In January, even though I was feeling quite low in energy, I took part in a drawing challenge with Lisa Congdon, where I drew every single day of the month. Around the same time I also took an intensive online course with Lisa, over 3 days. Once January was over there was a short break before the new Sketchbook Skool kourse started, which was fun but lots of work too.
At the same time I was working on getting things ready for my new Etsy shop, which opened at the beginning of March. So although winter is a low energy time of year for me, I was doing quite a lot of creative work.
This week I’ve relaxed into a gentler pace, thanks to the 20 Minutes a Day Challenge, organised by Michael Nobbs. The idea is to build a regular creative habit, but to be kind to yourself at the same time.
Everyone taking part has chosen a creative project they want to work on for teh next couple of we, and every day for 5 days a week we pick up our work, set a timer and work for 20 minutes. When the timer rings, we stop, even if that means leaving part of our work unfinished until the next day.
For this gentle creative challenge I’ve been working on some drawings in my sketchbook, using some of my photos for reference. This doesn’t mean that I do a drawing every day, but that I draw for 20 minutes each day.
Over 4 days so far this week I’ve completed 3 drawings, scanned them into my computer ready to colour in digitally, and opened up the next photo that I’ll be working from so that it’s ready for when I start my next 20 minute session tomorrow.
It is really tempting to keep working once the timer rings, but by keeping my creative work to just those 20 minutes each day stops me from tiring myself out. Keeping some energy in reserve means that I’m more likely to feel able to work again the next day. And ending some work sessions before I finish a drawing means that I know exactly where I’ll be starting from the next day, which makes it easier to get down to work.
As with a lot of creative projects and challenges, I find it really encouraging to know that there are lots of us all taking part, all doing our own thing but working alongside each other.
Are you taking part in the 20 Minutes a Day Challenge with Michael? Do you, or have you ever tried working in small chunks of time? What helps you to build a regular creative habit?