When Omar and I first started making things together back in 2010, we had a simple goal: to make art. That was it! It wasn't about starting a business or even about making maps. It was about making things that we wanted to make. It was about seeing our ideas come to life as real, physical things and sharing those things with the world.
As our business has grown, we've found ourselves spending more time in spreadsheets than our sketchbooks. When you're relying on your art as your sole source of income, there's a lot on the line. It's easy to get caught in a trap of continually moving forward, spending all your time and energy on the business, leaving little left over for making art.
Lately, both Omar and I have felt a strong desire to change that. We knew we wanted to switch things up, but we weren't quite sure how to do it. Then, a few weeks ago, we had an idea: What if we made art every day? It was a big idea, the kind of idea that made us start laughing out loud because it seemed so impossible. But as we started thinking about it, it seemed not only possible, but entirely necessary for our evolution as artists. When we heard that #The100DayProject was scheduled to start next week, we knew we had to do it.
This whole adventure started as a series of creative experiments. So, inspired by the early days of These Are Things, we’re challenging ourselves to make more art. Starting a week from today, on April 6th, we're going to make a new limited edition art object and share it with you, every single day, for 100 days. We've cleared everything from our schedules, put our map shop on hiatus, and simplified our website so we can focus on one thing: making more art.
We're calling this project 100 Things. The rules are simple:
- Each object will be created in a limited edition, ranging in quantity from 1 to 100.
- Each object will be shared in our new gallery webshop starting on April 6, updated daily at Noon EST.
- Each object will be available for purchase, priced from $1 to $100.
Other than that, the only rule is that there are no rules! During this project, no idea, process, or subject will be off limits. When this project wraps up in mid-July, these 100 objects will be a celebration of the creative process and an experimental exploration of the future of These Are Things.
As for our maps? We still love them, of course, but for the duration of this project, we will not be selling any of our old pieces. We went back and forth about this until the final hour, but ultimately we decided that we need to focus our full attention on this project. You'll have a few more chances to buy maps from some of our retail partners this spring/summer, so we'll keep you posted on that. Who knows, we might even make some new maps as some of our 100 Things! We'll see.
It feels strange to admit that the thought of actually making art for the next 100 days is a little scary! But it feels scary in a good way. It's been a while since we've challenged ourselves like this and we can't wait to see what happens. The freedom of this project has already given us so many ideas and we can't wait to show you what we've been working on.
We hope you'll tag along with us on this new adventure! We'll be posting our newest thing on Instagram using the hashtag #TheseAre100Things. We'll also be showing lots of behind the scenes action, like a tour of our studio (it's almost done!) and our new Risograph. Lots of fun things ahead.
See you back here in 7 days for the beginning of 100 Things!