It’s now been four weeks since I started my year-long “art every day” challenge of 2016. I’m surprised by how well it’s going, and how far I’ve come already. When I started on January 1st, I was afraid that every day would be like pulling teeth. I thought it would be a struggle to get anything out on paper, and that day by day it wouldn’t get any easier. I was also afraid that my drawings wouldn’t improve, and that I wouldn’t be excited enough about the project to keep it up every day.
How unfounded these fears were!
The first few days were a struggle. I had no idea what to draw, so I just scribbled or drew simple shapes. But I definitely did not struggle with getting at least one thing on paper each day. In fact, most days so far I’ve done several drawings in one sitting, which has been great.
Posting my work each day on social media has been a big help. It adds extra incentive to do something every day. It also forces me to keep drawing until I come up with something I’m happy with. So far, there’s been just one day where I really wasn’t happy with any of my drawings, and I posted them anyway. Most other days, I’ve done a series of drawings and posted my favorites. If it wasn’t going well, I just kept making drawings until I had at least one that I liked.
It’s also incredibly useful for me to be able to go back through my Instagram feed and see what I’ve been doing. I can spot changes, threads of consistency, themes, and interesting little details that I might want to explore more in future drawings.
I have surprised myself with how excited I am to draw every day. Prior to this, I really haven’t done much consistent drawing or art-making. I would scribble or draw ideas in my sketchbook occasionally, but I really hadn’t done anything on a regular basis since college. Doing this challenge has reminded me that I do like to draw. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to every day. Now, looking back at my drawings just in the past month and already seeing so much change, I can’t wait to see where I’m at in six months, or a year. I hope this “challenge” turns into a life-long habit.