The blogging habit is not an easy one for me. I need to commit to doing a short blog post Monday-Friday. In fact, maybe blogging should be a seven day thing for a month or so while I establish the habit. Blogging is a hard habit for me to keep up and I think that that weekend break is a good idea in the long run but derails me in the short term while establishing the habit. My sketching and painting habit is solid. My ice cream habit is sadly quite established as well. Time to get the blogging habit set. I have the work to share, time to share it beyond the word of Instagram. How do other bloggers do it? Especially visual artists that don't consider writing to be their thing?
Want to improve your drawing? Don't know when to draw or what to draw? How about taking on the 75 Day Drawing Challenge? Started by watercolor artist and sketchbook keeper Brenda Swenson it has grown and developed into a popular artistic challenge for many people to customize. The only rules that stay constant are the 75 day length and using ink or another permanent line. I made the challenge my own with ink and doing blind contour drawings. A blind contour drawing is a drawing where you focus mostly on the outline, don't lift your pen as you draw and don't look away from your subject (so you don't look at your paper) while you are drawing. Do this for 75 days in a row (more or less) at a fairly consistent time for maximum effectiveness. I find the morning while I drink my coffee to be a good time for this activity. It can take as little as 5 minutes, but some people go all out and spend twenty minutes or longer on their drawings. I am content treating this as a warmup activity and spending rarely more than ten minutes on my drawing. I have also started journaling in the pages and including the date and weather forecast in the margins. Sometimes I fill in the drawings with details and sometimes I add bits of color. But they all start with a blind contour line that I mark the start with dot and an S and the finish with a dot and an F to keep me honest.
It was a hard challenge for me to start but once I got going I noticed a change in my drawing and easily continued. Until around day 35 when I realized I had been doing this challenge for over a month and wasn't even halfway done. I am not used to drawing challenges that last longer than a month. But I made it through that bumpy period and now here I am almost at day sixty and with well over 100 blind contour drawings under my belt and I am looking at ways to keep this habit going after 75 days and after my sketchbook is full. I'll probably just start a new sketchbook with simple graph paper and save the next Moleskine from my clearance stockpile for something else.
Making lists again. Love having paper on my desk so I can write down whatever comes to mind whenever it comes to mind. Pens are never in short supply in my studio. It is on my list of things that are currently working for me. Taking stock of what is working and what I need to work harder on. Each thing that has made it into the first column has taken time to become habit. I didn't used to write every morning, blogging used to be a huge chore with month long breaks in between posts and it used to take me a year to fill a sketchbook. My goal for the next few weeks is to pick one thing from the Find Time For column and move it to the What Works column. Thinking either Etsy or Exercise or maybe focusing on Gratitude. Do you make lists? What is on your lists?
Turns out when you have a busy life that involves young children blogging every day can be really easy to push to the back burner. Even when you only promised yourself to blog daily for one week. But I know very well the importance of habit and routine and the power of the just flossing one tooth style approach to make a big life change one small step at a time. So thanks for the inspiration James Altucher for the push I needed to get this one tooth flossed before I go and break up a fight between my two darling daughters.