If you are an avid user of social media (namely Instagram, Twitter, or Dribbble), you may already be familiar with daily creative challenges. These are challenges set out by individuals to do or create one thing everyday for a certain number of days. What is created varies depending on each person’s personal interests and it really could be anything: drawing an illustration everyday for a year, creating an animated GIF each day for a hundred days, or taking one photo a day.
For every creative person, regardless of the medium he or she may choose, a certain level of craft and practice is always involved. For designers, being able to work quickly and efficiently allows you to create more and creating more gives you a wider variety of options when you are trying to find the best solution. Creative challenges are great outlets for anyone that wants to practice their craft or to learn a new skill they’ve never done before.
“The Design Rut” that Jenn had discussed in her blog post a few weeks ago was exactly what I was going through. Feeling burnt out, I needed an outlet to get the creative juices flowing again. Simply just looking at design inspiration only lead me in circles and into designs that just looked like what everyone else was making, so I decided to just start making things for fun.
“365 Days of Type” (#365daysoftype) was my challenge of choice as I wanted to practice and improve upon my lettering and illustration skills. Each day, I post some sort of type-based artwork, whether it is a single word, phrase, or line out of a song. My limit is to spend about 10-15 minutes a day on each piece, forcing me to work quickly and efficiently and to also not dwell on what it is that I want to produce. Here are a couple examples of what I’ve done so far. Feel free to check the rest out on my Instagram!
We are not short of daily creativity in the KEEN office! Shereen is also in the process of her own 365 Photo Challenge (#365photochallenge, #photo365), where she is taking photos of fun things that she does day-to-day. Follow along with her @shereenzink! And a little sneak peek… we are starting a KEEN monthly project too! “Colour Roulette” will be starting next month where some of us KEEN • ERS will be creating artwork using just one single colour that was chosen for us at random. Keep a close eye on our social media to see when those start rolling out!
For anyone that is interested in doing a creative challenge and is not sure how to jumpstart it, start with a simple 30 day challenge. What is a skill that you have always wanted to improve? Or something that you’ve always wanted to learn? Experiment and play are huge components of these challenges and not every single piece will be perfect, but that’s the point! As you continue through each day, you get faster and you come up with more ideas. Maybe those 30 days end up being 100 days, or even 365 days. The beauty of these challenges are that they are not confined to a set of rules other than ones that you set for yourself.
Why should you do a creative challenge?
- Practice your craft: You’ll become faster and better at your skill; practice makes perfect!
- Creative freedom: There are no restraints other than the ones you set for yourself.
- Experiment and play: As you become faster, you will be able to try new things and play with different ideas.
- Become disciplined: You’ll need to remember to always do it each day.
- Therapeutic: This can be the 15 minutes of your day where you think about nothing but what you are creating.
- Progression and growth: If you are posting your challenge, you will get to see the difference between your day 1 and your day 30.
How to get through the 30+ days?
- Get into a routine to remember to do it
- Break your routine so you have new and playful ideas
- Take a peek at other challenges for inspiration
- Take it day by day, if you miss a day – it’s fine! Just keep going!
- Keep it fun and do things you like to do!
- Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische http://www.dailydropcap.com/
- The 100 Day Project by Elle Luna & The Great Discontent https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days
- 365 Days of Type https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/365daysoftype/
- Daily UI https://dribbble.com/tags/dailyui
- Geoff King’s 30 Days of Animation https://vimeo.com/63013116
Let us know if you end up taking on a creative challenge so we can follow along!