With the new year just around the corner, we’ve put together a few of our favorite January art challenges, that you, your family, colleagues and students alike can all take part!

What is an Art Challenge?

An art challenge is an excellent way to refine and expand your creative skills. It can provide structure in which to practice and hone existing skills, as well as explore new ones. Participating in an art challenge can help you build a portfolio, gain exposure, and make connections with other artists.

Through these challenges, you can draw inspiration from other artists’ work and share your progress. You can even create your own challenge tailored to what you want to improve upon or try something new. So if you’re looking for an opportunity to refine your skills, gain exposure, or connect with other creatives, why not give it a try?

Why should I start with an art challenge in January?

We think January is the perfect month to start with an art challenge, because it can help you get your mind of things that are bothering you. Maybe you decided to stop smoking from January 1st, what better way to practice drawing. It might help you with your New Years resolutions.

Also, January is the perfect time for a fresh start and an art challenge can be a great way to make a lot of art and improve your artistic skills. An art challenge helps you get creative, break out of the same old routines and create something new. Creating art also encourages creativity and exploration as it could be about anything from your morning cup of coffee to your favorite hobby or activity. But, most important, it’s about having fun!

Hey you art-challenger! Why not start a journal?

Starting a journal is a great idea if you're taking part in an Art Challenge. Journaling can help you track your progress over the course of the month and provide a space to document your creative journey.

Additionally, it's a great way to reflect on your experiences and keep memories of your art alive. Keeping a journal is an excellent way to stay motivated and inspired throughout the challenge!

This course from Monja is available with 24% discount and teaches you all the basics to learn how to create a scrapbook travel journal.

TinkerLab’s January Art Challenge

What is the Tinkerlab’s January Art Challenge?

What better way to welcome in the new year than with a spur of creativity? Immerse yourself in all kinds of art this coming January with Tinkerlab’s January Art Challenge! The challenge is a daily illustration challenge that inspires partakers to unleash their inner creative in a way that is stress-free, fun and challenging.

Each day has its own individual prompt that will function as your source of illustration inspiration! Interpret the prompts in whatever way you’d like to create unique, interesting and  fun sketches every day. Feel free to experiment with colour, texture, line work, shading and theme – the goal is: fun!

The Tinkerlab’s January Art Challenge 2023 Prompt List

January Art Challenge Prompt List 2021
The official Tinkerlab’s January Art Challenge 2023 Prompt list

Who is this art challenge for?

Tinkerlab’s January Art Challenge is intended for anyone who’d like to enhance their creativity or simply have fun! Any and all experience levels are welcome.

What will I need?

Each challenge can take as short or as long as you’d like, depending on the complexity of your sketch. Nonetheless, make sure to set aside at least 5-10 minutes of your day for each challenge.

In terms of materials – you’ll only need a some paper to sketch on! Whether that comes from a notebook, sketchbook, loose sheets of paper or the back of your mail, it is completely up to you.

Creatuanary

Taking place during the month of January, the ‘Creatuanary’ challenge is made up of the two words creature and January. Each day, you’ll be expected to create a creature inspired by the given day’s prompt. You can find the official prompt list on @creatuanary on Instagram.

This challenge is also set on boosting creativity in the new year! Setting itself apart from the others, Creatuanary is based on creating a new and unique creature every day.

What is Creatuanary?

In 2017, Dibujante Nocturno, Rafater, and Joshua Cairós started Creatuanary with the goal of providing creatives with an opportunity to practice and improve their creature designs. By committing to creating one creature per day in January, they sought to start the year with a positive and artistic outlook.

The (crowdfunded) artbook dedicated to this challenge featured artworks from the organizers as well as contributions from other artists who agreed to be featured.

Are there any rules for Creatuanary?

Any and every one can join the Creatuanary challenge! All skill levels, ages, and nationalities are welcome. There are no rules on which media is permitted – so have fun, be creative!

You can use the hashtags #creatuanary #creatuanary2023 #onedayonecreature and #creatuanarychallenge when sharing your work online!

Creatuanary Prompt List

Here’s the Creatuanary prompt list for 2023 – get inspired!

Art Journal January – Daily Art Journal Challenge

Kick in the Creatives is back with the return of their popular art journal challenge, ‘Art Journal January’. They are challenging you to create an illustrated journal page every single day throughout the month of January.

What is Art Journal January?

The idea of the Art Journal January challenge is that each day, you create one illustrated page that best represents your day.

Are there any rules for Art Journal January?

There is only one rule: Have fun!

You can use the hashtags #kickinthecreatives and #ArtJournalJanuary when sharing your work online!

Art Journal January Prompt List

Here’s the Art Journal January prompt list for 2023 – get inspired!

January 2022 Art Prompts
Art Journal January 2023 Prompt List

The Doodlewash January Art Challenge

The Doodlewash January art challenge is open to anyone who wants to participate, either with watercolor painting or drawing (ink, colored pencils, crayons, etc.). In January 2023 there are 31 prompts from dragonfruit to polar bears that everyone can use as inspiration. This challenge is a great way to start the New Year by adding more beauty to the world by drawing and painting together.

Are there any rules for Doodlewash January Art Challenge?

There aren’t any specific rules for the Doodlewash art challenge. Use the prompts in the prompt list or come up with your own! Whenever you’re ready, jump in and share your creations – whatever inspires you in the moment! You can use watercolor painting, just drawing (ink, colored pencils, crayons, etc.!), or a lovely mix of both! It doesn’t really matter, as long as you are creative

The Doodlewash January Art Challenge prompt list

This year the prompt list is created by Sandra Strait, a Doodlewash community member.

Doodlewash January 2023 Prompts
Doodlewash January 2023 Prompts

Post your work online with the hashtag #doodlewashJanuary2023 so that everyone can see your lovely art! If you only use watercolor, also add the hashtag #WorldWatercolorGroup.

The January Challenge

What better way to start the new year than by taking part in a worldwide art challenge? A little different to the previous art challenges we’ve discussed, like Inktober, Huevember and Drawcember – The January Challenge is curated by creative around the world. Not the challenge for you? Visit our art challenge calendar with over 80 art challenges or our drawing ideas generator.

What is The January Challenge?

The challenge takes place over the 31 days of January and is made up of different creative challenges. It was created by ‘64 Million Artists’, a social enterprise that works to spark creativity in everyone, and connect creatives around the world. In 2020, more than 30.000 people took part in The January Challenge! Feedback showed that over 98% of those that participated reported that the challenge had a positive impact on their wellbeing. 2023 is their 10th anniversary and the challenge will be bigger than ever.

The January Challenge by 64 Million artists
The January Challenge by 64 Million artists

How does it work?

January Art Challenge
Participate with the January Challenge and have fun being creative

The January Challenge is 31 days of quick, fun and free creative challenges. You can take part in the challenge however you choose. You could be exploring the colours of nature, making music about Mondays, or turning the ordinary extraordinary. 

The Challenges are always designed by different people across the UK, including writers, makers, activists and community groups! 2023 is our 10th anniversary, and The January Challenge will be bigger and better than ever. You can sign up to participate for free here and you’ll receive a daily creative challenge in your inbox throughout January.

What are the challenges and what do I need?

Each day a challenge is put out as a source of inspiration. This simple prompt will vary from day to day and allow you to explore a number of creative forms. They are an invitation for you to take a few moments of your time to think independently and discover new insights.

The challenges come in all shapes and sizes, from dancing to writing, building to exploring. They don’t have to take long – usually just 5 or 10 minutes – and you don’t need anything special, just stuff you have around the house. The prompts are designed to stimulate creative engagement.

January Art Challenge
You only need around 5-10 minutes for each challenge and they range from illustration to exploring!

It’s essential to tap into your creative resources (we all possess them) and experiment to gain a new perspective. You may take a closer look at the vibrant hues of nature, compose a song related to the start of the week, or find a way to elevate the mundane.

Every year, we crowdsource the challenges – meaning all of the ideas you’ll be sent in January have been thought up by a member of the public!

Who are the guest collaborators?

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is an award winning artist, writer, playwright, poet and broadcaster. He stresses the importance of daily creativity and taking risks.

Yomi Adegoke

Multiple award winning journalist, author and columnist Yogi Adegoke, working at The Guardian and The i Paper emphasises her love of painting, the importance of maintaining creative hobbies and manifestation. Her subject matter revolves around the intersectionality of activism, race, feminism and mental health.

Jess Thom AKA Touretteshero

As both an artist and a writer, Jess Thom is also the cofounder of the Touretteshero organization – a creative way of expressing her battles and experiences of living with Tourettes Syndrome. She uses her tic as a source for creative inspiration and portrays the world from a completely different perspective.

You can select which of these 3 creatives (or The Wildcard option) you’d like to receive daily prompts from throughout the month of January.

How to implement the challenge in your workplace?

The January Challenge not only encourages creativity, but also enhances wellbeing and promotes inter-employee engagement. No matter where you work, you can strengthen connection, collaboration and boost creativity amongst staff, patients, visitors or students! The challenge itself is free, and there are a number of ways in which you can include your workplace! Schools, care providers and libraries can download a free support package. As a workplace you can sign up to a tailored support webinar.  Bespoke support is also available for larger workplaces.

You can reach out to jemima@64millionartists.com to see whether you can work together!

January Art Challenge
January Art Challenges of 2023 23

Let us know in the comments what your favourite art-challenge of this month is! Which one are you participating in or did we miss one? If you want to learn more about the basics, make sure to read our art challenge guide.

Do you want to improve your drawing skills? Make sure to read our article where we take a look at the Best Art Classes you can follow online. Combining an art class with an art challenge is a great way to get started! You could also take a look at our curated top 10 of drawing books to help you improve your drawing or for extra inspiration or new techniques.

If you’re curious about other art challenges coming up this year, make sure to check out our overview of yearly art challenges or our art challenge calendar. If you are looking for drawing inspiration, make sure you check out our drawing ideas generator.

Courses & Tutorials

Why not improve your skills or learn some new incredible techniques by taking a course? See all our courses or check out one of these selected courses here:

Resources

Interested in taking part in any of these challenges this month? We’ve got some resources just for you to give you a kick start!

Traditional Drawing equipment

Check out the sketchbooks, pencils and other tools below that will help you build a daily routine in practicing your creative skills.

Digital Brushes

If you’re a digital artist, make sure to check out these great Photoshop and Procreate ink brushes from Grutbrushes. These realistic, responsive and natural brushes will inspire you without a doubt. Grutbrushes offers a lot of free samples, so you can try anything without risk. Check out our Grutbrushes review if you’d like to know more and see more (free) samples.

Reatlist Watercolour Brush for Photoshop from Grutbrushes
Demo of the Grutbrushes Watercolour Brush which is perfect to use for Huevember

Digital Hardware

A drawing tablet could definitely help you in your creative flow too. Most drawing tablets are touch sensitive and are highly accurate. The main advantage of a drawing tablet is the natural feeling when drawing. They are perfect for creating detailed illustrations, drawings or digital paintings.

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