12 Days of Christmas Challenge

So this year I decided, after missing Inktober, that I wanted to challenge myself to producing an illustration for every day of the “12 days of Christmas” using only my brand colours. I did four of these in advance (for Christmas Day etc..) as I wasn’t sure if I’d have the opportunity with all the family visits to actually do these over the holidays. The rest I did on a daily basis in order to stretch myself creatively and force myself to produce a finished illustration in a short space of time.

It wasn’t too bad over Christmas as I was still ‘on holiday’ but in the new year it became more difficult as I had to fit these around client projects which meant doing them at the end of the day when I really wanted to lie face down on the sofa!

I also took this opportunity to use my iPad, apple pencil and various vector apps to see if that would speed up my work process. In the end it actually didn’t, I am much quicker creating vector illustrations like this with my PC and mouse! My iPad serves me best for my hand drawn style of illustration.

What I also realised through this exercise is that done is better than perfect in a case like this. I had to leave out some of the extra details that I would have included during a professional project. I didn’t have the luxury of taking time to review and finesse my work which meant I simplified my ideas. For example on day three I ran out of time to finish the hens hands and legs so covered them with a flag! On day seven I’d have liked to refine the swan illustration and change the layout. On day eight I wanted to produce a different illustration for each lady instead I had to duplicate three and alter the colours in order to finish on time. On day eleven I planned to illustrate eleven characters but in the end I only had time to use their eyes which again I duplicated as I only had a hour to get it done.

Challenges like this and those here are really helpful exercises to unlock creative thinking and produce social media content! You don’t have to stick to illustration either just choose something related to the industry you are in and experiment with different mediums. If you want to unlock your creative side set yourself some small challenges and post the results to your social profiles and tag me – as I would love to see what you come up with.

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