July 30, 2017

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Illustrator Lori Richmond Runs and Draws



What are you working on—on the side?

My side project combines my love of running and art-making. It is called #viewfrommyrun, and it’s a timed drawing series on Instagram. I draw something I see on my run, in the same amount of time as my run.

I’m a freelance designer, and I also write and illustrate children’s picture books. After a very intense half-year of delivering art on three separate books, my brain needed a creative reset. One night, during a training run for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I was struck by a gorgeous sunset I saw from the Manhattan Bridge. With the intention of painting it for fun, I snapped a quick photo on my phone and kept running. As I checked my pace on my Apple Watch, I had a lightning strike moment: why not try to paint the sunset in the same amount of time as my run? And thus, my project was born! This has become a visual journal of my training. Completing each drawing in the same amount of time as the run connects them as one experience for me.

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

Timing the drawings makes it more manageable for me. I set a timer for the same amount of time as my run. When the timer goes off, I stop drawing. As a working mom of two, time management is everything, and I know I can only commit to something that I can (somewhat) easily jam in to my already hectic schedule. The timer has really helped!

Why have a side project?

I’m notoriously bad at keeping a side project—#viewfrommmyrun is the first one I have committed to and kept up with. So far, it has led to some amazing opportunities, like getting a feature in Runner’s World! You just never know who is going to find your work, so having a side project allows you to open yourself up to entirely new audiences.

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Diptych courtesy of Lori Richmond.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.


This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.


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