As promised last week, I want to share my sketching goals for 2021. I’m not really big on New Year’s Resolutions and I’m also not super focused on setting goals as such. Instead I like to think about building habits which will move me in the desired direction.
Those of you who receive my monthly newsletter got a preview of these goals last week… but in this article I want to expand on them and share how I intend to do work on these aspects. So here are my five sketching ‘goals’.
1. Set aside time for some serious sketching sessions
One of my big achievements of 2020 was my 11 week virtual trip to Europe. I was a little surprised (in a very good way) that I managed to stick with my programme and sketch for the full period. It has proved to me that if I have a clear plan and set aside time, I can find the time for my sketching.
So I’m trying to find ways of making some sketching moments during the day – times when I pause and ask myself ‘what am I doing today? is there some way that I can sketch it?’ My initial idea is to use the times when I break from my work in order to eat or drink. So morning tea time and at lunch would be a good start.
I’m also wanting to revive the habit of evening sketching session. When I worked full time this was often the only time I had.
As for the afternoons… I’m currently spending a number of afternoons a week working at one of my local cafes. It’s always a super productive work session and I normally sketch something (even if it’s just the coffee art that the baristas create especially for me). I’m very thankful that we are still able to visit cafes, so I want to make the most of it! I spend so much time on my own that the little banter between the staff and me really keeps me going. It’s more interesting for my sketching if I simply get a takeaway, but it’s more social and better for my work if I sit in. This ties in to my next goal…
2. Do more sketching on location
This year I realised that it didn’t matter what I sketched, the important thing was simply being out in my local area sketching the world around me. I just love going out urban sketching – I love being in my own little world and connecting with my local community at the same time.
I had really a productive winter, getting an afternoon takeaway coffee and then visiting a few good local spots to sit and sketch over and over again, but I haven’t found any suitable summer locations. So in combination with my thoughts about visiting my local cafe, I want to mix it up – some days sitting in and other days getting takeaway and sitting out on the streets to sketch!
Another thing which will tie in these first two goals is to schedule weekly sketching outings. I have tried this before over the years, but I want to try it again now. Especially as I am currently able to get out sketching, I should make the most of it!
3. Tell better stories
As mentioned last week, I finished 2020 by going through the year’s sketchbook collection in one sitting. It was an incredible journey through a very momentous year. I’m glad for every page I created, but there is room for even more details of my everyday life – more sketches of the commonplace events and elements of my day and more writing. I’m hoping that being more intentional about scheduling sketching sessions (Point No. 1) will help here… but I do need to think about some specific story-telling strategies.
4. Continue to develop my sketchbook layouts
Even when I’m not sketching much, I always put in a little time to design the composition of my sketchbook pages. And as a result I’m much more pleased with my efforts each day! During the preparation of my new course in the last few months – Sketchbook Design – I realised just how much I love the design process of keeping a sketchbook. I really want to try new things with my sketchbooks in 2021 – and my mind is already buzzing with new ideas from the first few days of the course!
5. Continue to go live
There are no words to describe how much I love going live with the SketchingNow group, being able to answer questions in real time and do some unplanned, risk-taking and spontaneous demos.
This week we had a fantastic first livestream for the course. It was super interactive and a lot of fun!
I do intend to do more publicly later in the year but for now doing weekly livestreams for Sketchbook Design is a wonderful way to start working on this goal.
As I look through all of these five sketching goals, I can clearly see how going through my new course – Sketchbook Design – with the group will really help me establish these goals in the first two months of the year. In fact, as I’m writing this article I’m thinking about a lot of the things which we looked at during Wednesday’s livestream! So a huge thanks to everyone who was part of it. It’s not too late to join – find out more here.
Have you set any art goals? I would love to hear what they are… please comment below!
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