Drawing and painting in a sketchbook on a daily basis is a deeply relaxing, meditative thing to do, and it builds creativity and imagination. My art practice changed a lot when I truly embraced my sketchbook for what it was and started nature journaling, my art got more interesting as a result. I find myself more interested in the world around me, and there is always something to explore in nature – even if it’s just the view from your window. If you’re looking for ways how to integrate drawing into your life and make sketching a regular habit, then read on.
Here are some practical tips to make sketching a regular habit:
Make time in your day for your new habit – it doesn’t have to be long. 5-10 minutes per day are enough, and often you will find that you want to continue after that time anyway.. By drawing in your sketchbook every day, you will slowly build nerve paths in your brain that will make it more likely that you return to it the next day. Another great tactic is to make time for the most important things in your day first – and stick to this routine. This could look like getting up 10 minutes earlier to have some time in the morning for yourself to sketch.
Actionable tip: select a time in your day when you want to sit down with your sketchbook. Put it into your calendar.
Make it easy
Make it easy to start. Have your art supplies near you in a dedicated place so you don’t have to search them and can start drawing immediately. Since you don’t need many supplies for sketching, this could look like a sketchbook, a pencil, and a watercolor set in your kitchen shelf, or near a window. If you want to sketch outside, prepare a sketching kit in a bag and have it ready at all times, so you can just grab it and go. I’ve written a bit about how to assemble such a sketching kit and how to sketch outside here, here and here.
Actionable tip: Assemble your sketching kit and put it where you can grab it immediately and start
Connect Sketching With Another Habit
One if the most effective methods is to chain a new habit to an existing habit, to make it more natural to start. Think about it – you already do that other thing on a regular basis, so it makes sense to connect the thing you want to do with it. In the case of daily sketching, this could look like watching birds from your window and sketching a bit, or having your morning coffee and sketching while you drink it. If you want to start sketching outside with a nature journal, bring your sketching kit to outdoor activities like hiking or birding.
Actionable tip: Think about what you do before, after or while sketching. Organize your drawing sessions or nature journaling activity around these times.
Finding accountability is a great method to make a new habit stick, and in the case of drawing, it’s also more fun! There are different ways to stay accountable with the help of others, but finding an accountability partner is one method. Essentially you tell a friend about this new habit, and this will help you follow through with it. Even better is to make sketching a social activity that involves friends. Organize a regular sketching event together, or go hiking and sketch outside together. Another way to make yourself publicly accountible is to share your work regularly with like-minded people on the internet, like on a blog or on social media. This is one of the reasons that I started to share my sketchbooks on this blog.
Actionable tip: surround yourself with a creative community. Either join a local group, or an online community. Share your work there!
Just start somewhere
The best thing is not to overthink it and simply start somewhere. If you want to make art on a regular basis and integrate it into your daily life, then use one of several of the methods above – they will make it more likely that you will not only start, but keep this new habit. Above all, don’t forget that sketching or nature journaling should be a way to bring more fun and creativity into your life. For me, this totally worked and paid off in several ways, which is why I’m such a big proponent of nature journaling as a way to connect with nature and your inner creativity. Try it for yourself and see where it can take you.
Actionable tip: get started today, now! Either get out your sketchbook today or put an x into your calendar for your next drawing session!
I hope you liked these tips! What do you do to sketch more regularly?