You might have seen me joining creative Instagram challenges. It’s a fun way to try something else, a different theme, style, technique. It helps when I’m out of ideas (at least ideas I want to work on NOW, there’s always plenty of ideas). It can offer an easy way to get going, warm up those creative muscles.

Whatever the case, they fall in the category PLAY for me. Because I do these for me, and only me. Whereas earlier I felt I had to do all the prompts and stick to it, or do them to make my followers happy, or whatever. Now I’m okay with doing how much (or little) I feel like and keep it fun for me. For example the #letteringselfcare pieces aren’t daily, and there’s a few I’ve skipped. But I love doing these every few days as a personal exercise in both mental selfcare and creativity.

I would totally recommend giving these challenges a go if you’re looking to practice more, try more or something new, challenge yourself, or just have fun creating together with a group of people (I love seeing how everyone gives their own spin to it!). They’re easy to do, open to everyone, and in my experience the creative community is super supportive and kind to fellow makers. Some challenges are longer (I’m going to give #MarchMeetTheMaker a go this year), some are shorter, like this #dreamweek2019 I started on last night. I’ll list a few of my favorite challenges at the end of this blog.


Now I want to share my work (so far) for the #dreamweek2019 challenge I just mentioned. Because I’m not the organized kind of challenge participant (yeah that MeetTheMaker will be fun hahaha) I ofcourse jumped in on day 3. Even though I was aware of this challenge before it began!

Another possible reason to do a challenge is… to pass the time before you can go to bed. I have to stay up until 23.30 (I’m on a pretty strict bedtime regime to fix my sleep issues). And last night I decided to spend the last hour sketching in this new Hahnemühle sketchbook (loving it btw). And #dreamweek2019 is a lovely short challenge I recently stumbled across. The theme was too fitting not to do while waiting for bed! Also, I’ve been wanting to do some drawings with Loki. And do some more pencil sketching. Combine all that aaand…. here’s what I came up with for the first part of the week:

Dreamweek 1 and 2
1) Slumber & 2) Teeth
Dreamweek 3 and 4
3) Sheep & 4) Flight

It was lovely just sketching, drawing what came to mind. I might turn these into little gouache paintings at some point. Life of Loki. But for now it’s an opportunity to work on my sketching/pencil drawing and just wind down before I can get into bed.

If you’re curious, the remaining three are: 5) Sweet, 6) Falling and 7) Sky. The Dreamweek challenge is organized on Instagram by: @Jenniferguyenillustration, @cathrinpeterslund, @alexgold_art, @grim.incubus, @nancychalmers_, @byloishannah & @jb0xtchi

Favorite creative challenges

Some people organize these every month, some once a year, or whenever they feel like it. So maybe some of these are no longer running when you read this, but that doesn’t mean the ideas are no longer useful! A few of my current favorites are:

#NonsenseDoodleClub by @laumoraiti.illustration Happy no-pressure challenge for cute fun silly ideas, it makes me think in very different directions. And the organiser’s a lovely person. “Inside the Genie’s Lamp” comes from this challenge.

#LetteringSelfcare by @juliakestner This is where I go to focus a little on my own well being. It’s a lettering challenge but I love to throw in a little linedrawing as well.

#IlloStories is mostly active on Facebook but mentioning this because I just joined them and I think it will offer tremendous opportunities to grow as an illustrator an develop my skills.

#DrawThisInYourStyle isn’t one specific challenge, but there are a lot of illustrators on Instagram putting a piece of theirs on there with this tag, inviting others to make their own version of that piece. It’s a lovely way to work on your own style as well as to discover other illustrators.

If you’re mostly into lettering (I’m focussed on illustration at the moment), then @letteringchallengehq is the place to go, all the challenges in one place!

And remember, I’m posting this as part of PLAY and I think that’s key to doing these, do it for you and make sure you’re still having fun. If the fun ends, time to move on! We already have to do so much, be kind to yourself with these. It’s easy to get carried away.

Tell me if you know a fun creative challenge! I’d love to check it out.