My Sketchy 100 days

I'm trying to shake out some extra sparkle, so I'm trying out #the100dayproject...

It's been a busy few months with project work and the first semester of university. Great times, but now I feel like I can come up for air, and think about some experimentation and play. Yet, sometimes when you've been working so hard and had your head down for a continued period of time, it's difficult to loosen up and just play with ideas again.

Last night I spotted this somewhere (twitter maybe?) and although I'm not sure how I found it, I found it at the right time! It's about committing to a repetitive action for 100 days until it becomes a natural reflex. So, today I'm committing to #the100dayproject. (read more about this project here)

In the last week or so I purchased a sketch book and some textas so I could jot down ideas for charts as they came to me. But today I decided to push that a little further. Instead of waiting around for inspiration, I want to force it a bit more. I love the work of Giorgia Lupi, and was inspired by her amazing sketches she shared last year.   I also came across this post a about why she draws.  So this will be my 100 days project. Just to sketch. To see what emerges. Not to solve a problem, but rather to expand my thinking on visual metaphors, colour, shapes and design.  

Giorgia Lupi explains why drawing is so important in creating her visualisations (click image to read whole article)

Giorgia Lupi explains why drawing is so important in creating her visualisations (click image to read whole article)

I'll be posting my progress on my instagram account, as well as the hellomister tumblr page, but I thought I'd share with you here what I got up to on day one.

The UTS Library has some fantastic exhibitions on Level 4 and I was thrilled to see Josef Alber's Interaction of Color on display. I popped in again today to have a look - lucky as they were packing it all away.

I love this work. It's a mix of science (how we see and perceive colour) and artifact (the box! the plates!) and just beautiful works of art (his experiments are perfectly designed and executed. Simple and captivating). The point of my 100 days project is just to sketch and capture ideas, so I don't do this any justice, but this was what I got down;

1 July | Day One | #the100dayproject

1 July | Day One | #the100dayproject

I'm also trying to simply get into the habit of sketching out ideas more; trying to stop jumping in front of the computer screen and tapping away and encoding data, but just thinking about the problem and sketching out a few ideas / potential solutions to explore. I had a great problem put to me over the last few weeks; how to visualise a data entity model. Which was not the typical problem I face. It made me really slow down and think about the data at hand - which was essentially meta-data. Even how to format the data made me stop and think. I found as soon as I started to think about the data structure, and how it could be encoded / what was the purpose of the visualisation / etc, I ,ade a lot more progress than faffing about at my keyboard and staring at screen. 

So I was already quite open to start this experiment...the benefits of sketching and thinking through an idea or problem before you get down to business became very clear to me over the past few weeks. 

And one final image I thought I'd share is a quick sketch I did while sitting at Customs House. If you are in Sydney, go in and see the stunning images of blue bottles by Matthew Smith. This quick sketch does not do the beauty of these photos ANY jutsice, but I was captivated by the tenticles of the blue bottles, and the way Smith illuminated and filtered them through the ocean water and waves. Beautiful and inspiring stuff!  

Inspired by Matthew Smith's beautiful photos at Customs House.

I was also very lucky to head down to University of Canberra last week, which enabled a bit more "ideas time...". More on this soon I hope. But for now, I have to head off and go and see someone about electives for semester two!