Daily art challenges are becoming more popular every year. Last year I participated in The 100 Day Project Every creative person at one point in time has tried or thought of doing a 15-30 day art challenge. It seems like such a good idea to have a goal to create something every day, be productive, sketch more, create more, get past a slump, the list goes on!
This is round 20 millionth of me trying to do a challenge. Each time I get better at getting further along in completing the challenge. Social media REALLY helps keep the ball rolling. You don't want to be that person who makes a big announcement of what you are going to do and then doesn't do it, right! I posted my #100daysofpenpatterns on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and even in my email newsletter.
You need to do at least one in your lifetime! Trust me there are upsides and downsides. If you fail, no worries try again with different parameters or at a better time or never ever again.
Here are the 5 things I have learned from Daily Art Challenges!
1. Start Small
Oh boy is this important! "I want to complete an 11"x14" painting a day for a month." WOAH! Calm it down there and really think about that goal. How long will it take to complete? What if you are out? What if you get sick? What if you are tired? My best advice to get through a daily art challenge is to start small. Keep it simple, keep it portable. I've seen participates that drop after 1 week because they realize they just don't have the time to devote to their lofty goal.
Maybe it's just me but after the first 4 days when the thrill is over, I feel the pressure of what I have to do later. The deadline looms over my head and I get anxious and sad that I have to do this even if I'm not feeling like it. Having a super busy day and fitting in an art challenge can seem like the biggest most tasking duty ever.
3. Form A Habit
After 15 days it becomes a habit, or so they say. For me, it became more prevalent in my mind that at 12am-3pm I should do my pen pattern on Tuesday and Thursday and all the other days from 10am-12am. The task gets ingrained in my day and a part of my schedule. I know better where it fits in so I'm not rushing late at night before bed to get it done. It sure doesn't mean I look forward to it and go skipping happily to my art challenge with a big grin. The shiny new feeling is gone after 15 days but so is the frantic feeling of not having the time and waiting too long.
4. Embrace Imperfection
Just like normal art, some days I create an awesome piece of art while other days it's not that great. There are times my hand is shaky, my proportions are off, I've messed up and can't fix it. There are so many things that go on. Go with it! Get used to making a not perfect beautiful masterpiece each day and still posting it on social media. People want to see you fail because they want to know you aren't a super robot and are a real relatable person.
5. Grow Creatively
Have you had that art teacher that made you draw the dumbest things? Or the teacher that made you draw the same thing a million times in as many ways as you could think of until you wanted to cry? A daily challenge is like that. After 15 days your best ideas start to run dry. Pulling for more creative subjects each day when you are forced to produce becomes a challenge. Because of this creativity grows! I started The 100 Day Project with topics I loved that were brewing in my brain. When those ran out I started pulling from my daily activities and experiences. Now I'm stewing in the nothingness...kidding...kind of.
I recommend everyone to do a daily art challenge. Chose one that makes you excited! Really think of the challenges you could face so your art challenge is actually doable and not so torturous. Schedule the time in to do your challenge every day. When you start to feel yourself fall away, which you will, find a way to twist the challenge to make it newer or more accountable and easier. For example, I started doing 2-page spreads that have a corresponding theme, then relating the drawing to my day, and now I'm videoing the pen inking process on Facebook live and announcing I'll be on video on social media at a certain time each day.
My advice I tell all my art students and anyone that says I'm talented, who wants to progress in art, or who wants to be more creative.... Draw and create every day. Keep a sketchbook and use it. You will get better faster and your creativity will grow.