Hi friends! Ok serious question for you: Are you team wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas or do you immediately trade out pumpkins for garland? I have always been into waiting until after Thanksgiving, but there’s just something about the last 2 years that has just made me reach for that holiday joy earlier than usual- anyone else?
Now I don’t want to completely bypass thanksgiving and all that November has to offer especially regarding gratitude and thankfulness. So I decided to start a little art challenge for myself (and YOU!) I’m calling it 20 minutes of Gratitude Drawings. This is kind of like my own version of the “thankful turkey” that some people do with their kids (a great idea btw- head to this post from @thebusytoddler to learn more!) We are coming up on such a busy time of year that I wanted to give myself the permission to slow down, be more present and look for the everyday good around me, even if they are teeny tiny moments.
So how does the #20minutesofgratitudedrawings work? It’s simple:
- Grab something to draw on and something to create with. This could be anything from a post it, to a notebook, to a planner to your sketchbook. Just literally something to write or draw on. Choose an art supply you that won’t require a ton of time from you but something you have an interest in. If you're interested in learning more about some of my favorite supplies as an artist, you can check out my previous blog here. For this challenge I have been enjoying using supplies I don't typically use like these Arteza Everblend alcohol based markers.
- Reflect on your day. Close your eyes and imagine a moment that brought a smile to your face and added warmth to your heart. That’s your moment. You can either draw from your head, or you could start snapping a quick pic as your become more aware of those moments of gratitude.
- Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes. Tell yourself, it’s only 20 minutes, I can do anything for 20 minutes! Heck, if you really want to help convince yourself why you need to do this, just look at your screen time. There is nothing that motivates me faster to make art than realizing how much time I have wasted staring at my stupid phone (lol, but hey maybe that’s just me!) Take that 20 minutes to create instead of consume (take THAT doom scrolling!)
4. Draw, paint, doodle, heck- even scribble that moment you have in your head. Do not focus on the quality. Do not focus on everything look “right” or “perfect”. Do not worry about it looking finished (ha- this is all easier said than done right?) Instead focus on the way that moment made you feel and how special it is that you are now turning that moment into something REAL. You are creating literal magic, did you know that? Focus on capturing the WHY of this special moment of gratitude and not getting wrapped up in the little details. Work quick, don’t stay in one place for too long, bounce around the paper, keep telling yourself this is a mindfulness meets art making exercise and how I feel is all that matters. If you find yourself really struggling, maybe check out my Cozy Fall Drawing Guide for simple steps in breaking down some of the small magic moments of this season. You can find it here.
5. When your timer goes off allow yourself to honor your feelings. If you don’t feel quite done, then keep working. Or if you found yourself staring at the timer counting down the seconds until the 20 minutes was done then close your sketchbook and give yourself a pat on the back because you took 20 minutes out of your day to not only create something despite your hesitation but you finished the task. You didn’t give up. I’m so proud of you and you should be so proud of yourself!
6. Close up your supplies but keep them close. I recommend keeping the materials you are using for these gratitude drawings on you as much as you can. For me, I travel everywhere with a sketchbook and pencil case. Or, you can keep your supplies set up in the place that you frequent that can act as your visual invitation to sit down tomorrow to create. Do what feels right to you :)
I hope that you will join me in noticing the small moments that make life beautiful and capturing them with your eyes, heart and hands. If you would like to join me in capturing your moments of gratitude this month, be sure to share it and tag me on Instagram so I can see your work! Or, if you want to keep this private and personal, I love that even more!