Today I am going to share with you my new personal project which has been designed to get me sketching more in the midst of the grind of everyday life.
But first I need to say a huge thank you to everyone who left a comment to my question – Do you struggle to sketch regularly? – either here on the blog or on Instagram. It’s such a great read and I want to come back and discuss some of the main themes later. But today is all about my new project.
My main reason for sketching regularly is to keep a visual journal of my life. Yes, I want to keep my creative juices pumping and improve my sketching skills, but these are secondary.
So the goal is to sketch things which are descriptive of my day-to-day life. However, I find that it’s easy to fall into the thinking that my daily life is boring and uninspiring – particularly in contrast to all the traveling I do. While writing that sentence I’m shaking my head and saying to myself “Seriously, my life is not boring and I live in an amazing city!” But at times I feel totally consumed by admin and the business side of things so that I find it hard to get out ‘urban sketching’.
In the early days of my sketching I found that daily challenges were a great way to get myself sketching – such as the EDM Challenges. But in more recent times I have found them a little too arbitrary, having a preference for something more relevant to my day. I also got tired of simply sketching single objects at home and longed to sketch outdoors. However, when it’s hard to get out on location, sketching objects in the evening is a good way to keep the practice happening.
And so what I have come up with is a list of prompts to get me thinking about the uniqueness or the everyday-ness of each day, and to mix up sketches at home with sketches when I am out and about.
Additionally, because I love a challenge, I have created a schedule at the back of my sketchbook to record which prompts I actually use. There are no rules about when I use each prompt, but this schedule will help me to see which ones I use most and which ones I neglect.
I also don’t have any rules about how finished my sketches are – a simple line drawing like this one is enough to record a scene or event.
So here is the list of the prompts:
- Where did I go?
- What can I see?
- What did I wear?
- What did I eat/drink?
- Who did I see/meet?
- What did I do?
- What did I use/handle/touch?
- What did I buy?
- What’s new?
- What’s old?
- What did I throw out?
- What’s the same as usual? A routine/ repetitive event
- What’s different from usual? An unique event
- A random thing
- A silly thing
- On this day… a memory
And a few on-going projects
- Drawing People
- Drawing cars
- Drawing trees, plants, flowers
- Minimal sketching of complex scenes
- My local area
- Exploring new art materials
And here is a selection of my sketches from recent weeks.
There is really nothing special about this project, I’m just looking for a way to get myself more committed to sketching my everyday life. And plotting my sketches is a fun way to be more intentional about it!