10 tips from the 100 days of botanical motifs with Louise Gale

Hi everyone! Wow another 100 Day project is completed! What a difference this time makes…… You can check them out on Instagram here

100 Days is a commitment, let me tell ya! But what is so great about it, is it gets you into a daily practice of creating everyday, so this becomes a way of showing up in your studio (or at your kitchen table) to be creative, where that be for 10 minutes or several hours. SO……. if you approach as ‘a little bit of creative time each day for 100 days’ it does not feel like such a huge undertaking AND you will find that it does become a habit! They say it takes 21 consecutive days to start or break and habit!

So, I thought  would recap a little on this particular project and write out some tips and learnings for you (and myself!) so if you are keen to start your own project (that could be a 21 day project, 30 day, 100 day or even 365 day!) I hope these will help you approach it with heart, motivation and creativity!

What can you do with 100 days of making?

#the100daysproject is a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making. They state that “The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about the finished products—it’s about the process.” I love this, as art is so much about what happens to us in the process of making it, and focusing on something we love or are interested in for 100 days will certainly promote a positive change.

This is the fourth time I have embarked on this project and alas, project No 3 in 2017 got interrupted due to other commitments (such as my book and client work and travel!) so I let that one go for now (but I will revisit it I promise)

2015 – I worked on 100 Days of Mandalas. You can see them here

100 Days of Mandalas with Louise Gale

2016 – I works on 100 Days of Painting. You can see my work here

!00 Days of Painting with Louise Gale

So 2018 was all about 100 Days of Botanical Motifs


I made a short video just to say hi below (I just got back from yoga, so apologies for the crazy hair!) haha – this is what I look like most days in my studio to be honest!


Some Tips and Learnings for you!

1) Choose something small and manageable.

After embarking on a few of these 100 Day Projects, I have certainly learnt to choose something manageable! If you are going to dive into a daily project, really take some time to think about how realistic it is for YOU right now. How much time can you dedicate to it each day, do you have other commitments that may overtake this project, travel or vacation? Come up with a few ideas and then see how you can break them down into smaller chunks for yourself. 

2) Be kind to yourself during the project.  

Try not to put too much pressure on your self. It is so tough to say that and not do it! Once you have committed and told people you are doing this, something happens……we freak out a little! It is okay if you cannot post everyday, it is okay if you need to take care of yourself or do something else that takes priority. Whatever happens during your daily project, be kind to yourself and look after yourself. You can always revisit it.

Above: Its good to share! This was one of the most commented on images from the project

3) Share Your Work and connect with others!

It is such a great way to celebrate what you are accomplishing by sharing what you are doing. Even if you do not have an Instagram or Facebook account, keep records of what you are creating and show your friends and family! As you create each piece each day celebrate it! I also did a recap for myself after each milestone of 10 days which was manageable and helped me break up the project timings for myself. It is always great to gauge what pieces were the most liked too! Sharing on social media is also a great way to connect to a wider community through this project, whether that be other artists or others that are new to your work. It really opened up my connections on Instagram where I also discovered other mandala artists and nature art enthusiasts to share with.

4) It’s okay to take a break!

Lets face it, 🙂 life happens, so when you are traveling, taking vacation or something pops up that takes priority, it is ‘okay’ to fall off the ‘daily wagon’. When I went to see family and friends in the UK, I felt guilty if I missed a day on my project, and quickly realised this is not how I wanted to feel. It is just that during this time, something else was taking priority and that was okay. I would return when I could. 

Above: I drew some motifs on black paper for variation! (This is also from my Draw and Paint Botanical Motifs class!)

5) Break up your 100 days into themes or subjects.

I tried to break up my project a little by florals, leaves and pods and rotated the subjects trying out different materials….. if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by 100 ‘things’ try breaking the project up into multiples of ten. I also used a few different types of materials and approaches – this was a great way to keep is varied for myself and also try new things too!

5) Use it to fuel other projects and larger artworks!

I chose Botanical Motifs as I really wanted to build up my inspiration deck of motif cards which I use as reference and inspiration for my Botanical Mandalas artwork! This 100 Day project has enabled me to do at least two things which I am working on right now!

  • An online class to help other Draw and Paint Botanical Motifs – registration is open and the class has instant access. This project helped me create using lots of different materials and also create an online class for others to go through the same process for their own nature art or botanical mandala artwork. 
  • Motifs and art for Botanical Mandalas! Not only am I going to be using the motifs as inspiration for more mandala artwork, I can also scan them all in and use them for some digital mandalas and projects. I now have a huge library of botanical motifs to play with! (one of my digital mandalas below created from the Gingko leaf motif)

100 Days of Botanical Motifs with Louise Gale

Gingko Leaf Digital Mandala design by Louise Gale

6) Don’t get too hung up on what you are creating

The art of creating also comes with the art of letting go. Letting go of expectations and what the final piece would look like. When you are creating a 100 of anything, there are going to be some that you like more than others, so accepting that can free up so much energy.   To keep an element of play and detachment is key, so I tried to keep this in mind as much as possible. Knowing the art will be shared as part of the project can feel a little intimidating. So I learnt to let go of worrying about this and that it is okay if you feel that one piece of artwork is not as good as the others, so post it up anyway!  As the founder of the projects implies – the joy is in the creating itself not necessarily the end result!

7) Show Your Process, post more videos!

This is something I wanted to do more of! It is so wonderful to see how artists work and even simply watch a line being drawn or painted or a flower emerging. I think this is a learning for me for next time I take on a project like this. It is also a great way to document processes for ourselves too!

Here is one that I posted up

8) Have fun! Be inspired!

This is SO IMPORTANT! Sometimes you may feel a little odd during the project as we may start to think something along the lines of “I have to post….” and sometimes when we think about something we HAVE TO DO, our energy around doing it changes. So it is important to keep an element of play or fun involved… and remember why you started the project for YOU in the first place! Get outside, be inspired by any children in your life, go on a field trip that is related to what your project is about and fuel that inspiration and creative muse!

Above: Whenever I feel I am getting ‘stuck’ I simply take more time to get outside! Take photos or visit places where I can soak up LOTS of inspiration!

9) Being Creative every day feeds our soul!

Working on a dedicated project like this constantly reminds me how important it is to make more time to be offline and create. Not only was I working on a 100 Day project, I was taking time to show up, create, be mindful, relax, be off of the computer, let the outside world do its thing! AND also spark lots of inspiration for future projects and classes! I think it is so easy to get distracted one way or another, so simply showing up is key!

10) Simply show up and celebrate your own creative practice

Last but not least, I wanted to remind myself and you that working on any project is worth celebrating! It is about the process, so you will certainly dig deep into your self as you journey along. There is something so magical about simply showing up each day, posting my work on Instagram and Facebook and sharing my creations and journey with friends. Thank you to all who supported me during this project, commented on my work, asked questions and joined in. I hope it has inspired you to start or continue with your own creative projects and I look forward to another creative project sometime soon (see below)!

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch my video and read my post, I hope it helps you if you are going to take part in a daily project!

P.S. Look out for a 31 Day project I will embarking on in October, 2018!

Did you embark on a 100 Day Project?

Or 30 day project perhaps?

What subject did you choose and why? Was it the first time? Or have you been taking part for a few years?

I would LOVE to know and please do share your Instagram # so I can check out your project

If you are thinking about embarking on a daily project, what would you choose to do? 

Would you like to learn how to create beautiful botanical line drawings and expressive colorful motifs in a variety of materials?

In this class, I will show you how I draw and paint Botanical motifs which I then use to repeat in my mandala designs. We will also be creating beautiful mini works of nature art you can hang on your wall or give as gifts.

Reconnect to Mother Earth and recharge your creativity by combining the healing energy of nature with the meditative process of drawing and painting mandalas.

My Botanical Mandalas book is your guidebook to slowing down and journeying within, while creating organic expressions of the natural elements that most speak to your unique way of looking at the world.

  • Discover simple ways to capture inspiration from nature’s beauty.
  • Delve into the inspiration from a single flower or leaf as you begin to see nature with new fascination!
  • Learn to draw simple organic motifs you can incorporate into lovely mandala designs.
  • Explore fun ways to use watercolor and mixed-media in your mandala work.

One part inspiration, one part how-to, Botanical Mandalas is full of inspiration for reconnecting with natures beauty to inspire you to create expressive mandala artworks. This engaging and interactive book is packed with helpful tips and beautiful photographs of finished work to both instruct and inspire. It includes drawing, painting and mixed-media projects to find endless inspiration for your own botanical mandala journey.