Why You Should Do an Art Challenge

  • SVS OG

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    Art by Tanner Garlick

    Have you ever taken on a month long challenge? Maybe it was to become more fit, drink more water, or participate in Inktober. Challenges paired are powerful for all realms of life and the same is for art. We are going to share some of our favorite art challenges, share some of the backstory of Inktober, and tell you they benefits of an art challenge and why you should make challenges a part of your life.

    We're in the thick of Inktober, and thought this episode would be really relevant. Enjoy! It's up and ready to listen. You can click here to listen to it!

  • @Jake-Parker in 2016 I only managed to do a few lousy drawings for Inktober. In 2017 I did it all, combined some prompts and did some in ink but the majority were digital. I didn't really bother whether it will be within the rules... yeah I'm a rebel like that xD my goal was to create portfolio pieces, traditional ink won't help me get new clients. The only thing was that I had no theme. This year I came up with a story based on the official prompts. This way I get to feed the portfolio beast while I try my hand sequential art for the first time 😃 combining several other skills too like character design, and colors after October. Working on a tablet is not the same as working on paper, like Jake said. The undo button only makes up for that. Here's an animatics (kinda) for the first 12 panels I created so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K6B32swVQc

    I love how @Lee-White is so passionate about illustrators' rights around the globe! Even in SVS learn courses. and coming from an oil painting background, using watercolors to draw luminous objects was like attending magic school lol so much love your way Lee 😃 Can you share something you did for Slowvember?

    @Will-Terry I did the draw 50 things challenge 😃 was a real challenge since before that I usually just painted portraits or a few characters at a time. I know I could've done a much better job with edges especially for the farther objects but I still liked it and have been using it to welcome those visiting my home page for a while now 😃

    This is from last year's digital submissions for Inktober for Teeming

    and this is what I did for Draw 50 Things. I titled it: First Day of Day Care: Fear & Curiousity

  • SVS OG

    Nice pod cast. That was pretty fun to sit there and imagine Jake taking notes as you guys picked apart Inktober. Don’t try to take a break from Facebook for 10 days during inktober. Kills the momentum. However, I’m taking my time on my drawings and not just rushing to post for the thrill of posting. I love the community aspect of everyone drawing and doing a challenge together. Everyone’s goals are different. Some it may just be picking up a pen everyday. Others it’s pushing your skills or creativity as you stick with the prompt list.

    Next month maybe I’ll do a slowveber for a Christmas present or two. And the draw 50 things in a bakery sounds amazing. I’m horrible at setting up a room! Can’t wait to do those challenges too!

  • Nice thoughts on what to think of for art challenges in this episode.

    I've only done one challenge, #catsofjune, which I made up myself to kind of ease into the whole concept of art challenges. In the end, I got a little more ambitious than I really had time for, but still got through it. Surprisingly enough it landed me a contract as an illustrator for a children's book about cats.

    I still decided to skip Inktober this year, because of time restraints and not really having a goal with it. But maybe next year!

  • I LOVE this podcast. The episode on the art challenge was very insightful. Recently I encouraged my coworkers to join me on the inktober challenge simply because I knew we would all be better for having drawn every day for a month. Also, seeing the creativity of everyone from the prompt list is awesome. We created a custom #tag so we could collectively look at our illustrations at the end of the challenge (#inktober2018h4bcatapult). Thank you for sharing your knowledge and excitement!

  • @jake-parker
    This was a great listen. I've tried to do Inktober for the last three years, and always failed and produced really amateur sketches.

    Fast forward to this year: I'm in my final year of art school, I'll be entering the workforce soon, and I realized that I'll never have as much time as I have now ever again. And I don't even have that much free time! I also got a taste of professional work with an internship, which really boosted my artistic self-esteem. I realized that one of the reasons I always failed is because I didn't truly believe that I could complete it. I was afraid. I also realized that I didn't really know what kind of art I like to make, and wanted to figure that out.

    So with a good bit of gumption, I decided that I would actually complete it. Firstly, I made it a part of my thesis project, so I would have a consequence for not finishing it. I decided to focus on washes and value over black and white line, to produce a group of work consistent with what I love doing. I also learned that creativity rarely comes up out of nowhere, so I planned every day ahead of time after getting the prompts. I prepped my materials and even went as far as doing almost half the sketches before the first day. I also worked at least a day ahead to give myself a buffer. I gave myself a list of parameters and goals for what I want to get out of it.

    Over halfway through now, I've realized I've grown a lot already. I'm a watercolorist, and have always been afraid of the permanence of ink and its washes. I'm not anymore. I feel better about painting in black and white, even though I respond more to color, I've improved my brush control, and I'm using hot press paper for the first time. I never thought that I would be able to create something consistent every single day. And even when it doesn't go as planned, I know I can just make something else tomorrow. I'll have 18 new pieces by the end of today, and 31 at the end of the month! I've got other stuff going on, so I do feel overwhelmed, but I've also never felt more capable and creative. There's a lot more stuff actually, but I'll stop for now 🙂

    I'm super glad I decided to actually commit to this and see it through this year. I see the stack of paintings grow each day, and I'll be so excited to hold all 31 at the end of this month!

    Thanks for creating this challenge, which has given me the opportunity to grow.

  • Good presentation today. Super-valid points on the challenge of practice. Maybe a little bit too much of an inktober cheerleading session. I love inktober and have been involved since probably year 3 or 4... but would have been interesting to hear more about the specific reasons why the practice makes better and how to craft the efforts so that they actually move you forward (You did touch on that topic).
    Thanks for the mention of draw 50 things, I like the idea of a deign challenge. Definitely thinking more about how to involve developing storytelling in addition to just practicing drawing.

  • SVS OG

    Good episode as always. I think art challenges are a wonderful learning tool especially if you think of them as "challenges," not "competitions." Unlike a competition, a challenge allows for the bending of the rules to what is going to be most useful to you. I've been using Inktober to improve my line and wash techniques and while purists would say adding color is "against the rules," for me it's been great learning how to balance linework with watercolor: how much do I want the ink to depict the values, for example, and how much do I leave to the watercolor? I haven't gotten it yet but without Inktober, I wouldn't have spent this much time even trying it. I've also done Will Terry's "Draw 50 Things," and Lee White's "Slowvember," and learned something from each so keep the challenges coming!

  • SVS OG

    Good episode - a bit heavy on inktober challenge stuff though.

    I recognize that I am posting a lot of really bad art but my goal was completing 31 drawings in a month pushing myself to coming up with a creative approach to the prompts (granted - not always successfully). Pushing those unused imagination muscles when I can.

    I have already decided that I will be working on the draw 50 things challenge next. I love those complicated images on jigsaw puzzles (wasgij type) and always wish I could create something like that.
    Looking forward to next episode!

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