Preparing for the 30-Day Drawing Habit (We Start TOMORROW!)
Here's what you need to know
Hello Friends! So, wow. A LOT of people are excited to kick off 2024 with a daily drawing habit. GREAT. Me, too. We’re in this together, people.
With so many new folks joining us at the Grown-Ups Table (AKA The GUT), I thought it would be helpful to share a few notes about how this works in advance, respond to a couple of questions that have come up, and offer a few rules of the road. Holler in the comments if there’s anything I don’t cover.
AND! If you haven’t signed up yet and want to join us, we start tomorrow. This discount is good for another day:
Participate in the GUT’s Study on Drawing, Community, and Wellbeing!
I’m researching how drawing practices and participating in a creative community impacts our wellbeing, and I want to hear your thoughts. If you’re participating in the 30-Day Drawing Habit, please fill out THIS SHORT PRE-SURVEY ABOUT CREATIVITY AND YOU. Art, science and all of humanity thanks you.
Two Common Questions about the GUT’s 30-Day Drawing Habit
Question 1: What materials do I need?
Great questions. Paper (ideally a dedicated sketchbook or section of a sketchbook) and a pen are the basics. Pencil and a pencil sharpener are great. Some kind of color is super helpful. Like a set of colored pencils, watercolors, or colored pens. A ruler. And maybe some tape? That one is still up in the air. ;)
Also, if there is a new medium you’ve been feeling like trying, this is an excellent opportunity to do that. I will give you a new assignment every week, and draw a variation on that theme every day, so playing with different mediums will be encouraged. Crayons, oil pastels, inks, whatever you like. And if you are new to the whole drawing thing, NO WORRIES. A pen and paper is all you need.
Question 2: Do I have to share my work?
Accountability can be very helpful when we are trying to build a habit, and sharing work can help with that. But it can also be scary to share when we feel vulnerable. Especially when we are starting, it’s intimidating to share our best efforts with others. I get it. We’ve all been there. If you do decide to take the leap and give sharing a try, I promise this group will make you feel celebrated for your effort (no matter how fresh and tender you may feel) and supported in your progress (which you will inevitably make.) And if you decide not to share, that’s fine, too. This is the GUT. You do you!
Feel intimidated? I get it. Remember these three things:
Everything you need is already inside you. You are already a creative person. Whether you feel like you are one right now or not, you are. I promise you. What’s more, you already know how to do everything I will offer you. I’m simply offering you the container, the space, and the structure to PRACTICE who you already are and what you intrinsically already know. Sure, I’ll give you some new facts and approaches. But the essence of what we’re doing here YOU ALREADY HAVE INSIDE YOU. You just need the opportunity to practice! We develop our muscles and build a habit only through DOING something. That’s practice. The more we practice, the more confident we become. Not only do we grow confidence in our art-making, but we also become more confident in WHO WE ARE. All we have to do is practice.
But it’s still hard to build a new habit. And (nearly) impossible to do it alone. So it’s good that…
You are not doing this alone. You are now part of a creative community. (Welcome. I’m so happy you’ve joined us at the table.) I’ve been around a LOT of artists, and I have to say, there is something completely different about the Grown-Ups Table. It’s not competitive. There is no criticism, put-downs, or cliques. It’s a group of people - with all different levels of experience, living all over the world - cheering each other on. Our community supports one another through the highs and lows; not just the roller coaster of art-making, but also in each other’s lives. It’s a tight community. And while we’re growing fast, I am committed to ensuring the GUT community still feels like a round kitchen table crammed with friends sharing and toasting each other’s vulnerable leaps and hard work. I hope you take a deep breath and join in on the sharing. You’ll see for yourself what happens when you do.
If you still feel intimidated and worried you are less experienced than others or that you’ll feel judged or that you’ll fail or that you’ll… etc etc. Remember, this is the person leading this adventure:
GUT RULES (There are only 3. Actually, 4.)
No rules in art! You’ll hear me say this A LOT in the weeks ahead. Everything I suggest is based on my experience, interests, and what I’ve learned as an artist and human. Some will work for you. Some of it probably won’t. You are always welcome to ignore me and do your own thing. I suggest that even if you don’t immediately love what we’re doing, try everything at least a few times. We all experience resistance when we try something new. Maybe it feels tough or tedious or daunting or frustrating. I get it! Good news: those feelings tell us there’s something we can learn! We build new habits and creative muscles when we push ourselves past that discomfort. And, also, this ain’t the gym, people. This is Drawing! With a goofball (🙋♀️.) It’s Art. So if it’s not fun, de-stressing, or at least interesting, ignore me, and draw something else! What matters is that you draw.
Draw for 10 minutes a day, and use a TIMER. A secret of many great writers and artists: stop working when you’re on a high note, and you’ll look forward to returning to it the next day. Using a timer can help us develop that practice. See, if we quit every time we feel frustrated or antsy, we will never build our drawing muscles or draw long enough to get into the flow. On the flip side, if we keep drawing all day with no end time, we might feel “over it” and not want to draw again the next day. The key is to draw just long enough to get into the groove, then stop right at a moment when we are feeling GOOD. Trust me, it works. Also, come on. It’s just ten minutes. You can do anything for ten minutes. Ten minutes = no excuses. You got this.
Same place, same time. Try to make your ten minutes of drawing a ritual. Designate a special area on your kitchen table as your “drawing studio.” Or maybe accompany the ten minutes with your daily tea or coffee. Maybe light a candle when you start and blow it out when you finish. Whatever you do, keep consistent with it. Traveling? Wild schedule? Great. Your 10 minutes of drawing can be your anchor while on the road. Maybe choose a time of day (first thing in the AM?) and/or have a ritual around how you lay out your materials. These small actions signal your brain to switch into drawing mode no matter where you are or when you squeeze it in.
And if you miss a day, big whoop. The drawing police will not knock on your door, I promise. Just start again the next day. :)
Those are the GUT rules. Oh, and, duh. If you know me, this goes without saying, but just in case: BE KIND OR YOU’RE OUT. 😘 Huzzah!
Introducing our 30-Day GUT Art Auntie, Kathleen!
Great news! We have an official GUT Art Auntie for our 30 days!! The wonderful, a GUT member since day one, will welcome everyone, help answer any questions, and connect people with what they’re looking for. If you need anything, holler in the comments or chat - Kathleen or I will respond ASAP.
That’s it, I think! Any other questions/comments/etc. leave them below. SO EXCITED!!!
Want to invite others to join the art party? (pARTy!) Give them the gift of the GUT! Let’s open our eyes and hearts for the big year ahead and for ourselves right now. And let’s do it together.
SEE YOU TOMORROW FOR DAY ONE.
Everything is better when we…1
A quick review of some of the awesome 30-Day sketchbook covers members posted in the chat. If you haven’t made one yet, it’s a great day to bust out those markers!