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100-Day Sketchbook Challenge Tips




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Looking for a way to:

Create consistently? Tap into new ideas? Develop your signature style? Say hello to the 100-Day Sketchbook Challenge! It’s a (mostly) delightful journey with benefits beyond hiding in spending more time in your creative space and creating new artwork. I’d love to share with you some of the benefits I’ve found in doing my own 100-Day Challenge. (Scroll to the end if you’re here to read the update!)

Tap Into Your Imagination

The 100-Day Sketchbook Challenge is like a playground for your imagination. When you commit to sketching every day, you’ll find yourself exploring new ideas, concepts, and themes. It’s a time to let your creativity run wild and see where your instincts take you. To explore new concepts, or to just practice the same theme over and over until you become a master. It’s up to you! The rules are yours to make.

If you need help getting started, I have a few prompts and tips for you here!

100 day sketchbook challenge - learn more

Develop Consistency

Consistency is key, not only in art but in life. In art, consistency is probably more important than perfection. By dedicating a few moments each day to your sketchbook, you’ll establish a creative routine. This regular practice is a benefit not only to your drawing skills but also encourages discipline and perseverance. One way to build your confidence is to do the thing you promised you would do – and a sketchbook challenge is a promise to yourself.

Track Your Progress

How often do you look back and enjoy how far you’ve come? Most of us don’t do this often enough. The 100-Day Sketchbook Challenge gives you a tangible record of your journey. Flip through the pages and look back at the progression of your style, techniques, and ideas. It’s like a visual diary of your growth as an artist. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love my first several pages. It wasn’t until about two weeks in that I started to find a groove.

Beat Creative Blocks

We’ve all faced those moments when it seems that inspiration strikes everyone else but doesn’t show up for us. A daily commitment to sketching will help overcome creative blocks. The more you draw, the more ideas flow. It’s like that saying: You can’t use up creativity, the more you use it, the more you have! A regular sketchbook habit will have you consistently dreaming of new ideas, trying them out – and working through the ‘bad’ ideas to get to the good ones.

You can't use up creativity - 100 day sketchbook challenge motivation

Create a Collection of Artwork for Your Portfolio

Creating art consistently is a great way to brainstorm and develop a collection of artwork for your portfolio! So far at least five of my sketchbook pages have been ideas that were further developed and turned into patterns for a wallpaper collection! There’s a kind of magic in consistent art creation that is almost certain to spark new ideas.

Connect with a Community

You don’t have to do it alone! There’s a good chance you can find a community of like-minded individuals doing a similar challenge. Search hashtags like #100daysketchbook #sketchbookchallenge and others to find other creatives to connect with – or create your own community and your own hashtag! Share your sketches, exchange tips, and cheer on your new friends. Having the support and camaraderie of a community can be a powerful motivator to keep you going, even on the days when you show up and have zero ideas (though I doubt that will happen!). You can share your own progress with me on Instagram if you like! @toboggan_avenue

Reconnect with Your Art

In your busy daily life, it’s easy to forget the pure joy of creating something just for the sake of creating. As artists, a lot of our creative time is spent creating for others. A 100-Day Sketchbook Challenge brings back that fun and childlike wonder of seeking new discoveries. Whether it’s exploring new themes or new art supplies, there’s a lot to be discovered! If you need some help with art supplies, check out my list of favorites here!

Develop Your Signature Style

Ah, that elusive magical topic: Your Signature Style. The quality of your art that defines it as yours. You’ve probably heard that the best way to develop your signature style is to create a lot of art. Are you sensing a theme? A lot of art is one of the side effects of a daily art habit (and a good side effect!)

So, are you ready to share the joy and start your own 100-Day Sketchbook Challenge? Before you go and dive in – I have some tips, and a few ideas of what not to do – based on my own experience so far.

100-Day Sketchbook Challenge: What not to do.

Or, my thoughts after the first two weeks of the challenge. I may have different thoughts at the end of the 100 days, but I’m sharing what I’ve discovered so far. I’ll be back to update you in approximately 87 days!

1. Don’t make a lot of rules at first. It took several days to figure out how I wanted to approach this challenge- which art mediums to use, how detailed to be in my designs, and what purpose they’d serve in my creative process. After two weeks, I feel like I have a better plan going forward.

2. Make rules for yourself. (I’m contracting myself already.) This really depends on your personality! I’m finding that if I’ve already decided that I’m using a black marker and pencil, I have fewer decisions to make when I pick up my sketchbook, so it’s far easier to get started. These constraints allow me to be more free in my sketchbook session. (Note: It wasn’t until about day 5 that I made these rules.)

3. Stick to the same time of day (But be flexible if you forget). The best time for me has been at the beginning of my work day. So- before I start work on the pattern collection I’m designing, a quick sketchbook session helps get ideas flowing (or a bad idea out of the way so I don’t waste time on it 😏). There were a few days when I forgot – mostly weekends when my schedule was different – so I caught up at the end of the day. And confession: twice I had to make up a day and do 2 sketches in one day. 🫣

4. Don’t record each sketch. This one is a personal preference, but the days I’ve tried to record a video to share were…not days that produced good results. The purpose of this challenge is to improve my work. But if I’m recording with a plan to share, it shifts my focus from creating for my own development to creating content to share and I can feel the pressure to perform.

UPDATE: On day 81 of the 100-day challenge, I finally created something that felt more ‘me’ than anything I’ve sketched/drawn/painted before. And this happened after I’ve been a surface designer for 3+ years. So – if you’re deep in creating artwork and it doesn’t quite feel like you – don’t give up! It took me 80 days of sketching, dreaming, drawing, and working to finally create something that I loved.

Sometimes it takes a while, and I know we hear experts all the time tell us that it takes time and practice and work. But I think we like to tell ourselves that we’re different and we can surely figure it out faster than ‘they’ say we can. And maybe some people can – but I can tell you now that I haven’t been one of those ‘lucky’ ones. It’s been a long, ongoing process to figure out what exactly I love to create and what my style really is.

So, take this as my encouragement to you to keep going and keep creating. And reach out if you need a friend along the way! Send me an email so we can stay in touch! 💕

Have you thought about doing a sketchbook challenge? Send me a note and let me know how it goes! Or tag me on Instagram so I can follow along! You can find me here: @toboggan_avenue 💕

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Hi, I'm Jennie

Artist and designer, adventure lover with a side of homebody and flower gardener.

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