100 squares!! Last week, the 22nd July marked a very special occasion - my 100th square in my daily square project. Each day for 100 days I have taken the time to paint an abstract square that represents how I've felt that day. The rules were simple, don't choose a colour just because it represents a certain emotion (for example black is often associated with depression) however, if that is the colour that jumps out at me and the colour I really connect with, then that would be allowed. Secondly, be mindful whilst painting, allow myself to solely focus on the strokes of the brush, the way the colours run into each and mostly importantly how I am feeling in that moment. And lastly, do not take inspiration from anything else - whilst doing this painting it was important I didn't look at other paintings around me, I had to focus on the blank square in front of me.
This project has helped me learn so much about myself and about colour theory and colour therapy too. It has shown me the power of art as therapy, and most importantly, it has helped to open myself up to conversations about mental illness. Friends, family, colleagues and strangers have all asked what the squares mean and it has been great to let them know it's all about my recovery and journey with my own mental illnesses. It's allowed me to talk to people about the way OCD affects my life and how painting each day helps me to find calm within a world that terrifies me. I have decided that this project is ongoing, I hope to go for 100 more and then 100 more again! I hope to learn more as I go, and to ultimately help to reduce the stigma that so often comes attached to mental illness.