On January 1st, 2018, I decided to challenge myself to an entire month of drawing/sketching something every day for 30 days. This is no small feat, especially for someone like me who draws on and off for months at a time, or whenever inspiration strikes. 

I knew this was going to be difficult. I would have to find the time – no – make time for art. It wasn’t going to be a distant cousin who I didn’t see except for family get-togethers once a year. I had to treat it like a close family member, like someone I wanted to spend time with, getting to know and care for. I also had to create an audience for myself, someone to be accountable to. So, I chose social media (specifically Instagram) to post my work every day and get feedback or at least eyes on my work or progress.

It was definitely a satisfying feeling to come home from work and settle down at my drawing desk to draw for an hour, maybe two, if dinner was already prepared. Then, there were days when I was overwhelmed with other tasks and had to squeeze in 20 mins to sketch something at midnight or early in the morning before work. But I always felt better, that I didn’t give up so easily. There was one night in particular when a client drawing project didn’t go as planned and I was disappointed and depressed.

Normally, that would be grounds for “No drawing today – Not inspired – Annoyed – Not having it”, but I told myself, I would feel worse if I didn’t even try to draw something that night, whether it would be successful or not. I was also accountable to those who had been sharing in my journey and encouraging me on social media. So, I put my headphones on and melted right into my classic jazz playlist. Amazingly, the disappointment of the day faded, and all I could focus on was drawing.

I was so pleased with the drawing, that I told myself not to assume that I won’t be able to create something beautiful even in the face of prior failure. My mood drastically improved and I realized I had overcome something that I had never been able to before and I was able to do it using art as my own form of therapy. I proved that I could create good work, even when I wasn’t inspired. This limiting belief that I could only create when I was inspired, was dispelled for good. 

All works are Copyright (c) 2023 Simone Elum. All rights reserved. Any illegal reproduction of artwork and photographs will result in immediate legal action.