Thoughts on Quitting a 30 Day Challenge Early?

  • Hi guys! I wanted to get your thoughts on what is basically a debate between finishing a project for the sake of finishing, or stopping it early if you've gotten what you wanted out of it.

    I am currently 20 illustrations into #MerMay (I've been doing extras to give myself some padding) and am feeling like I've reached a natural stopping point. I've really surprised and impressed myself with the work I've done for this challenge. I've gotten several children's book portfolio pieces out of it, and have gotten closer to the distinct style I see in my head. But now I'm wondering if I should stop here or keep going?

    I have 10 illustrations left to officially complete the challenge (I know there are 31 days in May, but I like the neat number 30 better). One one hand, 30 is an arbitrary number, and I feel like I've already reaped the benefits I'm going to reap. I don't want my portfolio to be even more saturated with mermaids.

    On the other hand, maybe pushing through in times when you've lost momentum on a project is good practice? Especially for children's book illustration, when I'll eventually have to work on projects for a long time with varying degrees of interest. On the podcast, Lee has also talked about how some of the most creative ideas come 50 or 100 ideas in, when you've already exhausted the cliches.

    So I don't know. What do you guys think? What would you do?

  • @cianamacaroni I can't really say what the right answer is here, I guess it just depends on what you want to get out of the challenge. Back in October I did 31 days of Drawloween and honestly there was something super amazing about sticking with it and completing the challenge, but that was my objective the whole time. Also, that challenge had different prompts everyday, not just one theme to work within. I kindof think there will be benefits to whatever you decide to do, but I do believe limitations push us to really tap into our creativity so it might be worth sticking it out just to see what happens?

  • There's no shame in not completing the full 30 if you genuinely feel like you've already achieved what you wanted from the challenge and you could be using the remaining time to work on something more productive. However, as you've pointed out there could be some benefits to continuing.
    Maybe you could expand on the theme a bit and draw some different sea dwelling creatures or environments - what does a mermaids house look like? What do they use for transport? Do lobster mermaids exist? Feel free to ignore these ideas, I'm just spitballing! 😂

  • @cianamacaroni good question, and valid points both for and against!

    If you're entering a challenge just to enter it, and feel like you've gotten what you've wanted to get out of it, what or who is preventing you from quitting?

    One great point you brought up for continuing is that it is good practice for eventually working on long projects. If you have never illustrated a children's book from start to finish and your goal is to become a professional children's book illustrator, completing a challenge when you no longer feel that drive or inspiration is good practice! You'll also get a sense of accomplishment.

    You could also do what was recommended in one of the Three Point Perspective podcasts: give yourself a project of illustrating a children's book, including setting a deadline. That will give you the experience of actually illustrating a book and let you know what it feels like to work on a long project, to have to draw that cat for the 20th time when you would rather NOT draw a cat for a long while! (Hmm ... maybe infusing too much of my own personal experience ... there's a reason why there are currently no house cats in my portfolio!) There is no other art challenge (that I know of) that will give you an idea of what it's like to illustrate a children's book, but challenging yourself to illustrate a children's book.

    That's my two cents, anyway. ❤

  • @Annabishop @Tiffany-Thomas @Melissa-Bailey-0 All good points! Thanks guys. Despite my hesitations, I think I'm going to push through to the finish. I did originally want to prove to myself that I can finish a larger project, so I do want that sense of accomplishment. And you're right Melissa. Part of the reason I wanted to do a longer challenge was to work my way up to making a full dummy, so I do think it's important to get over this stepping stone. Thanks for your advice everyone!

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