Michael Bierut teaches a graphic design course at Yale every year where he asks his students to pick one task that they will repeat for 100 days and document it in any form they like. After 100 days the students get a chance to present their project to the entire class. While some drop out after a few days, some stick on for the entire 100 days and some go further to create interesting projects that become more than a college assignment. Lauren Adolfsen took a picture each day with a person she had never met, a project that culminated into a book. Juan Astasio photographed a constructed "smile" every day and the website makes people smile even today (don't forget to turn on your speakers when you visit the site).
Inspired by Michael Bierut's assignment, Sneha Keshav, a Mumbai girl decided to start her own. Currently a Graduate student at the Branding Program, School of Visual Arts, New York, Sneha's 100 Days Project creates alternatives to the word 'fuck' and illustrates it every single day. Her tumblr feed is a proof that she went on to complete 100 days. I spoke to Sneha about her project and what kept her going.
What inspired you to take on this project? Sneha Keshav: Inspired by Micheal Bierut's 100 days project, we at the Masters in Branding Program (School of Visual Arts) have our own version of it. The main aim was to stay true to an idea for 100 days straight, which is tougher than it seems. My love for typography dictated the outcome of the project. I thought the 100 days project would be a great opportunity to play around with typography with no restrictions or design brief. What the fuss about the word 'fuck'?
SK: What intrigues me is how unconsciously we resort to using it as a prefix to amplify the meaning of something, like "are you fuckin kidding me" where the word just seemingly adds more weight to the sentence . I sometimes feel our vocabulary is stunted thanks to this convenient word. The idea is to not as much eliminating the word but adding fun alternatives to one's arsenal of colorful language. Besides I would love it if someone shrugged and said hakunamatata instead of fuck that 🙂
How did you get interested in art? How did the interest in words and fonts develop?
SK: I am a graphic designer and my interest in typography probably stems from the fact that I could never wrap my head around it in school! I remember being frustrated at not cracking it but slowly working towards sensitizing my self to this art form. I figured if I needed to channelize my efforts every single day for the next 100 days, might as well work on my type skills.
What do you plan to do with all the artwork besides social media? SK: I am actually active on Instagram and tumblr as it is easier for me to credit people for their ideas there. I have some interesting suggestions for moving this project from the digital space to something more tangible. I guess you'll have to watch the space for updates.
So do you use "fuck" in your everyday conversations or not at all?
SK: Fuck yeah! I do. Like I said this is just a fun exercise to explore alternatives, not a replacement. Sometimes you've got to call a spade a spade. I even try to log the number of fucks given every single day, I definitely have gotten a bit more self aware thanks to the project.
Me thinks it's pretty fucking awesome that someone should try and find alternatives to the word 'fuck' considering how commonplace it is these days. What do you think guys? Comment below and tell us.