Some people are looking for alternative drawing/creative challenges for this October. I really love making lists, so I’ve made a Creative Challenge for anyone to use. I chose to call it a “Creative Challenge” because we express our creativity in more ways than just drawing. Maybe you’re a writer, or a musician, a poet, a sculptor a photographer…maybe you want to paint, sketch, ink, cut paper…maybe you sew, or embroider, or make puppets (I told you I love making lists!). You can choose to stick to one medium, or explore and play with materials you may not usually use. In these Uncertain Times, it feels more important to have this be an opportunity to connect to other creatives and have some fun.
Use the hashtag #CreativeChallenge2020 on Instagram, Twitter, your blog, wherever your platform is to share. Share a link to your challenge in the comments and we can follow along! I’ll be posting mine here as well as Instagram and Twitter.
Inktober is here! Are you going to join in this year? I like working with ink, and there’s something fun in the challenge of not having an “undo” button or erasing mistakes. I’ve seen some beautiful inked pieces from other artists who made a mistake and then took some time to problem solve, and finish the work. It’s very inspiring to witness that process. But sometimes it can be really frustrating when you are so close to finishing something and then BLOP! A big ink blot over the face of your awesome character. Where’s my eraser? AAAHHH!
My favorite tools for inking are a stick pen, speedball
super black ink, and J nibs (Thanks to Matt Cordell for recommending these!).
The J nib is super nice, it has a nice flow and a nice tip size for making your
mark. Also, how neat is the BOX it comes in? I found these on eBay! When I need
to be really precise, I’ll use Micron Pens, or Prismacolor Premier pens. Can
you have too many pens? Nah. You’ll also see in my tools photo a cool spoon
rest I picked up at an art festival. It is the best thing ever for resting my
pens and brushes on. I wish I had thought to use something like this years ago.
It’s okay not to participate in Inktober, and it’s okay to participate a couple days a week or just a couple times that month. You get to determine what is best for yourself. You don’t get paid to participate in Inktober, it’s just a fun challenge, and you can choose the level of your involvement! Self-care and boundary setting are important! I’m not planning to participate this year; I may draw something for it here and there, but mostly I plan to enjoy the artwork everyone else creates this month. Share your links below if you are participating this year!
In an effort to take better care of myself, I started to eat less and exercise more. So far I’ve lost 15 pounds! YAY! You can really tell if you look at my ears. My ears are so svelte right now.
Anyway, my folks and I will be walking to Mt. Doom. Thanks to The Eowyn Challenge, the mileage is already mapped out! I made us little Hobbits. My mother is going to be Frodo, I’m Samwise, and my dad is Bilbo, and he’s thinking of following Bilbo to the Lonely Mountain, because he doesn’t think Mordor would be a nice place to walk to. Too many orcs and evil overlords. Something like that. How we’ll keep track is a mile walked is a mile walked and if we ride a bike then 2 miles riding =1 mile.
If you’d like to join us, feel free to I’m in! in the comments and post your updates along with us as we move forward!
If you’d like to follow a real life adventurer, follow my buddy Bruce‘s blog, who has been walking the Appalachian Trail since April! Bruce is AMAZING!
Drawing Hobbits, by the way, was so much fun. IF ANYONE ENDS UP MAKING A CUTE LOTR GRAPHIC NOVEL, I’M AVAILABLE! 😀
The 30 Day Drawing Challenge is complete! I AM SO HAPPY!! This has been a great experience for me, and I’m glad I got to share it with you! So many exclamation points being used!
Reflecting on the last 30 days, And thinking of some of the questions asked, I thought I take a moment to share some thoughts with you. You know I can’t resist an opportunity to organize my thoughts into a list!
Where did the prompts come from? For this challenge, I wrote the prompts. I wanted to create a challenge with words that could be interpreted different ways and that didn’t repeat past challenges.
What were the benefits of this challenge? Drawing through “bad” drawing days was a definite bonus. My inner critic quieted down. I didn’t have time to indulge in critical thoughts, I had a drawing to get done! I did more reference searches, and focused on communicating the prompt. I could hear my voice again, and developed an appreciation for my style. Another benefit was meeting new characters and finding stories that might be used later.
What were some of the drawbacks to this challenge? Drawing without a day off for 30 days was intense. Some of the days, I didn’t feel well (“Messy” and “ouch!”) and just squeaked by. By the end, all I wanted was a day off, and would count down to the final day. “Only four more drawings!” “Celebration” was celebrating an accomplishment, but also the end of it.
What is next? I need weekends, that time to recover and read books and weed the yard is important to me. But I loved the challenge of the prompts and sharing that with you. So I thought “I could take the 30 day challenge and just do it Monday through Friday”. My mom suggested calling it a “9-5” challenge, which I loved. Thanks to family and friends and some “what if” moments, I have a list of prompts to take on for Monday through Friday. I will organize them into a tidy list for y’all in case you would like to try it out too. I also have some story ideas and some I can’t wait to get started on and share with you. Finally, there are some unfinished drawings from this challenge I want to finish.
When does all this awesomeness begin? Monday! I am taking Thursday through Sunday off. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
To see all 30 drawings, click and scroll through this gallery. The images will get nice and big. To exit the gallery, a small “x” is hiding in the upper left screen.
If you are interested in doing this 30 Day Drawing Challenge, here are the prompts! You can copy and paste this or make your own. Please tag me or link me to your challenge because I would LOVE to see your take on some of the prompts! Happy Drawing!
The very last image is just a bonus I did one day after watching the news too much. 😀 If you’d like to follow along every day with this challenge, you can join me over on Instagram here.
This is a good point to reflect on the challenge and things I learned and stuff like that. (pauses for dramatic effect) I like drawing. I like that this challenge keeps me from overworking my art and has been lots of fun. Also, it’s surprisingly easy to draw nose-picking.
I’ve been hearing a lot of fellow illustrators sharing that they have felt stuck and were having trouble creating new images. Change is stressful, many artists are feeling the stress of world events and political change right now. But we still need to create, and we still need to have fun.
When I first came to illustration, 30 Day challenges were everywhere. I really loved these challenges, and trying to challenge myself to think differently. Sometimes I came up with really great ideas. And then once I drew a piece of bread. Not everyday was a winner. But one didn’t need to be AWESOME each day. One just needed to draw something everyday, and get into the habit of creating, sketching, thinking outside the box.
With that in mind (and inspired by an enthusiastic artist, Sjaanvh, taking on an old challenge), I’ve created a new 30 Day Challenge. I’ve looked over past challenges, and tried to come up with some new prompts so it’s not the same thing you may have done a few years ago. I will be doing this starting Monday, and I hope you’ll join me! It’s going to be fun way to warm up, maybe get the beginnings of a great portfolio piece, and give a stressed out brain a little nudge to pick up your pencil and draw.
There are no rules in regards to medium. If you decide to do all 30 in 30 days, that’s awesome! If you end up doing it over a couple months, you know that’s cool, let this serve as a creative tool and have fun!
This is an #inktober sketch I did yesterday, and I love it because I just did it without worrying about the small stuff. It felt like it took 5 minutes, but I really didn’t time myself 🙂 It goes in my pile of “Things I want to continue working on” personal projects, which will probably be this month. This bear is my dad, if my dad were a bear.
I’ve been working on some paid assignments, so #inktober is taking a back seat to those projects. However, I still plan on sharing quick sketches as I get time, and work on my original #inktober concept to share with you some time in the near future.
Are you participating in #inktober this year? Are you following the prompts or taking a different road?
I know it’s not for another week and a half, but Inktober is coming!
In case you are new and wondering what is Inktober, click this handy link to Jake Parker’s explanation. He’s the one who started this whole month of ink drawing!
Last year was the first year I completed Inktober. I’ve attempted a full month before, but for last year, I really wanted to get each day completed drawing different children. Here’s a handy link if you want to see last year’s work.
This year, I am thinking ahead about what I would like to accomplish with this month. Do I want to focus on a topic like last year? Do I want to tell a story? Do I want to tell MANY stories? How much time do I want to spend on Inktober? Is it going to interfere with my work? Do I need to buy new tools or do I just want an excuse to go shopping? Lots of questions. Lots of decisions to make.
Are you participating in Inktober this year? Do you have a plan or are you going to to wing it? Do you have favorite tools?
Inktober is over! I really enjoyed drawing with pens and markers this month. When you can’t hit ctrl z, you really have to think about where the lines are going. Even though you can’t delete your ink lines, I didn’t feel like I needed to erase as much because I was just focused on drawing. I spend less time clicking and looking for the right keys or rebooting because the stylus is lagging. Traditional tools, it’s just place pen on paper, and BEND IT TO MY WILL. Sorta 🙂
One of the biggest lessons I learned this month about art is to appreciate where I am today in this journey. Having goals and moving forward is really important, but also just stopping, looking around and saying “Wow, this is a nice place too!” I know that as an artist, there’s always going to be a part of me that thinks “I can do better”, even when I’m 90 years old. Also when I’m 90 years old, I’m going to eat cake every day. But that’s a different sort of goal 🙂 Appreciating the now makes the journey seem less like trudging forward through snow and more like a scenic roadtrip across the country. The final spot isn’t really the point as much as seeing all the weird sights along the way.
Next stop: Our regional conference next weekend. I’ll be preparing myself for that, and also working on the family christmas card, which you know I can’t show you until December so I’m SO MEAN for even bringing it up. But I’ll share with you some sneak peeks, okay?
Here are all the Inktober drawings, including the ones I haven’t shared yet from this week