Sketchbook in a day challenge

sketchbooksI seem to be surrounded by articles and courses that all encourage you to do something everyday for 30 days. There’s no denying that drawing everyday is a good habit to get into. Some of us manage it. Some of us don’t. I’m not telling you which group I fall into! Although you can probably guess if I say that sometimes life gets in the way. oops.

And if you just breathed a sigh of relief – welcome aboard!

Does this mean I’m any less committed? Possibly, but I’m doing what I can within the time confines I have. I admit it doesn’t always work out well. I can have a whole day planned in for studio work and find myself faffing about all day, only for the real magic to start happening just 30 minutes before I have to go and do the school run. Over time I have learnt to recognise this as part of my creative cycle. I have to indulge it and have learnt that you can’t just switch creative results on and off like a switch.

Of course there are many ways you can get your creative mode flowing and certainly drawing everyday is one of them. The more you do anything the easier it will get (as I repeatedly encourage my son with his guitar…) But it is just one way of giving yourself some boundaries and may not be the one that works best for you. Personally I find it too dictatorial. The point of boundaries and routines is to get yourself going without too much initial inhibition. The more blocks you put in your way, the more you are likely to procrastinate…

One drawing a day? Well, it had better be a good one then!

Ok, three drawings a day. But that will take too long, my life is too busy.
We’ll come back to this (be warned!)

Ok, then just 10 minutes. What can you do in ten minutes? It takes me 10 minutes to get ‘in the zone’.

The end result is that you skip a day, feel bad about it and set up a cycle of recrimination. This isn’t Alcoholics Anonymous. One day off the wagon isn’t going to be the end. So I’d like to present you with an alternative:

Not a sketchbook drawing every day…
…but a sketchbook in a day.

Yes, that’s right, a whole sketchbook. In one day.

WARNING: This may be a big disaster. I haven’t attempted it yet. In fact I am writing this before I leave for some time in France with my parents and two children. There won’t be a huge amount of time spare so this won’t be a book full of detailed and intricate French scenes. By writing this and setting it to post on the day I leave I’m promising myself that this will be something I attempt.

So what’s my plan? I have a few cheats:

  • I haven’t chosen a sketchbook with 120 pages; I have a stapled book with just 20 pages
  • I will choose materials I can work quickly with: oil pastels and baby oil for colour, water soluble pencils, ink
  • I will keep a focus for each book so that a theme emerges (each book? – yes, I plan to try this more than once…)
  • I will try to keep it loose and simple. That isn’t an excuse for lazy looking. The final images on each page may appear loose and gestural (actually I have no idea what the pages will look like yet!) but I promise I will be thinking sharp!
  • most importantly I give myself authority to muck it up – a sketchbook is a collection of ideas, not a finished piece. If just one page gives me an idea to progress then that will be worthwhile.

I know there is no wi-fi where I’m going. Just a lot of trees. If you read my last post, you’ll know that trees in the summer are not top of my inspiration list, so don’t expect miracles. But phone reception allowing I shall post progress pictures on the Facebook page. If you’d like to set your own mini-brief to make sure you take some action, then let me know!

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