I receive messages from new readers
about “How they regretted stopping drawing”.
Are you in that case too?
We all have busy lives and it can be tough to find time or motivation to draw regularly.
That’s why I wanted to share some tips on how you can build a durable drawing habit without forcing yourself.
By making drawing a part of an Happy daily routine, you’ll be able to improve your skills a lot faster!
Remember, it’s not about doing something big today but rather doing something small every day that counts.
- A. Drawing, a lost passion from our childhood
- B. Years of Drawing Break…
- C. The era of Social Media indoctrination
- D. Creative Nostalgia of Childhood
- E. What is your 'Why'?
- F. 10 Tips to Draw every day (and create a routine without forcing yourself)
- TIP 1. Set a realistic goal (by starting small and simple).
- TIP 2. Leverage your passions to draw what you like
- TIP 3. Find a source of inspiration.
- TIP 4. Seek feedback and critique.
- TIP 5. Draw in public spaces.
- TIP 6. Experiment with different tools and methods.
- TIP 7. Choose the graphic tools that suit you
- TIP 8. Drawing is a ritual.
- TIP 9. Take the opportunity to draw whenever it's possible!
- TIP 10. Have fun and enjoy the process.
- Ready to start your New Drawing Daily Routine?
- focus on learning the basics
- and practicing consistently.
But how do you create a daily drawing routine that works for you?
Check out the 9 tips and tricks below to draw and progress day-by-day as an artist or designer.
Don’t let a lack of time or motivation hold you back from pursuing your passion for art.
With these simple steps, anyone can develop a sustainable drawing habit.
A. Drawing, a lost passion from our childhood
When I was a kid…
There was plenty of cartoon on TV to get inspired from.
I loved drawing at home.
It was quiet and there was no phone or Internet distraction.
I still remember how I recorded Donald Duck on television on VHS cassette,
so I could replay the show and pressed PAUSE.
I could then copy Donald or my favorite TMNT Ninja turtles in all kinds of situations!
It was a lot of work to record the shows, but I was a passionate kid!
Nowadays, you can get all the cartoons you want on Youtube or Netflix!
It was so much fun to bring my drawings every morning to school and show them to my classmates.
My best friend David and I shared our drawing journey.
He sat next to me in class.
Month after month, we drew more and more.
We both loved the Simpsons, Disney, video games and we were drawing daily with no pressure.
Sometimes it was ugly, sometimes it was cool!
And I had someone to exchange critiques with.
Drawing was fun and we enjoyed seeing our progress.
I guess this is why we loved drawing so much.
It was driven by relaxing moments rather than the stress of making good drawings.
B. Years of Drawing Break…
Most teenagers or young adults will never draw again in their life.
When we grow up, we gain in distractions and responsibilities, we discover so many more interests and activities:
- We have degrees to pass,
- We spend a lot more time on homework,
- We hung out with new friends at bars, restaurants…
- We need to earn money so we can hang out more with our friends and even go on holiday!
- Or we simply spend too much time scrolling TikTok on our phones.
Being a teenager can become overwhelming.
Suddenly, drawing became a time-consuming hobby.
And we allocate our time doing other activities such as studying, photography, skateboarding, martial arts, playing music…
It is okay to allocate your time to other occupations.
We build up ourselves by trying new things!
We never know, drawing may be back as your top priority!
If you decide to stop drawing or take a break, the most important is simply being aware of it.
Because time flies. You may waste weeks, months, or years without drawing.
C. The era of Social Media indoctrination
Kids or adults could now spend 3 hours scrolling on TiK-Tok per day.
So 21 hours per week! (almost 1 full day of scrolling every 7 days!)
Too many kids lost the appetite to create, but become like a zombie consuming random content.
I visually imagine these moments like little Critters eating our time and universe. (Horror movie by Stephen Herek)
Imagine all that 21 hours of free time allocated for developing a passion instead, such as drawing, sports, music…
That would be amazing, right?
If you feel you have no time for drawing,
the first thing you wanna check is your time spent on social media.
We often have more available time than we think.
It’s all about self-awareness and commitment to prioritize building your happiness.
In my opinion, happiness is not something that “falls from the sky”.
It’s something you look for, create, and put effort into bringing something new to the world.
So you receive that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
D. Creative Nostalgia of Childhood
One day you wake up.
You’ve already grown up by 20 or 30 more years.
Drawing was a hobby, and you never practiced it as much as you wished.
You have more hair on your chin, some white hair suddenly pops out, and a couple wrinkles more.
And you feel something is missing. Something unaccomplished.
You have fewer friends. Hopefully, you kept the best ones.
You have a family and a dog.
Maybe you run a pretty much perfect life, and I hope you do.
Then you remember the younger YOU.
The one you put behind to let the adult version of you grow up taking up responsibilities.
You remember how much you liked drawing, and realize it is now time to take care of the little version of you that fell asleep for so long.
You feel nostalgic about your creative time as a child.
But you wonder if you still can draw.
And you imagine if people would laugh at your drawings.
You don’t dare to draw. Your arm feels paralyzed.
Something is stopping you. And something is your fear of failure.
I wanna help all of you who can feel the butterflies again dancing in your stomach
and start drawing with joy.
E. What is your ‘Why’?
I decided to learn how to draw to become a Designer.
Drawing would not be only a hobby. It would be my career, my life.
So I decided to not only draw when I have time left at the end of the day – but make drawing every day one of my top priorities. So I could learn every single day something new.
Get ready for success
So the day I would have a design job opportunity coming up, I would be ready to take it.
Only you set what is important for you.
If drawing matters to you, you will have to get out of your comfort zone.
Identify WHY you wanna draw.
What makes your desire to get back on track so intense.
The better picture of the WHY you get, the higher the motivation you’ll get to reach your goal.
Drawing is a powerful skill that can help you communicate your ideas,
express your creativity, and improve your visual thinking.
But it can also be intimidating and frustrating,
especially if you don’t have much experience or confidence (yet).
That’s why I believe that developing a daily drawing habit is essential
for any artist or designer who wants to grow and improve.
- But how do you start and maintain a daily drawing habit?
- How do you overcome the challenges and obstacles that might get in your way?
- How do you make drawing fun and enjoyable, instead of a chore or a burden?
Here are some suggestions that have worked for me and many of my students.
I have prepared 9 TIPS to build a durable drawing habit to build daily happiness!
Here are five tips to help you keep your drawing habit alive and improve your drawing skills.
F. 10 Tips to Draw every day (and create a routine without forcing yourself)
TIP 1. Set a realistic goal (by starting small and simple).
Start small and simple.
Don’t try to draw for hours every day if you have a busy schedule or other commitments.
You may race for a few days, then give up for weeks.
Setting up a drawing routine is a Marathon, not a race.
Aim for a manageable amount of time, such as 15 minutes or 30 minutes, and stick to it.
You can also use a calendar or a tracker app to monitor your progress and reward yourself for achieving your goal.
A common mistake when you start a challenge is to get overexcited and set an unrealistic goal.
Yes, you can be optimistic. But make sure you won’t drain your energy in 1 day then give up.
In other words, every day, show up and spend 15, 30 minutes at drawing something.
Even if you don’t feel the mood of drawing, sit
Over-ambitious goals work for time-limited challenges.
However today, we want to build a long-term drawing habit.
I recently bought this timer.
After the X minutes of your choice, it will bip.
It’s like a Pomodoro timer.
You can always increase the duration or difficulty later, once you have established the habit.
Keep going without forcing and let your mojo drive you for extra time.
Soon, you will feel like inside a bubble, where nothing else exists, but you and your drawings.
TIP 2. Leverage your passions to draw what you like
Ok great! But “What can I draw?” you may ask.
Choose a topic or theme that interests you.
Drawing something that you are passionate about or curious about will make the process more enjoyable and rewarding.
Do you like Roller skating? Draw your dream roller skates! Or imagine a crazy use of the roller skates by asking yourself the best innovators’ question: “What if…”
Example: What if I could roller skate in the mountains? Now you have an innovative topic to think about. You may already imagine roller skates with XXL size of wheels, or a wider platform below the shoe, or a turbo projector to drive up the hills... and so on.
Make your imagination go wild!
It will also help you stay motivated and inspired.
You can choose anything that sparks your interest, such as animals, plants, people, places, objects, etc.
If you love manga or video games, find reference pictures to use as reference.
Boost your drawing motivation
you won’t draw because you have to, but because you want to!
To help you start, I am creating a page about “365 Drawing Ideas”.
I invite you to dig an idea you like.
I mixed all types of drawings for artists, designers, and even kids drawings.
Bonus: Send me your drawings at email@example.com.
I would be glad to discover how you start your drawing journey.
And why not send you my feedback? 🙂
TIP 3. Find a source of inspiration.
Sometimes, you may feel stuck or bored with your sketches.
To avoid this, look for different sources of inspiration, such as online portfolios, magazines, books, podcasts or videos.
You can also follow other product designers on social media and see how they approach their projects.
Try to learn from their techniques and styles, and copy them.
Then remix them with other styles or ideas you like to create something new.
Create your style by copying others
Soon, you will mix and match your ideas following your personality and experimentation.
That is how you will create your own style.
Designer work artworks and portfolios:
TIP 4. Seek feedback and critique.
One of the best ways to improve your drawing skills is to get feedback and critique from your pairs or mentors.
You can join online communities, forums, or groups where you can share your sketches and receive constructive comments and suggestions.
You can also ask for feedback from your peers, mentors, or clients.
Be open-minded and receptive to their opinions, but don’t take them personally.
Use them as an opportunity to grow and improve.
Sketch Like The Pros course
If you want to, you can join the VIP membership to receive my daily feedback on all your sketches.
If you are interested in the program, you can join the Waiting list here.
For any questions, you can ask me at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TIP 5. Draw in public spaces.
All my Thursday afternoons of my first year as a design student,
I was out to the city for an observation and drawing class:
- At that time, we would go out and explore the beautiful city of Paris.
- We would find a spot to draw, maybe near a famous landmark, inside a museum, or on a bridge over the river.
- We would sketch for four hours, enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere.
You may consider checking if you have sessions of Urban sketching in your city.
They are a group of people you can join to draw streets, people, food…
You might need a sketchbook, some pens and watercolor.
However, if you can’t find any group or friend to accompany you, go alone!
If you get hooked, one day you may even organize a drawing trip by yourself.
Imagine spending a week traveling to a destination of your dreams with your sketchbook, drawing anything you want and as long as you want. (Having nobody to wait for you, you can draw guilty free when you travel)
Drawing outside was amazing for two reasons:
- First, we got to practice with real-life models.
It’s easy to stay at home and use Google images, but nothing beats seeing the real thing.
- Second, we learned to overcome our shyness and show our drawings to the public.
There were always people around us, locals and tourists alike.
They were usually nice and curious. Sometimes they didn’t even notice us.
But there was also a challenge to draw in the middle of public space:
Staying focused and ignoring noise and distractions.
People would come to look at you drawing over your shoulders.
Some of you may like it, while others will feel paralyzed!
One time, I was in Malaysia, drawing a church in Malacca.
A friendly local came over and started talking to me.
He meant well, but he broke my concentration.
I didn’t like my drawing, so I decided to change locations.
He asked if he could follow me and watch me draw some more.
I didn’t know how to say “no”. He was so enthusiastic!
We moved to another place, but my new drawing didn’t turn out well either.
How to “draw in peace” in public spaces
You put effort into preparing yourself and lock in a few hours to enjoy your drawing session.
If you want to “draw in peace”, politely let people know.
Thank them for their interest.
Then simply explain that you need concentration.
Any interruption would unfortunately affect your drawing.
They can stay to watch. That is fine. But no chit-chat is possible.
Do not let others steal your time. ; )
TIP 6. Experiment with different tools and methods.
Drawing is not only about using a pencil and paper.
You can also try different tools and methods:
- such as digital sketching,
- or mixed media.
Think of the art shop as your playground!
These are often expensive for a student wallet.
You may buy or borrow art supplies from your classmates.
And see how you like using different tools and colors before buying them.
It can help you discover new possibilities, expand your repertoire, and add variety to your sketches.
You can also use different tools and methods for different stages of your design process, such as brainstorming, prototyping, or presenting.
- Light markers or felt pens (Papermate Flair M is my favorite) are amazing for doodling ideas and rough.
- Ballpoint pen is versatile and can be used for any purpose.
- Watercolors are amazing for beginning with colors.
Even if you make mistakes, the result can still look great.
TIP 7. Choose the graphic tools that suit you
Use the tools and materials that suit you.
There is no right or wrong way to draw, and there is no best or worst tool or material to use.
You can draw with anything that you have access to, such as pencils, pens, markers, brushes, etc.
You can draw on anything that you can find,
- coffee cups,
- or any graphic tablet of your choice
The important thing is to use what works for you and what makes you comfortable and happy.
TIP 8. Drawing is a ritual.
Find a time and place that works for you.
Drawing every day doesn’t mean that you have to draw at the same time and place every day.
You can draw whenever and wherever it fits your schedule and lifestyle.
You can draw in the morning or at night, at home or outside, alone or with others.
The important thing is to find a time and place that is convenient and conducive for you.
Some artists like to turn on the television and leave the sound of it in the background.
Others like to listen to music with a headphone.
Lofi is a good choice for relaxation and focus.
TIP: Avoid songs with Lyrics, or at least choose a song in a foreign language you do not understand.
Make it a habit and a ritual.
Drawing every day is not only a skill but also a habit and a ritual.
It is something that you do regularly and consistently, without thinking too much about it.
To make it easier to stick to your daily drawing habit,
try to associate it with other habits or rituals that you already have, such as brushing your teeth, drinking coffee, reading a book, etc.
Make it easy to sit and draw by removing any friction.
TIP 9. Take the opportunity to draw whenever it’s possible!
You are on the way to becoming a “serial sketcher”.
Nothing will stop you from drawing sketch after sketch, page after page.
Drawing is a wonderful skill that can enrich your life in many ways.
- Drawing can improve your observation and sketching skills, which are essential for any artist.
- Drawing can also help you relax and express yourself creatively.
But how can you find time to draw in your busy schedule?
The answer is simple: draw anywhere, anytime!
Drawing anywhere means that you can take advantage of any opportunity to practice your art.
Whether you are:
- waiting for a bus,
- sitting in a park,
- having a coffee break,
- sitting in the waiting room at the hospital
- waiting for your friends,
- you can always pull out your sketchbook and pencil and start drawing.
You don’t need a lot of space or equipment to draw anywhere.
You just need the willingness to observe and capture what you see in your pocket-size sketchbook.
Drawing anytime makes you benefit from the variety of subjects that you encounter in your daily life.
- You can draw people, animals, buildings, landscapes, objects, cars or anything else that catches your eye.
- You can draw from life or from imagination.
- You can draw realistically or abstractly.
- You can draw in different styles and techniques.
- The drawing ideas possibilities are endless!
Drawing from life is especially rewarding because it challenges you to capture the movement and expression of your subjects.
Unlike static images on Google, real people and animals are constantly changing their poses and gestures.
This makes them more interesting and dynamic to draw.
Drawing from life also helps you:
Drawing anywhere, anytime is a great way to enjoy your hobby and improve your skills.
So don’t hesitate to draw whenever you have the chance.
You will be amazed by how much you can learn and create by drawing anywhere!
TIP 10. Have fun and enjoy the process.
Drawing should not be a chore or a burden.
It should be a fun and enjoyable activity that allows you to express yourself, explore your ideas, and unleash your creativity.
It is also a chance to express yourself freely and creatively, without worrying about the outcome or the result.
Remember how you used to draw when you were a kid!
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or try new things.
Just enjoy the process and learn from it.
Some people will progress faster than you, sometimes you will be the one who do.
Focus on the process and the journey.
Enjoy the act of drawing and the satisfaction of creating something new.
Ready to start your New Drawing Daily Routine?
I hope these tips will help you build a daily drawing habit that will enrich your life as an artist or designer and as a person. Remember that drawing is not a talent that you are born with or without; it is a skill that you can learn and improve with practice and persistence.
Make the “future the version of you” proud of you today
for starting and committing to building brick by brick your passion for drawing.
Remember that there is no “expiry date” to start learning how to draw.
“Anyone can draw!” (Reference to the movie Ratatouille by Pixar)
I have students who are retired and start their new learning journey at drawing.
The best time to start is always today!
Happy sketching time!
PS: I am preparing a new blog page about 365 Drawing Ideas for artists and designers to inspire you.
Whenever you wonder what to draw,
come to this page and pick a ‘drawing idea’ you like!
Because drawing has no age limit.
You will find topics for both kids and adults.