january art challenge

January is a wonderful time for fresh starts. If you’ve ever wanted to bring more art into your life,  you’re officially invited to join us for the January Art Challenge, filled with all sorts of prompts to get your creative ideas flowing.

January Art Challenge

TinkerSketch is a daily sketchbook practice that invites you to experiment and play with ideas and materials in a low-stress, fun, and mind-stretching way. Print out the prompts and tape them into your child’s sketchbook, or your own. Interpret the prompts as a family. Invite your class to have a drawing warm-up when the walk in (this is a great way to focus energy).

You’ll start each day with a new prompt and it’s up to you to interpret it however you like. For example, if the prompt is “stormy”you could draw a picture of a storm, use colors that remind you of a storm, or make expressive marks that feel like they were created in a storm. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t worry about the outcomes and allow yourself to play! Our goal is to have a great time with no judgement.

How to use the Art Challenge prompts

  1. Print out the prompts. You can screen grab the image above or scroll down for a PDF printable.
  2. Gather sketchbooks or paper
  3. Gather art-making materials: markers, paint, collage papers, glue, etc.
  4. Give yourself a few minutes each day for this challenge. Try the morning after breakfast, after school, after dinner, before bed, etc.
  5. Interpret the daily prompt. Use your imagination, be free, don’t hold back, and have fun.
  6. Reshare on your Instagram wall or post to Facebook with the #tinkersketch hashtag. Art challenges are more fun with friends, so be sure to ask a buddy to join you.

Cut and Paste Prompt List

If you’d rather cut and paste the list into a document or something else, here’s the full list for the January Art Challenge:

  1. dream
  2. bird
  3. water
  4. magic
  5. spots
  6. drips
  7. colorful
  8. hands
  9. shading
  10. motion
  11. a pair
  12. bugs
  13. famous
  14. self portrait
  15. jewelry
  16. galaxy
  17. triangles
  18. ombré
  19. fruit
  20. words
  21. song
  22. fairytale
  23. faces
  24. skyline
  25. breakfast
  26. mail
  27. road
  28. collection
  29. distance
  30. electronic
  31. stitch

Art Challenge FAQ

What is the TinkerSketch Art Challenge?

TinkerSketch is a daily sketchbook practice that invites you to experiment and play with ideas and materials in a low-stress, fun, and mind-stretching way.

Who is this Art Challenge for?

Anyone who wants a creative art boost. The stakes are low and it’s super easy to do, even if you have no experience or low confidence with making.

How much time will it take?

While you can spend as much time at this as you like, just set aside 5-10 minutes each day and you’re in business. By committing to a daily art practice, you’ll experience artistic improvement and personal growth. If you have extra time, you could always dive in for longer, but try to dedicate just a few daily minutes if you’d like to see lasting results.

I need some tips for carving out 5-10 minutes

  • Carry a sketchbook in your bag and pull it out when you’re waiting in line
  • Designate “creative time” where you and your child draw in sketchbooks side-by-side
  • Wake up a little earlier than usual. You can make this more pleasant by lighting a candle, brewing tea, and sitting with your sketchbook for a few minutes before the rest of your home wakes up

What’s the goal?

  • Improve your drawing, painting, mark-making skills
  • Try and explore new ways of art-making
  • Land on new ideas that wouldn’t have emerged otherwise
  • Have fun
  • Model creative thinking for your child (if you’re a parent or teacher)
  • Celebrate the imperfection of your ideas
  • Think creatively

What Tools Will I Need?

  • A sketchbook or a ream of paper. Even post-its or old receipts will work.
  • Mark-making tools like pens and pencils
  • Paint and brush
  • “Attaching” materials such as glue and tape will come in handy
  • Collage materials such as scrap paper, newspaper, old homework, or magazines.
  • Anything else that strikes your fancy. We’ve used hole punchers, chalk markers, tea, and okra (they make beautiful stamps).
  • Our favorite supplies are listed below.

Mistakes are Gifts

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

The point here isn’t to create a masterpiece but to unleash your creative energy. Your creations don’t have to be works of amazing art, and in fact they probably shouldn’t be all that spectacular, especially if you’re pushing yourself to try something new, experiment, and be bold. Be confident with whatever you create, knowing that you’re on a journey to feed your creativity.

Our Favorite Art Journal Tools

Amazon links to favorite product included below.

  • Strathmore Sketchbooks: One of my very favorite sketchbooks is the Visual Art Journal for Mixed Media by Strathmore. The pages weight is 90 lb. and you can get this book in a number of sizes. My personal favorite for on-the-go is 5.5″ x 8″. If you like to work big, they have one that’s 9″ x 12″.
  • Pens: Get yourself a few pens that you love to use, and be sure to have at least one waterproof, archival pen in the mix so that you can paint over your pen lines without worrying about your drawing bleeding with water. Micron Pens are a designer favorite, and they come in tons of sizes and colors. This all-black set includes a few different pen sizes and this brush-tip set includes six different colors. Sharpies are another wonderful choice with so many options to choose from.

More Details and PDF

For more details on how the TinkerSketch Art Challenge works, click here to read for a full list of recommended resources and ideas on how to get started with this challenge.

For more creative ways to start the new year, we also share 5 New Year’s resolutions that fuel creativity and 8 ideas to kick-start creativity in the new year

Download the January monthly view and daily word cutouts here.


  1. These art challenge lists are WONDERFUL!!!! Thank you! I am going to use them with my altered book class!! Thanks for being inspiring!!

  2. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new
    comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service?

  3. Such tasks are a must for me, since I’m too lazy to work by my self. I will join the challenge in february,

  4. I have never done an art challenge but, I think this will be fun.
    For whoever is reading this you are an amazing artist, you have your own style and you do things your way. be confident.

  5. I love these art prompts. Where is the PDF printable for January?

    • Hi Sarah, I’m sorry the link wasn’t live. You should now be able to see it at the bottom of the post. Happy new year!

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