I'll tell you a little secret: I hate the concept of New Year's resolutions. It seems like we are pretty much forced by society to come up with some goal that we already know from the start that we aren't going to keep. It's just accepted that people don't stick to New Year's resolutions! However, I love the idea of setting goals for yourself and striving to improve. With that in mind, this year I actually made a resolution for myself. Rather than choose some abstract goal like "get better at art", I am going with something that I can keep track of: Draw every day in 2018. No matter what. Even if I'm sick or traveling.
Drawing every day is heavily suggested by many, many successful artists as one of the best ways to improve your art game, so it's a bit embarrassing that it has taken me this long to force myself to do it. Obviously drawing with intent, meaning drawing things that you know will help you improve, is better than just drawing willy-nilly, but anything is better than nothing. While I definitely want to do more studies, especially of human and animal anatomy, I don't want to make these my specific goals because I know I won't stick to it. I know, however, that I will do some studies throughout the year, so just drawing every day will increase my chances of doing them! I've already done one study, so I'd say I'm off to a good start!
Like I mentioned initially, being able to keep track of my goal is one of the main reasons I decided to make my resolution "draw every day." To do this, I got out a fresh sketchbook and put a calendar in the front of it. If you are familiar with bullet journals, that is sort of what I took my inspiration from. I want to make my "resolution" sketchbook something I look at every day, so I also marked special days on this calendar, like birthdays and conventions. I'm already pretty obsessed with keeping track of my upcoming events, so adding the calendar should really help make this sketchbook important to me. In addition, I am marking off each day on the calendar when I do my sketch for the day. This way if I don't draw on a day, I have a constant visual reminder of my shame. It should keep me pretty accountable!
Other things you might note on my front page are "ideas" and "monthly starts." "Ideas" is pretty self-explanatory: I just wanted to have some space to write down drawing ideas. Most of what I have written down currently are popular monthly drawing challenges, but I could include anything that pops in my mind in the future! The "monthly starts" section is just where I will put the page number for the first sketch of each month. (Did I mention I numbered all of the pages in my sketchbook?) I like to be organized, but I didn't want my sketchbook to be too rigid, so i figured this was the best solution to allow me freedom to use as many pages per month as I wanted, but to also satisfy my need for organization!
I may or may not share the sketches publicly in the future. I don't want to feel any sort of pressure as to what I draw, or the end quality of the drawings, so I don't want to make that promise! I suggest that if you make a similar resolution (and don't feel like you can't since it is a few weeks into the year! No time like the present!), don't feel obligated to share your sketches. I've noticed that trying to share something on social media every day is a resolution in itself! But if this will help you feel more accountable to draw every day, then do it! What works for me might not work for you; we're all different in how we stick to our goals. Have you made an art-related resolution this year?