Make a Habit of Making Art

tinkersketch guide

Make playful art your daily habit for more joy and creativity.

You want to feel more freedom to create, have fun experimenting with art tools, and be more playful with making, but something is holding you back.

Whatever might be getting in your way, you are a creative human who can get so much out of the art-making experience.

I want to do everything I can to help you make that happen.

The truth is, you can kick off an art practice in just a few minutes a day.

I’ll help you get going and before you know it you’ll be creating with all the freedom and joy you desire.

If you want to find the artist within and nurture your creative side, but you don’t have a lot of time, sign up for my 30-day Art Journal Experience.

It’s free, it’s fun, and it can help you get started.

I’ll help you make time (even if it’s just a tiny bit) to celebrate your creative self through hands-on making.

The benefits of having a daily art habit

By making art regularly, you could experience the following benefits:

  • Try, explore, and learn new ways of art-making
  • Improve your skills
  • Come up with new ideas that wouldn’t have emerged otherwise
  • Have fun
  • Celebrate the imperfection of your ideas
  • Think creatively
  • Give yourself the gift of time
  • Model creative thinking for your child (if you’re a parent or teacher)

What happens in this 30-day Art Challenge?

If you accept this challenge, set aside a few minutes each day for making, creating, and experimenting with your ideas. If you have extra time, you could always dive in for longer, but aim for a 5 minutes minimum. It’s that easy.

There are so many ways to do this. For example, you could:

+ Wake up a little earlier than usual, brew a pot of hot water, and spread out a sketchbook for a few quiet minutes before your day gets busy

+ Carry a sketchbook in your bag and pull it out when you’re waiting in line

+ Designate “creative time” where you (and your child, if you’re doing this with family) create

After the 30 Day Art Journal Experience, pick a month and keep going:

    1. Follow TinkerLab on Instagram for the online community
    2. Choose any of our Art Challenges below. We have one for each month of the year, plus some special challenges.

Recommended Tools

First, you’ll need a sketchbook or some version of paper or substrate. Second, you’ll need art supplies, and for this, almost anything goes.

Sketchbook Tips:

  • Size: Find a size that fits your situation. If you think you’ll take your sketchbook on the road, find something small enough to travel in your bag
  • Paper: Choose paper that is heavy weight and designed to withstand water and wet media. Look for the weight of paper in terms of how many pounds it is: the higher the number, the heavier the weight. Something over 70 lbs. should do the trick
  • Spiral or book-bound: Do you think you’d enjoy a spiral-bound book or traditional binding more? We recommend spiral binding because the pages lie flat easily. Some people like traditional binding more because they can design/paint/draw a double-page spread without having a gap between the pages.
  • Strathmore: 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.
  • Stillman & Birn: A friend just gave me a Stillman & Birn Zeta series and I love it. The paper is 180 lb.

Pen Tips

  • 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.

Next Steps

  1. Print out or bookmark the list you see at the top of this page. Each day has a new prompt that will inspire you to make something.
  2. Interpret the Prompt: You can interpret the daily prompts however you want. “Drips” to one person may mean flicking watercolors off a toothbrush and to another person it might mean covering a page in marker and then leaving the page outside on a drizzly morning. You can take them literally or not — this is completely up to you. If you’re really at a loss, leave a comment below and we’ll help you noodle through it.
  3. Make stuff: You could put all your ideas into a sketchbook (it is called a sketchbook challenge, after all), loose leaf paper, post-it notes, or something else.
  4. Share it! This challenge can be a totally private affair and you never have to let a soul know that you’re working on it, or you could share your creations with others. I’m a private person, but I find that sharing things like this actually motivates me to work harder. If you’re up for it, we invite you to share your daily sketches on whatever social media platform you love most.  Simply tag your image or post with #tinkersketch, and you could also ping us at @tinkersketch to let other people know about the challenge
  5. Tell others. If you could use some back-up, share the Sketchbook Challenge calendar image from this post on Instagram or with a friend, and encourage others to join you on this fun, creative journey.
  6. Support others. Take a moment to cruise around and look at other images that are tagged with #tinkersketch, and leave a supportive comment to build community and basically make someone else feel great about the effort they’re putting into their creative journey.