***NOTE: The 2017 live challenge has now ended, but you can still download the worksheet and do it any time. There will be another 7 day series challenge next year!***

Last year I ran a week long painting series challenge designed to help those of us with magpie tendencies {ooh, new shiny art thing! I must try it! But now all my art looks different. Sad face} to get a feel for creating consistent work. The challenge was hugely popular, and I’ve had quite a few enquiries as to when I’ll run it again, so YAY! That’s now! 

I actually don’t subscribe to the belief that there’s something wrong with being a magpie artist. Picasso painted in all sorts of styles during his life, and while I realise we’re not all Picasso, the point is that it’s not a sign you’re not a ‘real’ artist, or whatever else your inner critic would have you believe about it. 

In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that without that kind of rampant curiosity, your life as an artist might be a lot less rich and interesting, and when you do come to create more consistent work {which you will if you keep going}, all that trying of things brings a deeper understanding and richer skills to your work.

Furthermore, in my experience it need not prevent you from also focusing in on something to start creating more consistent work, and potentially starting to truly develop your own style. You really can have it all! ;)

If you’re feeling a little doubtful, here are a few key elements I identified last time that illustrate why it’s worth a go:

  • Doability: One week is short enough to commit to without getting in too much of a panic about ‘keeping up’, or how busy you are.
  • Exploration: It’s just enough time to see the benefits of a single focus – in our case, creating a small series – with enough wiggle room to let it evolve as it wants to.
  • Cohesiveness: It’s an incredibly common thing to struggle with Shiny New Thing Syndrome while wishing your art was more cohesive. A week significantly reduces the amount of time in which to get bored with sticking to one topic!
  • Potential: It carries the possibility of allowing us to surprise ourselves. One of the most common responses by the end of the week last year was how surprised people were at what focusing on one thing for a week revealed. Some artists even discovered their new direction and continue to explore it today.
  • Development: Having a container of a week long, supported, focused challenge creates a safe space to explore, discover personal likes and dislikes, and even perhaps generate ideas we’d like to carry forward.

And if you’re still skeptical that all this is possible in seven days, check out this post!

Now, details!

 

What

Seven days to create art with a single focus – for most people that means exploration of a single subject, but it could also be of a technique or medium. I’ve created a free worksheet you can download to help you decide on your focus. Got something you’ve been wanting to explore a bit more deeply? This is the perfect opportunity.

 

 

The challenge is open to all visual artists – you can paint, draw, knit, sculpt, sew, or whatever you like. I recommend keeping the concept and process fairly small so you don’t overwhelm yourself or make it impossible to keep going.

When

We begin this Wednesday, October 4th, and end next Tuesday, October 10th.

 

Where

Mainly on Instagram, where we use the hashtag #mycreativetouchstones.

However, last year those not on Instagram joined in in my private Facebook group for Artnote subscribers and course alumni. If you’d like to join that group, you can subscribe here, or via any of the sign up boxes on the site {without obligation}.

 

How

  1. Download the worksheet and start percolating ideas
  2. Fill it in when you’re ready and pop your planned painting sessions into the calendar
  3. Get started! {You can start as soon as you’re ready, you don’t have to wait till Wednesday.}
  4. Photograph your creation each day and then come on over to Instagram to share it, using the hashtag #mycreativetouchstones
  5. Check out what others are doing, feel galvanised, and cheer each other on!

 

Hopefully I’ve covered everything here, but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

I do hope you’ll join us! It turned out to be a very rich experience for many of us last year, and it’s deeply satisfying to reach the end of the seven days and survey your {perhaps first!} body of cohesive work. I think you’ll find it also provides proof that you already have a unique voice as an artist; it might need just a bit more focus to coax it out.

 

You may also be interested to know that Touchstone, my course about creating the artist life that aligns with who you are and the life you’re already leading, will reopen in 2018. Sign up below to get on the waiting list.

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