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  • Writer's pictureMaking To Make Happy

The Daily Doodling Dilemma: Should You Really Make Art Every Day?

So, I’ll be honest right up front.  I am not an artist who creates every day.  It sounds lovely but I just don’t have the capacity.  Does this make me less of an artist?  Well that’s what this blog is going to dive into…(but the answer is No! Of course not!)


The internet is buzzing with daily art challenges, and there are a lot of artists who have found a daily art practise has worked positively for them, so I am not here to stop you from trying them.  Part of exploring your creativity is in trying new things and finding what you enjoy.  If daily art makes you glow, then soak it up and enjoy!  However, if you find you are not clicking with it and it feels like you’re cramming for a creativity exam, it’s ok to let it go.


Daily Art Perks:


So what are the benefits of cultivating a daily art practise?  Here are a few plusses to consider:


🎨 Honing your skills and sharpening your observations.  The more you practise anything, the better you’ll get (and the quicker you'll do it), so if you are creating art everyday your skills and ways of seeing are going to improve.


🎨 Building muscle memory.  Like a pianist playing scales, daily exercises lay the groundwork for more complex artistic endeavours later on.  By drawing every day, your body gets used to what it needs to do to create certain results, and you can achieve them easier.


🎨 Building Confidence.  Don’t know what your art style is?  The more regularly you are creating things, the faster you’ll start recognising what you are most enjoying about your own artwork.  With this comes confidence, and with confidence you will be empowered to take on bigger challenges in the future.


🎨 Pushing Boundaries.  The pressure to create daily can be like a friendly (but slightly bossy) muse, as you might try different things in order to not repeat yourself.  This can lead to unexpected discoveries and a new understanding of what your creativity means to you.  Who knows, you might invent a new shade of purple or discover your hidden talent for painting portraits of grumpy dachshunds!


Daily Art Grind:


All of those perks above sound pretty great, right?  They are, but it’s because they sound so good that we can feel like we’re failing at art if we don’t manage to succeed at daily doses of it.


Forcing yourself to churn out art every day can be like trying to make a grumpy cat wear a tutu (adorable mental image, but stressful in real life). What if inspiration takes a siesta on the Tuesday after your marathon Monday session? Energy levels are not always consistent - mine certainly aren’t - and creativity energy doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  When your body is tired, your creativity may seem far away.  Life throws curveballs that can derail even the most meticulous art schedule.


Feeling like a failure for missing a day can quickly turn your creative passion into a pile of crumpled paper (although, pointless side segue-way, whenever I see someone in a film doing the whole “writing one line on a page, getting frustrated and scrunching it, and chucking it towards the bin” thing I get so peeved about the paper wastage.  Just cross out the line and write underneath it! Good grief 😂).


Change the Focus


The good news is that, you can achieve all of the above perks without daily art practise. Hurrah! To do so, the key word to focus on is Consistency.


Rather than a “daily” art practise, have a “consistent” art practise.

Think of your creative spirit like a quirky houseplant – some thrive with daily attention, while others need a good soak every now and then. Find a rhythm that works for you. Maybe you're a daily doodler, or perhaps weekend bursts of artistic energy are more your style. Creative consistency doesn’t mean you have to set a time on the calendar that cannot be flexible.  It means that even when you are not creating, you know that you are returning to make something soon.


The important thing is to carve out dedicated time to show up for your art, as often as makes you happy, even if it's just for a quick hello.


Making Consistency Count


So, how can you make sure your chosen pace leads to artistic growth, even if you’re not creating every single day? Here are some ideas:


👉 Set Achievable Goals: Aim for bite-sized creative sessions at first, even if it's just for 10 minutes at a time. Remember, slow and steady wins the artistic race (and avoids repetitive strain injury from too much brush-wielding/brayer-rolling/pen-scratching/clay-squelching/insert-own-silliness-here!).


👉 Embrace the Unexpected: Don't be afraid to experiment with new techniques or subjects. After all, happy accidents can lead to some of the coolest artistic discoveries.  Nurturing your curiosity really does fuel your creativity, which is why it’s kinda my catchphrase.


👉 Celebrate The Little Things: Even the most misshapen blob on your canvas is a step on your artistic journey, so be kind to yourself and hold back on the self-judgement. Give yourself a pat on the back for showing up and making something!


👉 Map Out Your Artistic Adventure: Feeling lost? Grab your favourite notebook or app and write down a list of things you want to improve on or explore. This acts like a treasure map, guiding your creative journey and keeping you focused.  The amount of creative things I simply forget I want to try is ridiculous - but when I see them on my wish-lists it gives me a happy boost of “oh yeah, let’s do THAT!” energy.


👉 Fuel Your Inspiration: On days when you are not feeling particularly createy (not a word) surround yourself with stuff that feeds your creative soul. Visit museums or galleries, go to a place you’ve never been to before and take endless photos, follow inspiring artists online, or join a local art group. Sharing your passion with others can spark new ideas and keep you motivated, just as letting yourself experience the world solo in fresh ways can fill up your energies for later creative adventures.


Remember, art-making should be a joyful exploration, not a chore. By embracing consistency with a bit of flexibility, you'll cultivate a sustainable creative practice that lets your artistic voice sing, shout, or even whisper, depending on the mood your masterpieces demand. Now, go forth and create something that brings you a smile!


Thanks for reading!

Keep Making Happy,

Gem 💛


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