Why Artists Love to Do Art Challenges

30 Vessel Paintings in 30 Days by Judy Jacobs for art challenges
Thirty of 100 paintings created in a 100-day Challenge –
“Vessels” series by Judy Jacobs

It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in any art challenges, and today, I registered for the #20for20ArtChallenge. It’s sponsored by one of my favorite podcasters, Kelly Ann Powers of the Learn to Paint Podcast, and is the perfect way to start the New Year.

The purpose of this specific challenge is to create 20 works in 20 days, working only 20 minutes for each piece. (you can work longer if you want, but the idea is to try and finish each piece in 20 minutes).

I LOVE this idea! For me, working fast means allowing my subconscious self to play while turning my linear self to step aside. This is what I call intuitive painting, and it’s my favorite way to create.

2018 Art Challenges - "Silence Between the Noise" by Judy Jacobs
30-Paintings-in-30-Days Art Challenge –
“Silence Between the Noise” by Judy Jacobs

What Are Art Challenges?

You may be wondering what exactly an art challenge is and why you should participate in one.

Well, essentially, it’s a fun exercise where you make or do something creative within a particular time frame. 

Some challenges are based on a particular theme, while others have an official prompt list or art technique they want you to use. Some are a set number of days each year or could be monthly challenges with a new theme or subject matter that is done for the entire month.  

Many artists set a goal to accomplish and create their own personal art challenge to try new ideas out or get over creative block.

Why Should I Participate?

I remember asking myself this question after I joined my first challenge in 2010. I recall thinking what a great idea it was when I signed up, and after the first week, I asked myself, “What was I thinking!”

Fast forward thirteen years, and I’ve completed countless art challenges. I’ve learned so much and created so many works – and I can’t wait to start the 20 for 20 challenge in January, 2024.

And here are my top 10 reasons why artists should sign up for an art challenge!!

10 Benefits of Art Challenges

  1. Art challenges are a fun way to take you out of your comfort zone and meet fellow artists.
  2. Making art on a regular basis will improve your artistic skill level.
  3. Daily challenges allow you to try different things, like painting on a bigger piece of paper or making digital artwork.
  4. You can create a new body of work using specific themes like drawing the human figure or painting mythical creatures.
  5. Quickly overcome creative art block by making a new piece of art daily.
  6. Posting consistently on various social media platforms (i.e. a facebook group or an Instagram page for the challenge) will increase exposure to your art.
  7. Artistic challenges make you hold yourself accountable for your craft. 
  8. Learn how to become proficient with a particular medium you have always wanted to try.
  9. You will teach yourself how to work faster and looser.
  10. And you will experience a sense of accomplishment when you complete the challenge. Trust me – the feeling is sublime!
2019 Art Challenges included a monochromatic seascape series
Monochromatic seascape series for a
30-in-30 Days Challenge by Judy Jacobs

What Types and When Can I Join a Challenge?

There are SO many art challenges out there, and I’m sure you can find one perfect for you!

One of the popular art challenges begins on the New Year and is called “Art Journal January.”  It’s FREE to participate in and is sponsored by the wonderful Kick in the Creatives podcast. This challenge even includes a list of journal prompts to help inspire you!

Some artists get together and create their own, while other artists have followers and issue a challenge to their followers.

And while many art challenges are free, sometimes there’s a charge or a participation fee to help cover administrative costs. 

If you are looking for a list of art challenges, just Google “art challenges,” and you’ll find over 169,000,000 results! Also, check out “art challenges” on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. You’ll likely pull up a list of new events coming soon or may be in progress.

Feel free to share this article with your artist friends, and consider joining one of the many art challenges available today!

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