Art and Creative Challenges for 2018 podcast

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In this episode artist Sandra Busby from and myself Tara Roskell, The Idea Medic talk about why you should consider taking part in a creative challenge and some of the challenges that are happening next year.

With this year coming to an end it’s the perfect time to think about what you want to achieve creatively next year. If you find you’re just not making time to be creative or would just like a group of like-minded people to help cheer you on it’s worth thinking about joining Creative Challenge or two next year.

What’s great about these challenges is that they can really help you to form a habit, but contrary to what Google tells us, it takes a lot longer in my opinion to form a habit that 21 days. So either pick something that will last at least a month… or pick several shorter ones to do throughout the year.

The Sketchbook Project 2018

Anyone – from anywhere in the world – can be a part of this project. It doesn’t matter if you are an absolute beginner or a professional artist!

Submitted sketchbooks will be kept and displayed in Brooklyn Art Library’s permanent collection and that collection travels to exhibitions across the country.

They also have other Challenges, on their site

The 100 day Challenge
Starts April (dates vary in April)
The 100 day project was created by artist, writer and designer Elle Luna. To take part you simply decide what you are going to do, draw paint, take a photo, write anything you want really. Then every day you post what you have created on Instagram with the 100 day hashtag and your own unique 10 day project hashtag.

The 365 Day Sketch Challenge

There is no one particular challenge here to go to. There are loads of them! Imagine the sketchbooks you would fill! and the improvement you would see after a whole year!

It needn’t be just a sketch challenge. You can modify it to suit whatever creative pursuit you’re in to and I found one page on the internet which I think is the perfect place to start

It’s full of inspiration on ways to start a challenge like this and there are so many ideas… some creative and some not so much, but it’s definitely a good place to start to get some tips.

John Williams Screw Work 30 Day Challenge
This was slightly different as the whole idea was to try out something creative that you might want to pursue as a career (paid course) I am not sure when John will run these again but he also has books that do a similar thing Screw Work Break Free.

Tara: “I did John WIlliam’s Screw Work 30 Day Challenge one year. It was a Challenge aimed at trying to help you focus in on one thing for 30 days. The idea being that you tried something out that you have a passion for, for at least 20 minutes a day for 30 days to see if you might want to make it into a career. I started creating cartoons during John’s course.”

I am not sure when John is next running a 30 Day Challenge, but if not he also has a couple of books Screw Work Lets Play and his latest Screw Work Break Free. Screw Work Break Free shows you how to launch a money-making idea in 30 days.

January 30 in 30 and September 30 in 30
This is a challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.

Every year in January and September, she challenges artists to paint 30 paintings in 30 days and post them on her blog. Artists from around the world get involved and it’s a great way of becoming more productive!

Now the title ’30 in 30′ might put people off… but it’s not about producing Gallery worthy work… It’s about forming a habit!

But, you could always change it to ’30 days of painting’… Nobody will know the difference! The point is, you are painting on a daily basis and learning to carve out some time to do that.

To make things a little less stressful, Leslie suggests picking a theme

National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo)

This an annual creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.[

Jennifer Syme
“I’ve done it three times. First time she made it to 50000 words, bought the t shirt etc. The second and third time she set her own word targets. I found I wrote an awful lot of drivel, but there were some bits that have ended up in my ongoing novel, perhaps in a different form, and also, it’s quite good to get all that crap out your head. Good sense of community.”

Lita Doolan
“Yes I have. I found it a great way to get the bulk of a novel written. It pushes you to do a high word count. I recommend it to anyone who thinks they have a novel in them. And it’s free.”

Write Non Fiction in November WNFIN/NaNonFiWriMo
The Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge, also known as National Nonfiction WritingMonth

National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo)
is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. NaPoWriMo coincides with the National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.

Derek Lee
“I did NaPoWriMo a few years ago. It was hard at times, but the discipline needed was very helpful. I actually created some stuff I was very pleased with, amidst the dross! And it was a great way to get into dialogue with like-minded folk, giving my work a bit more exposure.”

Monthly Twitter Writing Challenge
Started by Kristy Acevedo a high school English teacher in June 2014

Everyday in May
This, is hosted by a Facebook group and it’s a closed group, so you do have to request to be able to join.

Starting on the 1st of May, participants post their sketches of whatever the subject is that day.

Each year there is a file of prompts to download for the entire month, usually around the 26th April.

Artists then create their daily sketch based on that prompt and then post them to the group! It’s a great way of sharing your sketches with other artists and it’s also a way of making your self accountable.

Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. There is an optional official prompt word for each day that you can use too.

Illustrator Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and build drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

The 75 Day Sketch Challenge by Brenda Swenson

Sandra “This was the first challenge I ever took part in and it was started off by an artist called Brenda Swenson.

I was disappointed to find that Brenda has stopped doing this challenge now because it was the first online challenge I ever took part in a few years ago. I found it really useful and I have a sketchbook filled with fun sketches that I really enjoy looking at… and if I hadn’t taken part, it would’ve been nothing more than a book of blank pages!”

But just because the challenge isn’t publicised anymore, don’t let it put you off! Do it anyway!”

Learn something new

we’ve spoken about this before but what better way to challenge yourself creatively than trying something new.

If you don’t want to take part in an official challenge you could try learning something new and set a bit of time aside every day for that instead. There are some great courses out there.

Create a visual journal

You could try this for one month… or really go for it and make it a diary for the whole year!

More unusual challenges

2 designer friends Jessica Welsh and Timothy Goodman do very unusual creative challenges/side projects

40 days of Dating
What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days. Then they made it into a book

Quotes on shit
The duo take old discarded unwanted stuff paint the and then and write stuff on them in really nice black quirky hand-drawn type

Morwhenna Woolcock Creative Adventurer
[Morwhenna Woolcock](Morwhenna Woolcock) does some cool self-initiated challenges –
May 2012. 30 handmade bags from upcycled shirts Left in 30 places around Bristol Picked up by 30 people All done in 30 days.


A big thank you to the artist who left voice bites about the Creative Challenges they have taken part in: