My 30 Day Challenge: The First 10 Days

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably noticed that I embarked on a 30 Day Challenge to find my creative voice. My voice is something I have been struggling with over the past few years. I have always liked drawing, painting, and in general being creative since I was a child. I knew I wanted to do something with my talents for my career path, and I eventually found my way to the world of design. I currently work as an Interior Designer, but I have learned over the years that it does not quite feed my creative soul. What most people would think is a pretty unique job and very creative, still feels like a typical office job to me. So I have been working to find my creative outlet over the years.

I started with calligraphy, which developed to hand lettering, but I was still missing out on painting and drawing. I considered greeting cards for a hot second, attempted it, didn’t know if that was right for me, then started doing custom work like bridal shower invites and some wedding invites. I liked the overall process, and the industry potential, so I put more effort into learning the business. I started to get more and more clients, got to work on my own wedding, and met some wonderful people in the industry. I also quickly learned, to give it your all, creative wise, is not an easy thing to do when you work full time (plus some). I also felt I hadn’t had the time to develop my personal style, so my direction with my work seemed unfocused and random, and I wasn’t doing things for me. So I decided after my Wedding, I would take more time to figure out what it is I want to do.

My current answer: Artwork for Licensing Use.

Now I still don’t know too much about this avenue of the industry. But it is something I plan to invest my time into to learn more about it. One thing I do know, is that I need to have a portfolio of my work, that expresses who I am and shows my creative voice. Creative Voice being the key words in that sentence. What helps artists stand out from each other is their unique individual voice. That is why everyone can be an artist. Every person has their own voice, experiences, style, beliefs, to make them different from the next guy.

So in order to develop my voice and style, I knew I needed to create. Every day. Create, create, CREATE. Good or Bad. I need to get to work. So to motivate myself to actually do this, I created a 30 day challenge. It actually started as a 100 Day Challenge, but Evan convinced me to start smaller. Ideally it will form a habit to create everyday. I wanted to keep it simple, there are practically no rules, except to draw something everyday. There is no limits to subject or medium, it just needed to be something I could do in a day (which is currently proving to be a challenge for me) . And while creating is an important aspect to this challenge, it is also important to step back and look at my work to analyze what I like, don’t like, and better help me find my creative voice.

Here is an overview of all my pieces from the first ten days.

I am going to list 10 things I like (or don’t like) from the past ten days to help me understand my voice and my style.

  1. I am still personally attached with starting an idea on pen and paper vs. the iPad. I do want to utilize my iPad to create work because it is easy to carry and work on, but I think I need to create a process where things start with traditional paper to feel more loose and free with my creativity. I look at my digital art, and I remember the stiffness I felt when trying to start those pieces.

  2. I am visually drawn to the pieces that have a more complete composition on the page with a background. It looks like a window into another world. This probably relates more to my style and what draws my eye.

  3. I seem to be enjoying finding the balance between real and imaginative. I appreciate artist who are realistic with their creation, but when I add my own imaginative twist to something, I feel like the finished piece is more personal to me and not just something I “copied”.

  4. When thinking about subject matter to draw, I have been going to Pinterest to see what recent things I have pinned that are not art related to use as inspiration. It usually ends up being interior design, fashion, sometimes landscapes. And I can agree, of my days so far, my eyes draw towards interiors and clothes.

  5. I like the quick sloppy pencil strokes in some pieces, but I also like bringing the realistic rendering look. I am considering exploring how those could mix together.

  6. I am not as scared of color as I thought I would be. I personally don’t wear a lot of color in my life, I don’t live with a lot of color in my home, but I am liking my art with more color. I might do some more subdued palettes to compare to see how I really feel. But definitely learning to embrace the power of color. I would like to maybe do a series with a limited color palette, but I don’t even know where to begin with picking that. Color has always been a challenge for me. I am hoping with this challenge I can be more experimental, and not just use greens and blues because I personally like those colors. Or maybe I will become more confident in my reasoning to use those colors. So many options.

  7. I feel that my first 10 days show some positive connotations. With work, stress, climate change, and everything else happening in the world, I tend to think the worst of everything. But when I look at my pieces, I am seeing some warmth, and comfort. I thought my art would be a way to express my views towards some of the negative things happening and how I personally feel about it. But then I think, I don’t want to spend my time drawing depressing things, and I highly doubt people will want to spend their time looking at my doubts and fears. Drawing things and places that make me happy seems to be more therapeutic in the act, and is contributing something more positive to the rest of society.

  8. I am learning to be okay with my bad ideas. I think as soon as I get it out, I can move on. Hopefully learn from it, and never revisit the idea. There is one day in particular that I just hate to look at. It feels flat. I also think it started as a flat idea. But it also reminds me that this is part of the process, to recognize things I don’t like and why I don’t like them.

  9. Details and textures still seem to be of importance to me. I use these same characteristics in my design work for furniture and fabrics. I want to spend more time practicing these techniques to develop them in future drawings.

  10. I noticed that most things I created for the challenge are completed compositions. I feel I am at a point where I need to really take that idea and push it into something more, or take a step back and try different subjects, like patterns, or pieces that are not part of a whole picture. I know this goes against what I said in #3, but I need to ask myself, am I doing more filled compositions because it is what I like or does my brain not know how to approach something with out it being in a composition format, where there is a subject in the foreground, a background and some things in between.

Keep checking my Instagram to see what the next 10 days will be, I too have no idea what to expect. Hopefully growth. I will come back and do another reflection on those ten days as well.