According to Merriam-Webster, gratitude is the state of being grateful and a sense of thankfulness. One of the fascinating things about gratitude is the fact that it occurs on such an individual level. Something that brings me the most fulfilling sense of joy could be something you thought of as the most minute piece of your day.
Inspired by Mel Smith Habibian’s 100 days of illustrating musicians, Kira Street created her version through a compilation piece titled 100 Days of Gratitude that was a part of the Where Are The Black Designers virtual exhibition. The exhibit showcased Black talent from across the world and introduced the concept of “Black &,” a narrative that celebrates the resilience of the Black creative experience.
The 10×10 boxes represent a daily piece of gratitude through various illustrated styles created throughout 100 days. Each icon sticks to a jeweled tone color palette making for a vividly compelling and enthralling composition.
Throughout the project, Kira experimented with different styles and tools on Illustrator, all while keeping the spirit of grace and appreciation alive. Like many, she experienced a challenging year during 2020, between losing her job, stress from the election, racial injustice, moving homes, and more, but even during all of these hardships, her gratitude shines through and proves that, while it can be difficult, just finding a sincere piece of gratitude can help shift your entire outlook. For example, drinking tea by the window, vegan sushi, and getting to Obsidian League in Duolingo are all items that get beautifully rendered in the artwork.
"Even as a person of faith with a generally positive view on life, I was overwhelmed with everything piled on top of each other," Street wrote about the project on Medium. "But doing this project put gratefulness to the front of my mind."
"Before this project, I’d mainly think of somewhat large things to be thankful for," Street added. "Like being healthy or having a job with a stable income (which I definitely appreciate). But, this project also reminded me of the little things, like chocolate chip cookies and seeing a spider make its web."
100 Days Of Gratitude showcases Kira’s ability to see the positive in the most stressful moments while showcasing how designing for 100 consistent days can help develop your graphic style and eye for design and be a way to help shift your mood into a more positive headspace. The work is resolute, full of character, and meaningful, both as a collection and through the individual squares. I might even need to start writing down what I’m thankful for every day at the very least.