Art challenges have been popular on social media platforms for many years, especially Instagram, which is a visually oriented platform where many artists showcase their creations.

The first one I participated in and continued was Inktober, which is not an art competition, but a self-challenge activity. Every October, for 30 consecutive days, draw with ink every day. Whether it’s ink and brush, black pen, or digital drawing, as long as it’s black mixed media. They will release the prompts at the end of September, but you don’t have to use them to come up with ideas. The activity is very flexible, the main thing is to let you use the simplest tools, start creating and collecting your own inspiration, and keep going.

If you also want to draw every day, but often get stuck in not knowing why you can’t start, here are my experiences, I hope they will help you:

▼2019 The first year I didn’t know how to choose the media, I hadn’t started buying traditional paints yet, so I use the iPad and Procreate app for drawing. The difficult part was that those prompts were not something I would pay attention to in my daily life, so I often got stuck in not having any images to imagine. The solution was to replace the harder prompts with topics that I was better at drawing. Another thing was that I was not familiar with the software and wanted to draw too many ideas. The results were very messy and it took me almost 5 hours to complete each picture. I often lost patience. So I narrowed down my goal a bit and focused on drawing an object or a person. If I still couldn’t finish it in too much time, then I would just draw a part of the object. The first year I mainly developed my habit of drawing every day, so “every day” was a very important factor. For parts that conflicted with this factor, I would adjust them flexibly.

▼2020 In the second year, I realized that last year’s prompts made me rack my brains, so this time when Inktober’s theme was announced in late September, I used one or two days of free time to brainstorm all the prompts and set the scope to daily life. I still used digital drawing for the media, tested the ink brushes I needed in advance, tried various overlay techniques, and got familiar with the material and texture of the ink. I also controlled the drawing time within 2 hours, because after that time I started to lose patience and became extremely inefficient. This time I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to create, the creative process became more fun, and my digital drawing skills improved a lot.

▼2021 In the third year, I wanted to learn how to use simple lines to create a sense of form and volume. In addition, I also discovered the iPad app called Looom, which has a very simple interface, so I also tried the loop animation challenge. During this time, I spent more time understanding colour combinations and the movement changes of the colour blocks.

▼2022 In the fourth year, I chose to use real ink and the bamboo pen I had just bought. I also thought about the composition and tested the performance of the tools in advance. The process of using traditional media always makes me feel dirty, and I often accidentally spill it, or make a lot of mistakes during the colour mixing process. Many times it made me jump up and down, and I had to comfort myself that it was okay, because after actually doing it, I accumulated more errors, which helped me get points faster and get a stepping stone to success. During this time, I also participated in two other challenges. Because I always wanted to learn how to use coloured pencils and gouache paint. So I simplified the topics so that I had time to try different traditional media. The preparation in advance also gave me confidence to draw for 30 consecutive days.

▼ In the fifth year of 2023, I have developed a smooth workflow. I set up the desired paper format early, and the speed of generating ideas has become faster. I no longer dwell on gains and losses as much. Even if the process gets stuck, it’s okay because I know I can always draw my way out, and the results turn out even more astonishing.

🤔You might wonder why I wanted to use traditional media to draw. Because in the digital brushes, they are all imitating these traditional media. When I really have the experience of having these traditional media, and then go back to computer drawing, I find that I can better master and use the attributes of these brushes. For me, digital and hand drawing are definitely complementary to each other.

Here are some art challenges that I like and share with you for reference. If you also like drawing and want to have such creative skills, you might as well try one of these art challenges!

▶︎#Vintagebookweek (March)
▶︎#Vintagetoyweek (May )
▶︎#Bonvoyageweek (May )
▶︎#Childhoodweek (July and December)
▶︎#Sketchtember (September)
▶︎#Inktober (October)
▶︎#Peachtober (October)
▶︎#Beartober (October)
▶︎#Folktaleweek (November)
▶︎#Theimaginedbookcover (December)
▶︎#Childhoodweek (December)
▶︎#Adventchallenge (December)
▶︎#Drawthisinyourstyle (Whole Year)

Wishing you all the best,

🐢It doesn’t matter how slow you walk, as long as you don’t stop. – Andy Warhol
Let’s challenge ourselves together!

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