From April - June 2018 I completed a daily sketchbook challenge to create a heart a day for 100 days inspired by the Sketchbook Revival Online Workshop I organize and host. Each day I would tune into how I was feeling and create a heart inspired by the feeling. My goal was to commit to doing something daily in my sketchbook just for fun, and to stretch my imagination so see if I could come up with a new way to draw a heart each day. The original sketches were done in tiny sketchbooks using ink, and I've turned them into a finished series digitally and share some of my favorites here. The complete collection is published, in my book, 100 Hearts for Joy & Inspiration.

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100 Hearts

for joy and inspiration

by Karen Abend


100 HEARTS is 100 playful heart illustrations & a fun, easy art practice all in one for your joy and inspiration. It was created to bring a smile to your face, lightness to your heart, and maybe even inspire YOU to start creating, too!

100 Hearts is 100 illustrations that explores one of the most widely used and beloved symbols of all time – the heart. Using the heart symbol as a creative launch pad, the illustrations are playful responses to 100 different human emotions and ways of being in the world. They attempt to express each feeling, each way of being, no matter how complex, in the simplest visual language possible, inspired by the heart symbol itself. The creative process becomes a tool for expression and release that helps us tap into the fun and joy that naturally emerges while being creative no matter how we are doing or feeling on any given day. In this way the illustrations are celebratory interpretations of positive emotions or humorous attempts to recognize and move through more challenging ones. For the viewer, the book is an invitation to view the illustrations with the lighthearted and playful spirit in which they were originally created.

100 Hearts is also a journey about learning how to establish a creative practice and experiencing the benefits of that practice over 100 consecutive days of consistent creativity. The series is just one example of what’s possible when exploring the power of practice using the same motif, techniques and approach every day for 100 days. Each image builds on the last, offering a new opportunity to practice skills with color, composition, imagination, symbolism, technique and style. With repeated practice, the skills will develop, shift and evolve. Together, the hearts affirm that no matter how seemingly simple or quick a practice may be, over time the benefits of the consistent commitment will add up to something more. They affirm that what’s important is to have fun, play, enjoy the process and be curious. Finally, for anyone who is struggling with their own practice or wishes they could be more creative, 100 Hearts can also offer encouragement and inspiration for starting and keeping up a practice of your own. See more illustrations by Karen Abend.

What People Are Saying

Love This, Karen!

I’ve taken Karen’s Sketchbook Revival class for the last 2 years and have thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much. This 100 Hearts project is wonderfully creative and stretches the imagination with this ever present, popular symbol of the heart. Highly recommend!.

– Janet Vera

Such an inspiration!!!! Thx Karen!!!!!

I have participated in the Sketchbook Revival 2019 & 2020. Karen Abend is an excellent coordinator & talented artist. She encourages the artist in all of us to c r e a t e. She has 100 hearts + endless ideas for 100 more. I made one collage heart page in my SB after reading the book! I highly recommend.

– Lelia

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