November 4, 2012


For the last two years of college, I participated in National Novel Writing Month.  NaNoWriMo, as it is nicknamed, is a just-for-fun project where participants try to write a 50,000 word novel throughout the month of November.  Writers can help each other out in the forums, and the whole experience has a really warm and inclusive online environment.

I loved being a part of NaNoWriMo, but I was never able to commit to writing a true novel -- my first year I wrote a memoir and my second year I wrote a collection of short stories.  I'm okay with writing fiction in script form, but prose is much trickier.  This year, I thought I'd do something totally different.

For the next month (or maybe two if it gets ridiculous), I am going to attempt to complete Dani Jones' 101 Projects for Artists and Illustrators, and I am going to document the whole thing here.  I'm calling it NaFauxRiMo because if there is ever a place for a play on words, I am SO there.

This post will serve as a directory to each of the illustrations and projects I'll do.  Completed projects are italicized, blog posts are linked, and notes are in parenthesis.


Dani Jones' 101 Projects for Artists and Illustrators

2. Create a series of illustrations that show the passage of time. (The passage of time of hair growing!)
3. Illustrate a song.
4. Make a narrative advertisement for a soft drink.
6. Make a children's book spread for a fairy tale.
9. Make a series of black and white chapter drawings for a novel.
10. Retell a short story in graphic form.
11. Create a theater poster for a Shakespearean play.
12. Create a series of illustrations that shows a person aging.
14. Illustrate a day in the life of a cat, dog, fish, or monkey.
15. Make a picture book dummy.
16. Illustrate the seven days of the Creation.
17. Interesting stories to consider: The Odyssey, the Bible, Aesop, Poe, Shakespeare, nursery rhymes.
18. Make a magazine cover for a current news story.
19. Illustrate a historical event from 20 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, Prehistoric times.
20. Illustrate family life in the future, at least 100 years from now.
22. Paint a landscape with only three colors.
23. Create a painting in a medium you've never used before.
24. Study and draw figures from each source: Bridgman, Vanderpoel, Hogarth, and the masters.
25. Make an abstract painting.
27. Create a full painting in 30 minutes.
28. Draw a figure in: 1 hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds.
29. Fill a page of your sketchbook.
30. Create two versions of the same painting -- one with warm colors, one with cool colors.
31. Sketch in a public place.
32. Paint a traditional still life.
33. Paint the same still life in your illustrative style.
34. Read a book.  (Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth.  Phenomenal.)
35. Watch a movie.
36. Read other artists' thoughts.
37. Watch how other artists work.
38. Take a class, if there are any available in your area.
39. Research a particular era, artist, or style, and create a few paintings influenced by it.
40. Take a trip to a zoo or aquarium to sketch animals from life.
42. Make an illustration for a postcard.
43. Design a new logo for yourself. (This here blog!)
44. Create a holiday card to send out.
45. Create a Thank You card to send to clients.
46. Draw a self-portrait in your illustrative style to use on your promotional materials.
47. Create a business card.
48. Make a small sampler that contains your artwork to give to prospective clients.
49. Create a piece of artwork to enter into a competition.
50. Take a moment to archive your traditional paintings.
51. Backup your digital files to a disk, hard drive, or server.
52. Create sample sheets of your artwork that art directors can file easily.
54. Work on creating samples for styles, markets, and subject matter that you are lacking in.
55. Create stationery for your business.
56. Make computer desktops or e-cards to distribute on your website.
57. If you are a children's illustrator, create some coloring pages for your younger fans. (For a client.)
58. Create a fresh, new illustration to be used in a sourcebook or other advertisement.
59. Clean your work area.
60. Catch up on your paperwork.
63. Illustrate a fortune from a fortune cookie.
64. Create an illustration that integrates your name.  (New monogram design on my tumblr.)
66. Create a modern movie poster for your favorite classic movie.
67. Create a classic movie poster for your favorite modern movie.
68. Design a creature that is a combination of at least two different animals.
69. Design a car from 100 years in the future.
70. Paint a landscape painting of an imagined land.
71. Draw a treehouse.  Include as much detail as you can.
72. Draw 50 thumbnail sketches of the same object.
73. Make an illustration for each month of the year.
75. Make up your own fairy tale land and characters.
76. Research and draw from the Mob, the Middle Ages, the Samurai, a pirate ship.
77. Draw a monster a day for a month.
78. Illustrate a song from the sixties.
79. Create illustrations of current events such as global warming, airport security, new technology, etc.
80. Illustrate a stereotype.
81. Participate in Illustration Friday.
82. Create a Moji. (This website doesn't work anymore.)
83. Start a blog.
84. Help other artists who ask for critiques of their work.
85. Join an artists' forum and participate in discussions.
86. Find and study online tutorials.
87. Look at other artists' work through portfolio sites and blogs. (Like every day, man.)
88. Subscribe to Drawn!
89. Subscribe to Lines and Colors
90. Listen to what other artists have to say through podcasts.
91. See what other artists’ like on and StumbleUpon.
92. Contribute to the ThreeThumbsUp Gallery.
93. Read
94. Check out
95. Join a community like the Little Chimp Society or Illustration Mundo.
96. See the point of view of an art director.
97. Stay up to date with your industry: SI, SCBWI, GAG, IPA
98. Find illustration competitions.
99. Online portfolio sites:, iSpot,,
100. Read book reviews: the Sandbox, Fuse #8
101. Subscribe to!

{Completed 43 of 101}

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