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5 Takeaways from a Daily Drawing Challenge

By: Katie Harmon, PinkPolish Design

So you participated in a daily drawing challenge. You did your best. You created some amazing art, (and if you are like me, a few not-so-amazing pieces). You dug in and showed perseverance and reliability. You had your friends help keep you accountable on social media.

However, now the month is ending – what now? There are some important lessons to be learned from a drawing challenge that can help you on your overall art journey.

1) 30 days builds a habit. You may not choose to continue at this breakneck pace of a completed drawing every day. However, after participating in a month-long challenge, a habit has been formed. You’ll notice, the days you don’t draw in the month to follow, you might miss it, or feel like you’ve forgotten something. Try creating a workable schedule for your life… a certain amount of time each day or week to continue drawing.

2) Skill Building. I am a huge advocate of drawing daily to fast-track your skills. The fact is, that drawing every day minimizes skill degradation so that each day your skills build upon the previous day. It is simply the fastest way to get better at art. You can continue this at a more manageable pace by carving out a time each day to draw. It can be as little as 15 minutes on break at work, or a couple hours each evening. Even better, you don’t need to feel the pressure of completing a complete drawing - maybe you just sketch the world around you, practice a certain skill or put in a little time on an ongoing piece of work.

3) Prompts Trump Artist Block. So often we as artists schedule time, sit down to work, then stare at a blank page for an hour as we contemplate what we want to create. However, as you have seen with the challenge you just participated in, there is no shortage of ideas when you have a place to start. I like to keep a list of ideas and/or prompts in the back of my sketchbook. Each time I think of something fun to draw, I write it down. I then reference that list each time I struggle to find something I want to draw.

4) Enjoy the Social Media Fandom. You’ve done it. You’ve been brave and shared your art with others all month on Social Media. Sharing your art can help keep you accountable. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your art to your own social media, there are plenty of art groups on Facebook where you can share (and discuss with others) challenges, techniques and successes. Check out the Higgins Inks Artist Group, Inktober or ArtKula to name just a few.

5) Celebrate Your Growth. As you complete your month-long challenge, take a moment to celebrate your success. Whether you made it through the whole 30 days, or just through a portion, it’s something to feel incredibly proud of. Take a moment to really look at the differences in your drawing from day 1 to day 30. I like to occasionally re-sketch a drawing I did early in my artistic journey, just to see how much my skills have improved.

I hope you will join me in applying these skills to your ongoing art journey. You are amazing to make it this far, and I’m excited to see what you create.

You can follow Katie on IG @pinkpolishdesign and find her website

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