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The 100 Day Project, like so many great ideas, started out as a personal project for Michael Bierut. He has lived in NY for years, and in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks “wanted to do something therapeutic for (him)self”. So he bought a copy of the New York Times everyday and for 365 days made a drawing based on one photograph in the paper. Bierut says of his experience:

Elle Luna’s 100-Day Project: Draw 1 self-portrait a day
“The drawings became a weird, visual diary of the things that were happening at that time… I was surrounded by very disturbing news, and doing those drawings was a way to process it.”

Out of this experience, Bierut challenged his students at Yale to what he describes as a “combination of forced, scheduled activity combined with complete, wide-open freedom” and named it the 100-Day Project.

The project has two simple rules:

  1. Repeat a simple creative task every day for 100 days.
  2. Record each days effort.

How is openbox9 involved?

I was inspired to work on my own 100 Day Project, but knew I wouldn’t get far by myself, so I invited my coworkers to participate. We started Friday, April 17th and hope to power through for 100 days, until July 25th.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African proverb

I decided to work on something similar to Bierut’s original project, taking one headline from the same newspaper everyday and illustrating it on a postcard. Not being a fan of the jargon in most large newspaper’s headlines, I opted to use a newspaper from a small town. They have charming headlines such as “Tips to Grow Your Best Tomato Yet” and “City Says: ‘Boat Parked in RV spot isn’t an RV’”.

Claire is curating an attitude of thankfulness by writing a thank you note to someone every day. Josh is drawing something from life everyday, in less than 60 seconds. Mary is also practicing the discipline of drawing everyday, but without the time constraint.

Mary doing her daily drawing
Mary doing her daily drawing – Do I see the makings of an owl?

So, why this project?

This is something everyone can participate in — designer or not. The project offers “an opportunity to grow in… discipline. The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.” – Elle Luna

Sounds fun, how can I join in?

Choose an activity to practice everyday for the next 100 days. Find friends to keep you accountable, set a start date, and begin! I recommend starting off with a small goal – if it only takes 5–10 minutes you have a greater chance of actually doing it – and the “doing it” is the only thing that matters.

A little girl with a big voice
One of my newspaper postcards
If you’re struggling coming up with ideas, have a brainstorming session. Think of something you’ve always wanted to learn but never seem to have the time, or something that makes you happy, that you wish you did more of. The project should be fun, not something that creates a sense of dread. It doesn’t have to be an original idea. You can steal a project someone has done and make it your own through your voice and perspective. Here’s a roundup of the best of the 100-Day projects from the past 5 years to get started.

Having trouble convincing your friends to join you? Join the greater community of artists participating by taking your project to social media. You can read more project details here.

You can follow along on my project by searching the instagram hashtag #100daysofnewspaperpostcards.

I’ll follow up with another blog post half-way through the project to let you know how openbox9 is faring. Be sure to let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page if you choose to join in!

Thumbnail photo taken from

Hannah Hudson
With a passion for communicating through design and an OCD level of pixel-perfection, Hannah continually seeks to refine the poetry of her code.