Artist/designer Angela Fernihough is creating a work of art every day in a different style – pop art, manga, still life (with fruit), and even shoe prints in snow – all featuring her French-press coffeemaker. For one hundred straight days. It’s not a personal obsession – she is one of more than 800 people involved in the ‘One Hundred Days to Make Me a Better Person’ project. The idea is simple: do “one thing, once each day, for one hundred days.”
From this simple idea, an eclectic mix of ideas has sprouted. Pledges range from Lego sculptures, 30-second songs, random lists and monster haikus, to autobiographical comics, photo essays, and short stories based on the Wikipedia ‘random article’ link. One participants is even single-handedly battling littering, while another has pledged to curb misuse of the word ‘literally’: there is literally no limit.
The event, which stretches from 1 December to 10 March, is a collaborative art project whose final day will be an event as part of the London Word Festival. It is the brainchild of comedian Josie Long, who knows firsthand the power of one hundred days. “This past summer I was on a strict one hundred day diet,” she says, “It’s long enough to make a habit.” She knew she wanted to do it again, this time as something bigger. So she teamed up with the London Word Festival, and the Hundred Days to Make Me a Better Person Project was born.
For Fernihough, what drew her to the project was the repetition. “I’m hoping it will force me out of any creative ruts. Experimenting with so many different styles and even copying someone else’s style means you have to find new ways to create.” Long herself has four pledges: talking to one stranger each day; being more involved in politics; doing something physical; and writing one joke. She’s finding it difficult already, but she likes it that way. “I’m into the excitement of people challenging themselves,” she says.
And after one hundred days of artistic and personal struggle the people will be ready for a big party – and the details have just been announced. The event will be hosted by Long and feature musician The Pictish Trail, and comedians Isy Suttie (of Peep Show), Chris Killen & Sara Pascoe – all participants. There will also be a Museum of 100 Days and the screening of a short documentary.
The event will be a chance for many of the participants to meet each other, and see some of the art produced during the hectoday-long event. Is Long happy with how it’s unfolding? You bet she is. “I don’t know what I expected to be honest, but it wasn’t this. I’m immensely pleased.” Far from fading away like so many New Year’s Resolutions, this self-improvement project is actually gathering steam as it carries on – more than one hundred pledges have come in since the the start, with more late-bloomers joining each day.
Tickets for the The Hundred Days to Make Me a Better Person Show on March 10 are £10. The event will take place at “A Secret East London Venue.” For more information see the Hundred Days or London Word Fest.