Feature image sketch by Koosje Koene

If there were 25 hours to the day or 8 days to the week, you would surely have more time to make art. Or would you? We often tell ourselves we would do more of something if only we had more time and this is certainly a very real feeling. But the reality is, we have 24 hours in a day and what we do with those 24 hours is entirely up to us. While we have to divide up that time and give some of it to our jobs or our families, those choices are ours to make. Even if it is a few minutes or an hour, there is some pocket of time somewhere in that 24 hours that could be devoted to our sketchbook, or even just a scrap of paper. Here are five simple ways to start making time for drawing now.

  1. Turn off the TV. Watching TV can be entertaining but can also be mind-numbing. Maybe TV relaxes you and it’s part of how you unwind at the end of the day. Think about your TV time as a time when your brain could relax in a different way. Try making a trade and swapping out one episode of something in your Netflix queue for one drawing of something in your living room, or wherever you’re seated. Or, if you only typically watch one show, mute it during commercial breaks and try to draw something as quickly as possible in that time. You can even try merging what you see on the screen with what you draw by recreating the television characters you’re watching via quick gestural drawings or character studies.
  2. Do 5-minute drawings. Try tackling drawings in much smaller chunks throughout your day. There’s always 5 minutes somewhere in your day to create one quick sketch, or even a bunch of 1-minute drawings. During breakfast, lunch, or a coffee break, while traveling to or from work (unless you’re driving), or while waiting at the dentist’s office or in the pickup line at your kids’ school.
  3. Draw while listening to something. Whether you’re catching up on a podcast or half listening to a conference call, you can use those visual and aural skills at the same time! In fact, you might even retain more of what you hear if your hands and eyes are busy drawing.
  4. Get up earlier. In the spirit of Danny Gregory’s Art Before Breakfast, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than normal. Sure, you’re trading some sleep, but getting an extra 30 minutes of drawing time in before the rest of the world wakes up is invaluable! If you run on a different schedule or an earlier morning is not an option, try tacking that 30 minutes on at the end of your day. Draw one thing from your day before your head hits the pillow. Chances are, you’ll sleep better after calming your mind for a moment.
  5. Stop procrastinating. It’s easier said than done but it could be as simple as powering down whatever device you’re reading this on and cracking open your sketchbook! Spend five minutes drawing the closest object to you, even if it’s your computer or your phone. Even if it’s a short amount of time, use it as a challenge to yourself and remember, when it comes to a drawing, done is better than perfect!

How do you make time for drawing? Let us know if you have any tips or tricks that help you put aside some time for your sketchbook!

Filed under categories: Tips