A Weekly Reset For Artists

The book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is an excellent read. In the beginning, he introduces the idea of taking some time every weekend to look back at what you did last week.

What went right, what went wrong, and what do you want to change for the coming week?

drawings from my sketchbook

I found this method for self-reflection valuable. It forces me to take a step back and analyze what is happening. There’s less emotion if you try to look at what happened in an objective and calm, detached way.

It turns my art creation process into a series of weekly campaigns. I pull myself away from what I am doing, and I have more clarity with that distance. If something isn’t working, I can change that next week.

You don’t have to structure them as weekly campaigns. You can also just try something for a month or so. The key to a campaign is that it has a start and an end and a way to evaluate how well you think it went.

For example, I just came out of a one-month experiment where I tried to make Instagram Reels that were like Instagram carousels: they presented a tip—for artists in this case. I enjoyed making them, and I think they look fabulous on my feed, but after a month, I took a step back and examined the results.

It had no impact on any statistic. At all.

It did not result in new people joining my newsletter. It had zero effect on the number of people following or un-following my account. I had posted every day for a month, and it had had zero impact. I stopped posting, of course, and re-grouped to see where I wanted to put my efforts next.

Next, as another campaign, I am going to try ASMR YouTube videos with no talking. Maybe it will work, and perhaps it won’t. And that’s okay. They are fun to make anyway and a lot less effort! And it means I am drawing! I just turn on the camera and the microphone and start drawing! I can just try it for a couple of videos and then take a step back and see how that went.

Campaigns allow you to try things for a short while and to evaluate the results coolly. The key ingredients are that there should be a clear start, a clear end, and a straightforward way to assess the outcome.

My Favorite Drawing Exercises

Try this challenge this weekend and the next: Write down three creative things you want to do on a to-do list. Then try to do them, and next weekend, take stock of how it turned out, make a new plan for the week after that, and try it a few times. Improve every week, and make minor adjustments every week.

My Favorite Drawing Exercises

If you feel like drawing, then check out my favorite drawing exercises!

Do these exercises

form studies to warm up, slow down, get into the right meditative state, and improve your draftsmanship skills.

Do these form studies

form studies to help you improve creating underdrawings, place things in space, practice doing perspective by sight.

Practice drawing from memory to fill your visual bank, ability to memorize, ability to visualize, ability to draw what you see in your imagination and your ability to see what is wrong with your drawings.

If you find it hard to create or maintain a creative habit, you can find some habit-related tips here.

Check out these pleasing, calm, art-related (mostly) podcasts to listen to while drawing. They have been automatically prepared for you to automatically binge-listen to so that you can start drawing.

Lastly, also make sure you have fun in your sketchbook after the hard practice! Here is one guide that can help you jog your creativity.

creativity exercise

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