The first time I ever attempted a daily drawing challenge was in 2016. I had seen the Inktober challenge on Instagram and wanted to join in by hand lettering something every day, but I probably only managed to do it for a week before I gave up.
The next year, I did Inktober again, but with food drawings. This time, I managed to finish all 31 days of drawings, but my grand ideas of beautiful food illustrations quickly turned into silly doodles of me with giant food. At that point, I learned two things: one, that I was capable of being consistent with a drawing challenge, and two, sometimes what you end up creating isn't exactly what you imagined in the beginning, and that's okay.
One of my goals this year was to paint more. Being creative has always been a great outlet and stress reliever for me, and I knew that if I could make painting a more consistent habit, I could elevate my day-to-day happiness.
I was going to wait until #Mermay to join in on another daily painting challenge, but then I realized: Why don't I just assign myself my own daily challenge?
Thus, #31DaysOfMovieScenes was born.
I'm pretty excited to say, I achieved my goal of painting a movie scene every day this month!
Obviously, there were days where the paintings didn't happen exactly as I wanted them to - sometimes I was sad, sometimes I was dealing with anxiety, sometimes I ran out of time and had to do a quicker painting. And that's the first and most important lesson I learned from this challenge:
Lesson #1: Forgive yourself.
Life happens. Days are sometimes too short to check off everything on your to-do list. The beauty of daily painting challenges is that if today's painting doesn't turn out as well as you want it to, it's okay! My paintings ranged from 20 minutes to 2 hours to paint, which in all honesty, isn't that big of a time sink compared to a lot of other paintings I've made. Today's painting sucks? There's a new painting for you to work on literally the next day!
Lesson #2: Colors are fun!
Sometimes, I paint to imitate - that is, I want my painting to look exactly like how the movie scene looked. Most of the time, though, I take artistic license with my color choices. This is something I've done ever since high school, and I've found that adding color even when there isn't any really helps with a positive mentality. After all, isn't the world better with a little bit more color in it?
An actual conversation that happened (more than once) between me and my significant other:
"I really like how you used purple!"
"It... it is purple."
"No, it's brown."
My SO's inability to properly identify colors aside, I realized that my attempting to add in more color made me "see" more colors.
Through this challenge, my world literally became more colorful!
Lesson #3: Experimentation pays off.
Two of my favorite paintings from this series is my purple Hogwarts castle and my primary-colored Hobbit home. In both of these, I went pretty out of the box with how I chose my colors and how I incorporated colored pencils. I don't usually mix my media, but a 31 day challenge is a great opportunity to test out new things. Why?
Refer back to Lesson #1 - because even if the painting today doesn't turn out, there's a brand new one to work on tomorrow. And that's pretty freeing, isn't it?
I'm so pleased with how successful this series turned out for me that I've decided I'll be joining in on #The100DayProject! I will be painting every day starting April 3rd (tomorrow!).
I'm leaving the topic open because I did end up getting kind of tired of painting movie scenes in March. Without a more specific focus, I'll be able to paint to my heart's content!
You can follow me along on my journey on my Instagram.
I've also turned many of my paintings from this past month into prints. You can check them out on my Etsy!
All in all, this was a great experience that I'm looking to replicate and learn further from! I'm excited to continue to create and to add more prints to my Etsy shop in the future.