What exactly are creative challenges?
A creative challenge is simply something creative you decide to do every day for a set period of time. It could be as simple as doodling on a sticky note, to creating a complete painting a day.
Up until a few years ago I really couldn’t see the point of these challenges. That was until a couple of people suggested I should create a cartoon a day for the 100 Day Project. My first reaction was, no way! I wasn’t sure I could come up with a cartoon every day for a week, let alone 100 days. But I did it.
If you’re anything like me you’ll start with enthusiasm and then life will get in the way. You will find yourself short on time and uninspired. It happened for me on about day 10! The important thing here is to still do something, anything, even if it’s not a masterpiece. So I created a cartoon about being fed up after day 10. It was pretty bad, but you’ve got to make bad art in order to get better.
What sort of challenge appeals to you?
You can either make up your own challenge or take part in an existing one. The benefit of taking part in an existing challenge is that other participants will cheer you on. If you decide to create your own challenge, make sure you are self-motivated. Better still, try and rope in a friend to give you moral support. Remember that some existing creative challenges such as “Miniature May”, are broad enough to be adapted to your style. This means they can be adapted to become your own unique challenge. For example, you could create a tiny ink drawing, a lino print, a pattern or choose a very specific subject to paint.
Why would you want to take part in a creative challenge?
There are many reasons you might want to take part in a creative challenge. Perhaps you have found that you just aren’t making time for your art and want to change that. Maybe your work has become a little staid and you want to experiment with different media or subjects. Creative challenges can also help you to practice your art or to build a body of work around a theme. But most of all, creative challenges can be fun!
What sort of creative challenge is right for you?
A few things you might want to consider before starting a creative challenge.
1. How much time have you got for the challenge?
If you only have 15 minutes a day spare, commit to something simple. Alternatively, use your time each day to work on a larger piece of art.
2. How narrow or broad should your challenge be?
For example, you could decide you are going to draw a face every day using just pencil (narrow). Or maybe your only rule is to create a piece of art a day (broad). Whichever you choose make sure you don’t make it so broad that you spend most of your time deciding what you’re going to create, rather than creating it. On the flip side, don’t narrow yourself down so much that you get bored.
3. What length of challenge is right for you? 30 days, 60 days, 100 days?
If you’re not sure what time to choose, start with 30 days/month. At the end of the 30 days reassess how you are feeling. You can then decide to continue, try a new challenge or take a break.
4. Do you prefer to have art prompts each day for inspiration?
Some organised challenges have optional art prompts. These can help you decide what to create if you are not feeling inspired. If you’ve decided to make up your own challenge, you could always create your own prompts before you start. Another option is to go to ‘random word generator’ each day and use the random word as your prompt
Where can you find creative challenges?
Here at Kick in the Creatives, we have listed the most popular online creative challenges, plus we host some of our own. We also have a Facebook Group where you can chat and share your work. You can also look on Instagram for challenge hashtags, but sometimes they are a little hard to track down.
Whatever you decide the import thing is that you enjoy the challenge and enjoy creating more art.