 100 Day Project; it was published by the Sunderland Echo on Tuesday. To read my blog post about first 50 days of the project, please click here. The article was met with an overwhelming amount of support from my family, friends and my university. The press team from University of Sunderland reached out to me on Wednesday and posted an alumni story on Thursday.
Finally, at the end of this week, I have accepted an offer for a creative writing internship at a wig company in my city. This whirlwind of a week has well and truly marked the end of Mayhem; monthly pun intended. Here's to hoping for a bright June.
Today marks Day 53 of the 100 Day Project. After a miserable May day in not-so-sunny Sunderland, I thought this was the ideal moment to check in and report all of the exciting highs and mundane lows of my creative journey so far. For those of who you don't know, the 100 Day Project is a challenge popularised on Instagram where a person practises their passion and posts about it for one hundred consecutive days. So, let's dive in.
I set off on my artistic endeavour with the goal to experiment more with styles. I had a plan to commit to weekly themes but that idea quickly flew out of the window. Aside from appealing to my followers, not much happened with my posts until Day 7. Comic actor Seth Rogen liked my illustration of him which blew my mind, much like the smoke ring I had just drawn. Picture this: it's breakfast, LA time, Seth scrolls through his notifications and takes the time to interact with my artwork because I'm pretty sure that's what happened. Then, NY Times best-selling cartoonist Ed Piksor also liked my sketch of Seth and another one of Margot Robbie shortly afterwards. On top of that, actress Madeline Brewer approved my portrait of her, as did The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne two days later. Bearing in mind, this all happened within the first two weeks; I had started with a bang.
As the days rolled into weeks, the novelty started wearing thin. My commission work was stacking up, my personal life was getting busier and I was struggling to make any time for the 100 Day Project. By Day 20, I was seriously considering calling time of death on the whole thing. By starting this project, I had put myself under a lot of unnecessary pressure. With most days ending in severe eye strain, I wasn't putting down the pencil until 9 or 10PM; instead working tirelessly to create the daily portrait on top of a regular workload. Some days meant resorting to posting my commission pieces to substitute the extra sketches. After all, life can't be controlled every single day.
Google told me that Day 20-25 was the quitter's mark. Barely a quarter of the way there, the finishing line seemed light-years away and others online agreed. I was determined to keep going but I knew that I had to alter my working routine if I was to stand a chance. Thankfully, the decision to jump over the hurdle paid off on Day 31 when supermodel Tyra Banks liked my portrait of her. She is the most recent celebrity encounter I've had to date and she's likely the most well-known of the bunch.
So far, I have produced some pieces that I am really proud of, in styles that I thought were too foreign for me to ever master, all neatly tied together under the same black and white filter. I have shaped a much healthier working routine for myself which tends to see the 100 Day drawing completed early in the day, freeing up afternoons and evenings for other commitments. I highly recommend starting the challenge if you're out to push yourself like I was. You never know who will support you.
Follow me on Instagram @hannahrichillustrator to see the project in full and keep up-to-date with the second half. Be sure to check out the #100DayProject hashtag on Instagram to view brilliant work produced worldwide. That's all, folks!