A while back the New Masters Academy, of which I am a subscriber, put out a challenge idea. It was a simply to create your own challenge, something you would do daily for 100 days.
Something I have always wanted to try harder at was just spending more time drawing every day so I decided to simply commit to 20 minutes every day working on something in a sketch book.
To be fair, I probably cheated in this to some degree since I normally spend 20 minutes or so first thing in the morning practicing figure drawing and my "challenge" to myself was to spend 20 minutes outside of that sketching whatever is in front of me at the time. In reality, I used a lot of my normal morning sketch time for this effort, though I did spend more time than I had been, probably averaging more like 45 minute to an hour a day so I feel OK about that.
I am not sure what I got out of it other than the practice from the commitment, (which is not to be taken lightly), and the realization of how far I have to go, how much I don't know and how hard it is to carve out that time every day.
One thing that I am sure worked against me here is the daily posting online. This has the effect of making me want to make sure I have a presentable product, (in other words the ego is in control), and risk taking becomes extremely hard. I have a hard time letting go of control issues as it is but it is getting to that line and crossing it that is one of my main goals. I mean the line where I feel draftsmanship can become something that might be described as art, (an elusive and hard to define term for me).
At this stage in my life I am quite sure I will never get my 10,000 hours in but maybe I will get to a point where I can see things clearly and do what is necessary to tell the story in a compelling way that might touch a viewer somewhere somehow. Regardless of whether I can ever accomplish anything like that, it feels more and more like drawing is what I am supposed to be doing... and so I will continue.
We live in a world where anger and fear and uncertainty are fed to us in a constant streaming feed of data. It is hard to avoid. Drawing helps me to sort out some of the truths, the day to day beauty of this planet that we all share, this tiny speck of dirt in this vast universe. Life is fleeting and the days and minutes continue to fly past and the only thing we know for sure is that one day this life, at least as we experience it here, will come to an end for each of us.
So in the time that is given me I will face the many tasks that come at me in my daily work and somewhere in there, hopefully, I will find 30 minutes or so, to pause, look around me, take in the moment, and draw something.