how to successfully commit to a creative monthly challenge

I love creative monthly challenges.
This year i entered 2: In one I created and photographed one letter of the alphabet made with food. In the other I created funny illustrated cards using watercolors.
These were things I wanted to try for a while but couldn’t find the inspiration nor will to fit into my schedule. These challenges were the perfect excuse!

Why should you do a monthly challenge?

  • They’re a reason to create every day - I sometimes find that if I don’t have a specific goal it’s hard for me to sit in my chair wind just start creating something from scratch. 
  • They’re easier than a year long challenge - I love the idea of 365 days of creating something! But I’ve tried them in the past (one photo everyday and 1 sec of video everyday) and I always seem to stop by april. 
  • The end is always in sight - although 30 days may seem like a long time and when you’re actually doing it it seems like it’s never going to end, when you get to day 15 and you’re getting really tired and frustrated you know that HALF of it has already past and that makes it easier
  • You end up with a huge amount of work - 30 days of something mean 30 different pieces of work and although not all of them will be great, you’ll probably get a nice amount of work you’re actually quite happy with.
  • It’s a great way to reach new people - I participated in monthly challenges that a lot of people participate in (the #36daysoftype and #inktober) these are a great source of inspiration while also allow you to connect to and be seen by people you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.

How?

I hope that by now you’re convinced of how great monthly challenges are! However, these challenges are not a walk in the park and I’m assuming you have other things to do in your day (a job, school, house chores…) so you can’t spend all your day doing this. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way to help me keep on track and not give up.

1st - Plan
Planing is very important in a monthly challenge. For example: In my food challenge I had to have an idea of what food I was going to photograph each day in order to buy the supplies beforehand. With my watercolors I had to buy paper and some colors I didn’t have and thought I should. Doing this before hand makes your life easier as it keeps you from wasting time

2nd - Create accountability
This may not be important for you but it sure is to me. Telling people I’m doing these challenges makes it feel more “real”. Posting these challenges online and having other people know what I’m doing makes “failing” a bigger thing than it would be if no one knew what I was doing. It's also great when your followers get involved and want to see what you're going to create next. 

3rd - Build a schedule
These challenges take time, you don’t want to rush it and make something just for the sake of it. You want to make something you can be proud of and this can take time. You’ll probably need to stop doing other things in order to fit in the time to create into your schedule. It’s prioritizing.
I, for example, like to wake up an hour earlier to work on these projects as much as I can before my actual work. Also, I usually don't watch my favorite series when I'm doing one of these projects.

4th - Have a theme
This will help you to always have an idea of what to create each day. it’s hard to sit down and think “now I’m going to draw something” all ideas seem to vanish. But if you have a theme i.e halloween/christmas/… it’s easier to come up with what to draw. There’s also a bunch of monthly challenge ideas around the web, a quick search will lead you to them.

5th - Have fun
If you’re not having fun what’s the point in doing it? Trust me, there will be times when it won’t be fun you’ll fail and you’ll have to start over. So in order for you not to quit when times get rough it needs to be something you really enjoy doing.

 

My next challenge

Lately I’ve noticed I love drawing penguins. Can I draw 31 different penguins? Sounds like a challenge to me! So starting january 1st I’ll be drawing one penguin everyday. It doesn’t matter the medium (It can be whatever I feel like) nor the size. It just needs to be a penguin. I hope I can stick to it.
If you'd like to know how it goes make sure to follow me on instagram as it's usually the place I post first.