After Inktober (in October) and SkaDaMo (in November) passed me by because I was too busy with the latest picture book dummy and then my NaNoWriMo novel, I decided to do a drawing a day in December. I had an anemic Tumblr page that I was eager to fill up with doodles and sketches. I’ve read and heard that art directors et al appreciate seeing an illustrator’s sketching style as well as their finished work, and since I had been working so intently on my picture book dummies, I hadn’t been able to share as many of my drawings as I would have liked to. So, also in an effort to distance myself from my latest picture book as well as the new NaNoWriMo project, as well as to make the December scheduling madness more manageable, the drawing-a-day-December was born. Once I had announced my intention to my friends, they spread the word, and pretty soon we had formed a nice-sized group page on Facebook. We brainstormed a long list of prompts and set up a schedule, so that the day’s topic would be automatically tweeted every morning at 8am.(#drawingadaydecember)
After the first few days, I was seriously wondering if the group was going to make it through. Many participants dropped out after the first day, or hadn’t even submitted at all. But, to my surprise, my friend’s mother-in-law was steadfast and stuck it through with me. Newly recovered from a brain implant, she was experiencing the pleasure of having control over her limbs again after spending many years suffering from Parkinson’s. This was her outlet. And what a joy it was to see how happy she was to be doing what she loved once again, not to mention providing me with positive reinforcement to keep going with the daily drawings, even if it meant I would have to miss out on some social activities.
After 31 days, I had 31 drawings. Not all of them were fully realized in color, and obviously not all of them were good, but I had completed a challenge I’d set out for myself. Check them out on the "Sketches" tab on this website.
Other positive outcomes:
I also learned to approximate the time it takes to do a fully realized drawing. If it’s at all complicated, it will likely take more than one day (hence the unfinished ones)
I’d managed to grow my Instagram following slightly. (it’s still paltry)
And, last but not least, I began to receive a lot of kudos from my fellow illustrators. To this day, I’m still hearing, “Oh, you work A LOT.” Which is sort of one of the best compliments you can give me, since I’m always terrified I’m being lazy when I need to stop work to process things or whatnot.