“I owe any and all success I’ve achieved to this project.”
The benefits of an everyday project go far and wide. You’ll improve your skills, sales, social following and client count–all in one. And it starts with a commitment to your creative path. If ten years seems ambitious-because it is–start with seven back-to-back days of drawing and see how you do. We were lucky enough to have S6 Artist, Chris Piascik write up how he pulled off ten years straight.
Chris Piascik accidentally fell into a career of illustration by starting with a daily drawing project 10 years ago. With his only goal being to draw every day, this project turned into illustration jobs within the year and by the end of his second year, he was a full-time freelancer. He has also published two books and is launching his Kickstarter for a third with plenty of the illustrations created from his everyday project.
Telling people makes you accountable to someone
For me, just the act of announcing that I was doing this project was very helpful. It made me feel accountable because I wasn’t the only one expecting these drawings.
Experimenting can lead to great work
Keep it interesting for yourself and constantly try new things. It also might lead you into new directions or possibilities in your work. I had a lot of fun experimenting with some simple animated GIFs. This lead to some cool projects working on social media campaigns for companies like McDonalds.
Bonus Tip: Embrace the absurd! If you have a ridiculous idea that doesn’t even make sense—go for it. You’d be surprised how many people share your weird sense of humor. Some of my most popular drawings have been the weirdest ones.
The more you do the easier it gets
This one seems obvious, but the more you have under your belt the more you want to keep going. It’s easy to quit after a handful, but once you’ve done 30 days in a row, it seems silly to just stop. In addition, you get used to doing it and it becomes part of your routine. Coming up with a new idea every day exercises that part of your brain and it starts to get stronger. Pushing through blocks gets easier and easier, until you’ve become a creative-idea-superhero!
Make idea lists
When you are trying to make something new everyday the hardest part is often coming up with ideas. Ideas usually come at random times, if I don’t write them down I quickly forget them. I keep a list of ideas that I can update from my phone or my computer. If I sit down to work on a new drawing and my mind is blank for ideas, I’ll check my list and I’m good to go.
Develop a backlog of work to pull from
I’m bad at this one, but when you are committing to posting a new drawing each day it’s helpful to have some extras around ready to go if something comes up. Even loose sketches are helpful. If I’m not feeling well it’s nice to be able to just mindlessly tighten up a loose idea I’ve already started instead of starting from scratch.
Bonus tip: Another option is to revisit old drawings you’ve done. After you’ve been doing them for a while it’s cool to see how much better the new version turns out.
Invent on-going projects and series.
This one has been a big one for me. Having a series to work on really saves you from having to come up with completely new ideas. It also gives viewers something to look forward to as they follow along. A side benefit of a series is that it can attract new followers that may be interested in the content of the specific series. I’ve been into bicycles my whole life and as a result I’ve had a lot of bikes. I decided to do an illustration of every bike I’ve ever owned. The series got some attention from people in the bike industry which lead to a whole bunch of new projects!
When I started my daily drawing project over ten years ago I never could have imagined how far it would take me. I owe any and all success I’ve achieved to this project. I’m often asked if I’ll ever stop, and to be honest, I’m too scared to stop! I invite you to try it and see where you end up in a year!