On Project Leah
For my birthday, my sister Eden got me Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist Journal, and one of the exercises in it is to do something for 30 days in a row. My recently completed “Project Leah” was a month-long project of drawing my sister Leah every day. I didn’t do it to become a better artist, but a better creator. I am embarrassed by most of the art I made, but I kept posting it to keep me accountable to a creative goal.
I had originally thought that I might try doing the same drawing over and over again, but as I went, I found myself taking risks, and the exercise became freeing and terrifying. There was consistency in two things: the artist and the subject. Besides that, I used different mediums and/or techniques for each day.
I grew to know my sister’s face, every line and curve, and I learned to accept the frustration of never capturing it. The project became one of relationship, and it was just as much Leah’s as it was mine. She would often remind me to do it or sometimes just show up in my room at night, ready to pose.