I hope everyone is well and staying safe in these strange times of the Corovavirus!
Here in the UK we are in lockdown and many families (including my own) are entirely based at home for the foreseeable future. I personally have seen my pottery cafe business close its doors over the last week and am now fully at home looking after a 3-year old, new house and balancing my creative pursuits. Not an easy feat I can tell you.
Now when I am at home, and in need of a pick-me-up I always revert to creativity. This could be sketching, drawing, painting, sewing, crochet (or any of the other 100 crafts I love!) And after MANY requests I have decided for the first time ever to run the 30-Day Sketchbook Challenge for a second time in one year!
Meet the ‘At Home In April’ 30-Day Sketchbook Challenge!
And this is a sketchbook challenge with a difference…. (Starting on 01 April 2020)
1. Family Friendly
This is especially important for those of you out there (like myself) who have children to entertain whilst schools are closed. The prompts and suggestions will be suitable for the whole family to take part in, as well as those creatives who have taken part in my challenges before. The April challenge is great as part of a ‘home-schooling’ art project as well as something that you can all do together as a family – whether you are together in the same home or separated across the country or other sides of the world.
2. It is all about ‘play’ and ‘fun’
Very different to the creative boost at the start of the year, this 30-day sketchbook challenge is all about positivity, fun and creative play. This challenge will be mindful of the fact that many of us need a creative release and a daily distraction when stuck at home (not by our own choice). Playfulness through art is soooo important when there can be feelings of worry, overwhelm and even loneliness when the world has gone a little crazy. When I watch my little girl take part in drawing and crafty activities there is a real childishness and exploratory quality to it, which we often lose as adults. Let’s bring the fun back to sketching by playing with art in April!
3. Community Support
When you take part in a sketchbook challenge you join an online community of sketchers from across the world. In times like these where many of us are separated from loved ones, we more than ever need to find communities of likeminded people to share with and give us hope and encouragement. Here in the April 2020 challenge we can share creativity and enjoy the pure playfulness of sketching and creativity in our own way… knowing that others are doing the same. As always I will encourage positive language only in the Facebook Support group. More details about the Facebook Group below.
4. You don’t need a sketchbook!
I know that many of you may not have an actual sketchbook at home (unless like me you have a stash of around 100 empty ones!) and may not be able to go out and buy supplies. You can grab whatever paper, notebooks or sketching materials you have to hand. Anything goes….
How Does it Work?
The ‘At Home in April’ 30-Day Sketchbook Challenge is a commitment to sketch, draw or do something creative for all 30 days of April. Each day I will email (and post in the Facebook group) a sketching prompt for you to respond to. Whether you draw for 30 seconds, 30 minutes or even several hours, it doesn’t matter. Whether you are a beginner to drawing, a stay-at-home family or even a professional artist, it doesn’t matter. The aim is just to make sketching and creativity a fun part of your day that you all look forward to as the month goes past.
Note: The sketchbook challenge is COMPLETELY FREE to join and take part in – definitely my gift to you in these hard times. However, please note that I will offer an option to ‘donate’ should you enjoy the challenge and feel that you wish to contribute to the costs of running it. This is ENTIRELY OPTIONAL and I feel that this is the best option for everyone. There will be no pressure for you to pay or any pushy reminders (I am far too English for that!), I just wanted to mention the donation system that I started in 2020 – 10% of which will always go to a charity.
How Do I Join?
1. Join the Mailing List and Receive your Welcome Email
Fill in the form below to register for the sketchbook challenge email list. (Note: You will already be on the list if you took part in Jan 2018, 2019 or 2020). You will receive a welcome email straight away. Then, starting from 01.04.20 I will email you once per day for 30 days, challenging you to pick up a pencil, pen or other drawing device and draw in your sketchbook. In the email I will give you a simple subject matter or prompt to work from. Some will be a word or object to draw from, others will explain a technique / provide an exercise to try and some have a more open-ended theme.
2. Join the Facebook Group
The first email will also prompt you to go and join the special Facebook group dedicated to everyone who is taking part in this challenge. The very first challenge ran in Jan 2018 so you will find lots of lovely friendly faces already in here that took part the challenge in Jan 2018, 2019 and 2020. Here you will be able to share your daily work, chat with other challengers as well as myself and see what others are up to. It is helpful (but NOT essential) that you join this group to get the full experience and support from the community of other budding sketchers!
And that’s it!
Don’t forget to look out for our special hashtag and use this when sharing your work on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: #30daysketchbookchallenge
I will also use the hashtag #athomeinapril
What People Have Said Before…
Thousands of people have joined in these challenges already, and are some of their reasons for joining in:
- I just love art and being creative
- I have wanted to start sketching more regularly and I hope this will help!
- To make and commit more time to do art and to improve
- To remind me to draw more
- To help me start sketching again
- I love to sketch and find it very therapeutic but life can be so hectic I forget to spend time on the things I love to do 🙂
- To encourage myself to try drawing
- Love an arty challenge
So, Join In the Challenge and Sign Up Today…
So, why not p,p,p pick up a pencil and join me for this fun 30-day challenge throughout the month of April? The perfect creative distraction for a world on lockdown….
Who Am I?
Hello, I’m Susan. I am an artist, author, TedX Speaker and art tutor based in Woking in the UK. I love getting new people interested in art, sketching and creativity.
I have written two books on linocutting including Amazon no. 1 bestseller, Learning Linocut (2011) and the new book A Beginner’s Guide to Linocut (2019), which is also now an Amazon no.1 bestseller!
As well as creating my own drawings and prints I love educating and sharing my knowledge – I have a number of e-courses tutoring beginners to drawing, sketching and printmaking. These include Sketching for Fun, Mindful Drawing and Doodling for Beginners, Learning Linocut, Introduction to Woodcut, Learn Monoprinting, Introduction to Wood Engraving and How to Teach Craft Workshops.
NOTE: FOR THE DURATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN (IN THE UK) I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER A WHOPPING 25% OFF ALL MY ONLINE COURSES AS A GIFT TO YOU… WHY NOT ALSO JOIN AN ARTY COURSE WITH ME TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING ELSE TO DO WHILST YOU ARE AT HOME! USE CODE GIFT25 TO TAKE ME UP ON THIS OFFER.
VIEW ALL MY ONLINE COURSES HERE: https://coursecraft.net/users/Mrf
I am also a busy mama, a pottery cafe owner and reading addict.
All five of my books, online courses and my creative blog can be found on my website www.magenta-sky.com.
I hope you are ready for some sketching fun to distract you throughout April… I certainly am!
Artist and Author
Follow me on Instagram here www.instagram.com/learninglinocut