By Nicole Tinkham
We hear from artists all the time who have gorgeous sketchbooks with little to no actual sketches in them. The reason? It’s the lack of time and motivation to keep up with the daily sketching habit. It’s really a shame but we completely understand how easy it is to fall behind on your sketching goals. We see the same exact thing happen when it comes to a healthy diet, exercise, reading, or any other daily task. It works great if you’re consistent but as soon as something interrupts that consistency (like a vacation or family emergency) and you miss a few days, it’s so incredibly difficult to get back on track. We don’t want you to give up or let that beautiful sketchbook collect dust though. So here are our best tips for sketching every single day for 30 days or more.
1. Get a sketchbook you love.
Of course, this is only the beginning. Just because you have a killer sketchbook doesn’t mean you’ll actually use it. But it does help with the initial motivation. Be sure to pick a size and style that works best for you. Spend a little extra money on something nice that means a lot to you.
2. Set your goals.
Will you take on a 30 day sketchbook challenge? Maybe a 365 day challenge? Determine what your goal is before you get started. If you need help coming up with daily ideas, just Google “sketchbook challenge” or “drawing challenge” for prompt ideas. Have your start date planned out and be sure you are ready to go.
3. Set aside time to sketch.
Let’s be realistic, many people don’t have an hour or more of focused time every single day where they can sketch. Maybe you have a full time job, a family, or other art projects to work on. That’s totally fine. What you can do is think about how you can work in mini sketch sessions throughout your day. It could be while waiting at the doctor’s office or on the bus. There is nothing wrong with a quick sketch. You can always spend more time on your sketchbook during those less busy days.
4. Bring your sketchbook everywhere with you.
You have got to start bringing your sketchbook with you everywhere you go. You just never know when you’ll have a little downtime or when a creative idea strikes. Start by carrying it around with you from room to room in your house so you’re used to carrying it. Eventually you’ll feel lost without it and that’s the feeling you want.
5. Form an accountability group.
It’s great to make a promise to yourself that you’ll sketch for 30 days or more but if you miss days and fall off track, no one will be there pushing you to continue. We’ve found that checking in with someone else (a friend or a group of people) is helpful in staying motivated. You could form an online group or a group of local friends to take on the challenge with you. Be sure to check in with them often and help each other stay on track.
6. Keep learning.
Always look forward to the next sketch you’ll be doing. Think about certain techniques you want to learn and focus on them until you feel comfortable with your skills. This will keep you coming back for more because it eliminates the boredom and challenges you. For example, if you’re struggle with drawing hands you may want to do some research and watch some videos first. But then you can practice the new techniques learned.
7. Do something different.
Switching up your medium, adding some color, exploring a new location or focusing on a different subject will also keep you from getting bored and giving up. Always keep it interesting!
8. Give yourself time to form the habit.
Forming any new habit takes about 2-3 weeks of consistency. This being said, it may not come naturally for you to pick up your sketchbook in the beginning. Set a little reminder for yourself every day until you are able to get your daily sketch done without thinking about it. You can also replace another habit with sketching. Maybe instead of watching TV after dinner, you use that time to sketch.
9. Celebrate often.
You don’t have to complete 30 days or more of sketching to celebrate your accomplishments. Every single day you open up your sketchbook is a huge win! Celebrate daily and be proud of what you are achieving. That kind of recognition is what will keep you going for the long haul.
10. Don’t strive for perfection.
The whole point of daily sketching is to improve your skills. Of course you won’t be perfect from the start and if you are, you aren’t challenging yourself. This is your personal sketchbook. No one else has to see it. Get rid of that fear of imperfection and just do it!
The very last thing we want to leave you with here when talking about our best tips for sketching every single day for 30 days or more is just to have fun with it. Don’t overcomplicate things, just get creative whenever you can and put that sketchbook to use. We know any new habit is difficult but it will be so worth it when you grow and improve in your artwork and really every area of your life. Once you pick up one good habit, you’re more likely to get involved in more habits and goals. Keep up the great work on your sketchbook challenge and please let us know how it’s going over on our Facebook page. We can’t wait to see those sketches!