1 Week : 100 People
Way back when I was planning my Craftsy.com class Sketching People in Motion, I gave myself a challenge to draw 100 people in a week. I carried a small book ( a 3×5″ Moleskine Cahier Journal) and two pens in my pocket everywhere I went for a week. (Platinum Carbon Fountain Pen, Super Fine and a Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen).
If you commit yourself to sketching every time you see someone holding still for a few minutes – it’s actually fairly easy to get 100 drawings in 5 days.
I was getting the most out of riding the subway, but just going shopping or to a restaurant will give you good opportunities. Bookstores turn out to be great. People in there are usually moving slowly and distracted with their browsing. Perfect subjects!
I used inexpensive little books, so I didn’t care if I messed up a page, or if the subject walked away in the middle of a drawing. I would say I had about a failure 1 out of 5 times – mostly from the person abruptly leaving – sometimes from overworking the drawing.
I think of these self assigned challenges as play time. Drawing as a sport. It’s like trying to beat your personal best time doing a marathon. Can I do this? How fast can I do it? If 100 was possible – could I get 500 in a week? That’s about 16 people an hour over a 6 hour day. It might be possible! I’d have to spend all day downtown for 5 full days – sticking to places with lots of people around. Maybe I could arrange a week in New York and do it in Times Square. I’d need to have enough paper and pens with me to never run out. I’d have to plan breaks in good sketching cafes. See? I’m already getting excited.
That’s a ridiculous example – but even if you failed, it would be a glorious failure.
Why not try your own drawing challenge? Set a time/quantity goal – and use that to break through any obstacles of perfectionism or ‘sketchers block’. Make it something short – one week is a lot – and have fun even if you don’t reach the goal – it’s the doing that matters!
And – if you’ve been debating taking my Sketching People in Motion online course <<< that page will give you my blog-readers discount!