How to find time for drawing

Have you felt before that you want to draw but there is just not enough time in the day to do so? The days are going fast and you realise a month has passed and you’ve made none of the artworks you wished to make. Don’t worry, there is a solution for this. You will have a little gallery soon enough. :)

So, lets just jump in, but before we check how you can get more time for drawing lets talk about what is important to you. I am sure you already heared many times that you have time for what you make time for. This is true, but did you also know that if you do one thing a day that really matters to you, that will change how you feel yourself that day? It will boost your energie, your satisfaction. That important thing you do might be only one step of a bigger process and it may only take half an hour to do it. Doining these little steps towards your goal everyday will let you reach more on the long run, you will get to where you want to be.

How does this connect to drawing? Do you have a dream with drawing? Do you want to create book cover illustrations, concept art for games or do you want to create your own comic book? What is your dream? Can it be that you want to draw just to relax? Whichever reason you have the most important question to answer is: “is this what you would like to do or is there something else you wish doing?” Now this question might be tricky I am not asking if there is anything that you must do, like learning for your exams, doing housework, or bringing your child home from school. No, the question here is if you would have all the time on Earth, what would you do now? Take a moment or more and answer this question honestly. Your answer is there, that is what is important to you know, that is what you should make time for in your life. Lets look at why.

Why should you bother getting the time for drawing?

Or I could also ask: why should you bother to get the time for anything that matters to you right now. The answer is easy. What will happen if you do what you would like to do? You will feel happiness. You will be happy instantly, as soos as you just think about it you feel the warmth around your heart. That is why it is important to do what you love to do. You deserve to have time for yourself and for your dreams, but know that it is you who will make your dreams come true. That means you are the one who should make time for your dreams, even if it seems hard or impossble.

Returning back to drawing, you like drawing, don’t you? How does it if feel to you when you draw? And how do you feel when you hold a finished artwork in your hands? I bet it feels great. So why not enjoy it more? You will be happy flipping through your finished pictures. Maybe you will end up with a nice artbook. :) Whatever your goal is the results will be pleasent. You will also gain lots of experience along the way. You might even find new things you are interesed in that may lead you to new ways. You will learn and you will get better with drawing and also with this technique. The technique I will tell you also works with other things not just with drawing. You can use it for other hobbies, or for tasks you want to do.

How can you create time for drawing?

A little goes a long way, and that is so true! You can achieve great things even if you only have half an hour a day. This is what we will use: half an hour a day just for you and for your project, for your dream. Using this time wisely is key, you should concentrating on making one step during this timeframe. No e-mail checking, try to be away from the internet, it can distract you from your goal. During this 30 minutes do your best on finishing the goal you set up for this time. Only one little goal, one step to do. You will do the next step tomorrow. Doing the steps will soon get you to a finished artwork, or for a finished project.

Check what is your process of drawing: idea gathering, sketching, linearting? How do you work? Create small steps from your process. You might need more time for the lineart: one step might be drawing the hands and an other the head itself. Take your time with your drawing, you don’t have to finish your drawing in one day nor in two hours. Great pictures need time to be made. You must put in time and effort to create something nice. But you can do these steps daily, half an hour a day is enough to get you started.

How to find half an hour a day for drawing?

Check what you do on a daily basis, is there anything that you can exchange for half an hour of drawing? TV watching, video games maybe? Maybe you can check your e-mails and Facebook messages within half an our, and you don’t need two hours for aimless net surfing. Can you get up half an hour earlier to draw? What feels comfortably to you? Find yourself a time block when you can draw freely, what you feel comfortably with. The sooner the better, you have more energy at the start of the day than in the evening. You might want to draw in the same time everyday, if you do so you will build out a drawing habit. Habits are good. After some time you will feel the need for drawing everyday. But know that at first it might be hard to get yourself sit down for drawing. You will need your own willpower for this. To make this easier that is why I suggest to start with only half an hour. It is not that much, you can do that easily. :) Adjust this technique to suit yourself. The most important thing is that you start doing it. If there is something you don’t like in the process along the way, change it. Expreiment with it and have fun.

Mistakes and traps you should avoid

One trap you can walk into is if you want to rush your drawings. You might be impatient to finish your drawing asap, but that won’t work. You will end up with a crappy thing. The composition or the anatomy will be off, you will feel angry. I know because I did the same thing, I wanted to create perfect pictures, they turned out to be really ugly. My lines seemed forced and very strong, they were showing my impatience clearly. That is why it is important to understand and to get used to (yes, you need your own willpower for this) the process: one step at a time, and do it daily. Every time concentrate on one step and do that step. It is okay if you miss out a few days, don’t feel bad because of it, just get back to drawing the next day. Don’t stop, keep it up!

Another mistake can be if you get overconfident after doing your first steps. You might feel: “Oh! I can do more today, a lot more” – and you continue drawing for hours (5 hours or more can be way too much). You might end up rushing things (like in the first mistake I mentioned) or you might get exhausted from it, and you won’t have any energy left for the next day (especially if you stay up till morning, just like I did. Your next day might be ruined because your lack of sleep). Even worse you might skip some other important things you wanted to do that day, and you might feel bad later because of the other unfinished tasks. That is not good. That will just discourage you next time when you want to draw. Try to keep the balance with everything. You should feel relaxed, happy and satisfied. First stick to your half an hour. You will feel great that way, I am sure. Later when you are used to doing this, you can still expand your time frame with an other half an hour if needed.

Thirdly, sometimes you might run into problems you haven’t predicted and you can’t finish your daily goal within your set timeframe. It is okay, this happens. That means you will need to work on this more, maybe you should ask for help, get more reference pictures or read tutorials about it. This of course requires time, count with it. If a problem emerges, slow done, find how you can solve your problem and solve it. Problems like these are what will make you progress a lot, so they aren’t so bad. You might end up learning how to draw those hands and feets very well. ;)

How it was with me

I like seeing results fast, so you can bet, I was one who rushed finishing drawings many times. I mostly got horrible pictures when I did so or if I was able to invest time into finishing a picture, I did that in one go. The pictures took lots of hours to finish, that means I was sitting for hours in front of the computer, mostly from evening to nights. This drained my energy so much. I drew nothing after that for months! This was such a bad habit. After some years – yes, I needed years to find this method – when I moved out from my mother’s house I got so much work to do: doing the houseworks, cooking, learning, working. That was clearly too much for me to handle. I first learned this technique to help myself with these chores. But then I started using it for other things like reading every day a little (I haven’t read a novel for 8 years before), cleaning every day something at home, building my website every day so I ended up with drawing the same way. And it works! It really works. I got so much done in a month after I started using this technique, I did more then the previous year before. I can tell you I feel really happy because of this, and I feel more satisfied and energised. You will see that you will feel more at ease after you make your first beautiful artwork of the month. Don’t forget to share your finished artwork, show it to the world and enjoy the feeling that you made it. What will be the next artwork you will work on?

What to do next?

  1. I am sure you already have an idea of what you would like to do, and you might be very excited about starting it now. Your first step should be to take apart your goal for smaller goals, that can be done in around 30 minutes. No need to be perfect, just write down some of the main steps quickly.
  2. Find a time for tomorrow when you will do your first step.
  3. Tomorrow do your first step and no more. Be happy that you made it!
  4. The next day go to your next step, do it and smile. Continue till you finish your picture, and remember balance is key.

Remember to read this article again soon, it will help you stay focused and keep you working on your goals. :)

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