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Finding Your Artistic Rhythm

by Katie Harmon, PinkPolish Design

I don’t know about you, but as I’m winding down on a draw daily challenge, I really want to determine what benefit this challenge has had, and what parts of it I can carry forward into my daily life.

I draw daily on a regular basis, but there is something so creatively exhausting about the expectations that come with the drawing challenges hosted in October. The idea that you are creating a unique and complete drawing each day with the intent to post and share can feel like a creative sprint.


First off; it’s important to celebrate what worked for you. Whether you created a whole month of illustrations or just a few, you are sure to find some natural rhythms you discovered.

For me, here are a few things that worked really well this month:

· I found myself really enjoying drawing in the evening. Inking my piece after everyone else had gone to bed let me focus, and gave me some very quiet and meditative time to work.

· I liked working exclusively in ink this year, but keeping an open mind that some of these illustrations I might choose to paint with watercolor later. This let me simplify some of those more complex drawings to allow for additional detail later.

· Working with a limiting size of sketchbook (in my case, a Koh-I-Noor 9x12 Smooth Bristol Sketchbook) kept me from starting too ambitious of an illustration.

· Using tools like Higgins Brush Pens and Pump Markers let me work in less traditional places (like the comfort of my couch) rather than bottled ink. Doing this meant that there were evenings where I didn’t have to sacrifice family time to complete my illustration.


Of course, there were also things I learned not to do. These are important lessons – and should never be considered failures. This is how we learn to be more successful at art! Here are a couple of things I could have done better:

· Since I like to draw so late at night, I think I would have felt more a part of the overall online challenge community had I been a day ahead on my prompts. That way I could finish it at night but post the next morning, It would also help me avoid some of those late night social media typos due to my need for sleep.

· Fully stocking up on pens and ink at the beginning of the month would best help me avoid a panicked run to our local indie art store.

· Remember to prepare to accommodate big events or schedule challenges. Sometimes it’s worth having a rough concept sketch or thumbnail to help navigate a busy day.


Looking back over the month, do you see an improvement? Can you see how your art has changed or become more confident? There are a lot of benefits to drawing daily, including discovering and solidifying your unique artistic style, fast tracking your skill development, and creating a wealth of concept sketches to build upon in whatever medium you want to use. However, we also have to think about our families, work and other things that impact the balance of our lives.


Going forward it’s important to choose a schedule that fits your life. Maybe it’s sketching for 15 minutes during your break at work each day, or a dedicated hour every Saturday. It’s not the frequency or duration that’s important – it’s building a habit of consistency that makes the difference. This is where utilizing the lessons you learned personally in this daily drawing challenge can help shape how you use your creative time, and what sort of schedule will conflict the least with other items in your life.

I hope this helps you find your artistic rhythm. I know it has shaped how I structure my time for creativity.

Katie's artist's statement: "I love capturing movement & grace – a moment in time just before it becomes something new. It’s a challenge to interpret form & texture into the stark contrasts of black & white, then re-imagine it into the brilliant hues of watercolor. As I continue to grow as an artist & experiment with different subject matter, I find myself gravitating to forms with movement. I’m excited by prospects of dresses, dance, hair, sea life & fish with their glorious fins. Moments of beauty forever frozen in time on my page. I believe a piece of art is only great if it connects with you on an emotional level. My goal is to find a moment that moves you emotionally. A moment that captures your glance and gives you pause to enjoy that moment of beauty with me."

Find Katie @pinkpolishdesign

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