With all the challenges popping up this time of year – Sketchtember, Inktober, Drawlloween, NaNoDrawMo and various others, it’s difficult to keep up with them all.
Personally, I took on Octobers’ challenge of “Drawlloween”, which is 31 days of prompts to draw and ink. It’s very similar to both Inktober and Drawtober, just with a Halloween theme throughout the month.
I lasted 10 days.
Do I consider that a failure?
First we have to look at what the challenge entails, and why people engage in the challenge.
- Creates a habit of drawing every day
- Makes us put aside time for drawing and creativity
- Drawing every day helps us improve our skill
- Increasing our skill also increases confidence in self
- A steadily growing audience
- It’s become popular to participate in drawing challenges, so you don’t feel alone
- Motivation comes from seeing other people’s drawings and feedback they give us on our drawings
- Gives us motivation to keep going
- Playing with new styles
But drawing an image every day, when we usually just draw once a week or so, that’s a big task right there – a big, daunting, anxiety-inducing task.
- Anxiety of making art for a whole month can put us off starting
- The feeling that our art isn’t as good as other people’s art
- The fear of being judged on our art if we share it on social media
- the fear of not sharing our art on social media, or not growing your audience
- Challenges take time away from your other activities
- Stress to produce creative works every day
- Failure to even start because it’s so daunting a challenge
For every day you participate in a challenge, you succeed for that day. For every day you don’t participate in that challenge, you are putting your work off and creating more anxiety when you feel the need you have to catch up.
HOW DO WE STILL FEEL LIKE WE SUCCEEDED IF WE “FAIL”?
- Realise that challenges aren’t about being perfect – they are about creating positive habits.
- Know your limits – if you can’t finish a day, don’t fret. Just start again the next day fresh with the next prompt
- Focus on the good things – you have created x amount of artwork from the prompts given, and you should congratulate yourself for creating that
- You are in the process of creating a habit, and by sitting down and drawing, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, you are already improving
- Don’t be hard on yourself. You have made it x amount of days, you should be proud of what you have achieved
So while I “failed” the rules of the drawing challenge by not creating a daily drawing every day of the month, I succeeded in doing 10 consecutive days, and starting a habit of drawing something every day that will improve my skill level progressively. Will I participate in future drawing challenges? Of course I will, because with every day I participate, I learn something new. Even on the days I don’t participate, I still learn something about procrastination, or anxiety, or fear my art isn’t as good as everyone else.
Treat challenges as learning curves, and learn from the positive outcomes aswell as the negative. Here are some more quotes to keep you going!