The 30-Day Art Challenge

Recently, I realized it had been too long since I owned actual art supplies and practiced non-digital forms of art. I decided it was time to bring painting and drawing back into my daily life—not just for the fun of it, but also for the creative exercise. I committed to a 30-day challenge with my own set of rules, which would motivate me to do art every day and see what I would come up with!

Nicole Hammonds Freelance designer desk

Art Challenge Guidelines

Start with a sketchbook/notebook with at least 30 blank pages. Number those pages 1-30. Commit to filling out one page per day with a drawing and see what you come up with. My medium of choice was black water-based ink with a black brush pen. You can choose anything you want—even typography, paint, poetry, pencil, etc. At the end of the 30 days, reflect on what you got out of it! Some subject ideas to start with are:

  • What you are thinking or feeling
  • Something you saw today
  • A pattern
  • A dream you had
  • What that makes you happy
  • Abstraction

Why Should Everyone Try This?

The point is not necessarily to become a great artist—the art you make doesn’t even have to be skillful or beautiful. But, exercising your creative muscles can get you thinking in a new way. The exercise may force you to see things in a different way. You might learn something about yourself and what you enjoy. Just the act of trying something new in your daily life can inspire you to try other new things too.

My Outcomes

I’ll give you the option to STOP READING HERE and come back after you’ve tried this exercise yourself without any preconceived ideas about what to expect to learn. But if you don’t care about the spoiler, here’s what I found for myself:

  • I got better at working in a medium I enjoy.
  • Looking back at the sketches, I can remember what I was thinking and feeling that day
  • When it came time to sketch something, it forced me to think about what stood out that day and document it.
  • It helped me see where my mind was at over time. Happy or sad? Excited about the future, thinking of the past, or present?
  • Some of the sketches I created inspired me to try similar things on a larger scale with water colors!
Some of these started with a blob of ink, which I would turn into an image. Others are drawings based on the day’s events or something I felt at the time.

I hope you find this inspiring and would love to hear from anyone who tried this themselves. Comment below or contact me with anything you would like to share or learned from your own practice! Happy art-making!

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