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Art Challenges 101: The Ultimate Guide

What is an art challenge?

Put simply, art challenges are designed to get you creating art on a regular basis. However, there are a few other reasons why art challenges were created and are so well loved! It has been proven that tapping into your creative side is a great outlet for stress and anxiety – something many of us can relate to! Art challenges work to inspire creativity in the uninspired and allow you to create art in a stress-free, fun way. In addition to this, art challenges stimulate the imagination and serve as a form of catharsis.

Art challenges are usually created around a particular theme, medium or topic and often contains a list of rules or a prompt list.

Prompt lists are a list of words or concepts intended to inspire your creation on each day of the month! Usually, using the prompt list is optional and you’re free to approach the challenge in a way that best suits you – but this does vary. There may also be rules regarding which medium or materials you should use, specific to the art skill the challenge is intending to teach.

The rules and prompt are usually put in place to relieve the stress off of you, so you won’t need to make decisions each and every day. Why not get your ideas together and move on into a life of imagination and creativity?

There are many art challenges available that you can participate in. You can get an overview of all the monthly art challenges with our art challenge calendar or you can take a look at all the yearly art challenges.

Why do people participate in art challenges?

There are a number of reasons that people may participate in art challenges, it really varies from person to person. Some take part to ignite some dormant creativity, develop a new skill or simply have fun!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the main reasons why you may need to take part in an upcoming art challenge.

Beat creative block

Creative block is one of the most common challenges that creatives and designers face at some point in their career. Similar to writers block, creative block is the lack of drive, ideas and motivation to create. Like we mentioned before, it can be difficult to generate ideas at times, with your brain perhaps overflowing with ideas or having none at all! Art challenges work to relieve some of that decision fatigue and help in overcoming creative block by providing you with rules, prompt lists and a definitive structure. Being given an idea each and every day to start with provides you with a starting point from which you can utilize your imagination and add your own unique spin to it.

Create a new habit

As we’ve mentioned before, creating a regular new habit can require a large amount of dedication and consistency – especially if you want it to stick. That’s where art challenges come in. Because art challenges are based on creating a new piece of art daily, creating a habit out of it should be a given. On average it takes around 18 days to form a new habit. By taking part in an art challenge, its more than likely you’ll be able to create a regular habit of making art! As a creative this is a great skill to have, and could be the boost in creativity you’ve been needing. Additionally, having the accountability of the art challenge is an added push to secure the habit.

Learn and experiment

Perhaps you are experiencing no feelings of creative block or don’t necessarily need to form a new habit but are looking to experiment with a particular medium, material or subject matter. As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of different art challenges that you can take part in each and every month, each with their own list of rules, guidelines and themes. By taking part in one that suits your needs, you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the particular techniques, mediums or subject matter of that art challenge. For example, Doodlewash runs a number of art challenges throughout the year that are centred around watercolours. This is a perfect challenge for those who want to experiment and familiarize themselves with this particular medium with the help of a guided challenge. Starting out with something new can at time feels intimidating or overwhelming, but thankfully art challenges take away the need to doubt yourself or question your progress. 

Join the creative community

Particularly during current times, being a creative from home can become increasingly lonely and isolated. This is where taking part in an art challenge is a great idea. With each art challenge you are immersing yourself in a community of other fellow creatives who are embarking on the same journey as you. Usually, art challenge creators will share a particular platform, group or hashtag that you can use to get in touch with and share your art with others taking part in the challenge. You’ll be able to form a sense of community with creatives around the world, share your work as well as view the work of others. In addition to this, you can also give and receive feedback or simply bounce ideas off of each other. As humans we are social beings by nature, making the community and social aspect of art challenge perhaps one of its best features.

Are art challenges for everyone?

Put simply, yes! The majority of art challenges are created for any and every one creative no matter your skill level, age or background. However, just make sure to check out the details of the challenge you’re interested before you dive in. Regardless of whatever rules or limitations a challenge may pose to you – you are free to do as you wish. Feel free to take on the challenges in a way that suits your needs. After all, it is about having fun and enjoying yourself.

You can find a variety of different challenges ranging from simple sketches to digital art challenges. There are also variations on the amount of time you should spend on it each day etc. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the art challenge that fits your needs and is right for you.

Creating your own art challenge

Are you struggling to find a challenge that’s perfect for you? Why not consider creating your own personalized art challenge? We’ve got some tips on how you can go about it!

By creating your own art challenge you can cater to the specific goals you have – whether that be to experiment with a new style, medium or simply develop a habit. It’s also likely you’ll have a lot more fun!

However, make sure to only take this on if you can hold yourself accountable each day as well as remain dedicated and consistent.

CHECKLIST FOR Creating your own art challenge
Challenge yourself to create unique, engaging and creative art every day. This checklist will help you start your own art challenge.
Start Planning
Put together a list of ideas that you’d like your art challenge to be based upon. Think of themes, mediums, materials, prompt words – any and everything that comes to mind should be gathered during this step.
Set clearly defined goals
To make sure you have a clear structure to your art challenge, you’ll need to have clearly defined goals to work towards. Setting these up prior to beginning your art challenge will take off some of the pressure during the month itself.
Involve others
Whether it’s your friends, family, loved ones or neighbours – reach out to others in your life that you feel may enjoy or benefit from taking part in your art challenge. By doing so you’ll build up a sense of community and hopefully help hold each other accountable throughout the month. 
Define your rules
Perhaps one of the most important components of creating an art challenge is the prompt list. Guiding the partakers through your challenge, make sure to spend a little extra time on this step.
We know that this process can be overwhelming, so we’ve got you covered! Simply decide on your theme and generate a list of words surrounding that theme using our Prompt List Generator (link page). Creating an official prompt list has never been easier!
Create a prompt list
Perhaps one of the most important components of creating an art challenge is the prompt list. Guiding the partakers through your challenge, make sure to spend a little extra time on this step.

We know that this process can be overwhelming, so we’ve got you covered! Simply decide on your theme and generate a list of words surrounding that theme using our Prompt List Generator (link page). Creating an official prompt list has never been easier!
Create a hashtag
Lastly, it’s time to decide on an official hashtag that you and other partakers in your challenge can use to share your work online. By creating a unique hashtag, your challenge will instantly become interactive. It can also let people know how to participate, what the rules are, as well as form a sense of community. As we mentioned earlier you can also use the hashtag to view, share and interact with the work of others.

Overview of all art challenges

Looking to dive into some art challenges that are already up and running? We got you covered. We’ve put together a list of all the art challenges that we know of that are running through every month of the year. We also created a list with yearly art challenges.

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