It has been one year since I decided to participate in The Daily Markers 30 day Challenge. The Goal of this challenge was to get crafters around the world coloring/drawing everyday for 30 days. I decided to use this challenge as a way to get back into fine art. I hadn’t regularly drawn or painted in over 7 years. During that hiatus I had lost a lot of the skills I had developed during high school. I hoped if I started drawing and painting a little every day for 30 days I might be able to get some of those skills back.
I had no idea how this little 30-day challenge I started on a whim would change my whole life. I quickly became obsessive about drawing. I would wake up early to draw before my kids woke up, color all through quiet time, and paint late into the night. The challenge ended in March and by April I was starting to sell watercolor paintings.
There was something about doing this challenge that changed me as a person. I was no longer letting fear of failure hold me back. I realized during those thirty days, while watching myself improve, that I could become the artist I always wanted to be if I was willing to put in the time and effort. In all other aspects of my life I believed that hard work could get you where you want to go. Sadly, somewhere along the line a disconnect happened between that fundamental belief and my Art. I don’t know if it was the self-consciousness of puberty that started it or society’s belief that artist are just naturally born that way. Thankfully, being able to see such large strides in my drawing and painting skills I was reminded that art was just like everything else in life, you have to work for it. You have to work hard, practice regularly (even if you don’t feel like it), and become fearless. I say “become fearless” I mean you have to keep pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. I tried new mediums, set goals, challenged myself to learn new skills (like drawing faces), and shared what I created with others.
It has been amazing to see where my Art has taken me this year. Along with learning watercolor I have learned how to draw with charcoal, and paint with soft pastels. Since April I have sold over 40 paintings, drawings, and prints. I even won first Prize at the state fair for my sea lion painting. These were all things would have never happened if I hadn’t done this challenge.
Even more important than achievements was that painting and drawing was the only thing that kept me sane this year. My husband is in medical school and he had to live out of state for 6 months. I had to take care our young children and all other responsibilities by myself. It was very lonely and challenging time. Art was my escape. Some days at the end of those 6 months I let my kids watch cartoons all day while I painted (very unlike me) because I felt like it was the only thing that was going to get me through that day. Art got me through depression and I am so grateful I found it during a year that I so desperately needed it.
I am still very early on in my art journey and have a long way to go to get to where I want to be but I am so glad I am on it!