By the beginning of 2014 I started this account and uploaded a doodle a day during a year. It was the most challenging thing I ever did and it helped me loads on improving my art.
I've seen a lot of mentions on my inbox about artists that are starting their own 365 Days challenge and I want to write this journal to share what I've learned through my experience and maybe encourage some of you to join this long term journey.
It's okay to start simple!
My first doodles were waaay more simple than the other ones. If I had to start the project again I would still do them simple. Of course, starting this challenge is very exciting but it's a dead end if you put a heavy load on yourself at the beginning!
Focus on knowing your pace first. How much time does it take you to finish your drawings?
On my first 60 days I preferred to stay away from fan art and draw original themes only. That way I could develop a style and gain confidence on what I was doing.
I know this "fan art VS original art" has been discussed about a bazillion times here on deviantART and it's not like I don't enjoy making tributes to my favorite things but looking back at the project the original doodles have a bigger impact on me than the fan arts.
If you still want to make fan arts: go for it, they're delicious to make! Put your favorite characters into themed series like a Halloween compilation, for instance. Just make sure to add your own spin on them!
Remember that drawing now has become a part of you, it is as daily as brushing your teeth. You're making it into a habit. One of the main flaws of my 365 days challenge was drawing it in random periods of the day then starting to draw on late nights. That made me confused about which day I was submitting and I had to make up for the late doodles in the end.
Try your best to keep a routine. It can be early morning or late night, it's important to be continuous.
People ask me all the time about where do I get my ideas.
Putting a year into perspective one of the most important things for me was to write my ideas. Any of them. A prompt, an inspiring quote or word. Anything. Even if I don't use them immediately, the ideas "grow" in my head and may be drawn in the future. Keeping track of your ideas also helps if you're out of inspiration and have to draw the daily drawing.
Surround yourself with inspiring websites, the internet is yours to rule! dA, Pixiv, Behance and Tumblr are my friends whenever I'm out of ideas to draw. Music is also responsible for keeping me inspired everyday.
Just keep eyes and ears open, inspiration WILL come.
Many fellow deviants are against the use of reference but I find them extremely helpful when I'm trying to draw something new.
Referencing from another drawing is great but you have to keep in mind that it's another artist's view on something. I strongly recommend the use of photo reference as it helps you to put your own spin on reality. That can also improves your skill when drawing from observation!
Will Terrel has a terrific video explaining how to draw from drawing reference. Check it out: [link]
The last drawing
Prepare some buckets because if you reach this point you'll cry. A lot.
That's all for now guys, hope that these hints are helpful even if you're not trying the 365 Days challenge. I'm preparing some drawing related tutorials soon to explain other stuff in detail (:
Wish you all the best of luck on your upcoming drawings. May 2015 be an inspiring year!
If you have any question let me know in the comments