We find play irresistable. ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ ͏ ‌     ­ This newsletter is about drawing. It goes out every Friday. Want to draw? Then check out my free workbook!

#19 - Making Art Creation Fun Can Be A Great Way To Make It Easier To Draw A Lot - Gamify Your Art Creation Process

We find play irresistable.

FREE Drawing Exercises Workbook
I recently decided to let go of producing output and just focusing on the process. Just have fun drawing, you know? Fill sketchbooks and such.

And it is great fun to fill sketchbooks. But! What you miss if you don’t create finished pieces is that rush of endorphins when you finish and publish something.

I think it is like playing computer games: you play a level, and you enjoy the process of going through the level. But when you reach the end of the level, that’s it. First, you are elated, but then you feel restless, directionless. What to do next? And oh, of course, the computer game has the next level for you: one that is slightly more difficult and more fun. And you dive into that next level.

We need that kind of gamification for our art generation also. The process should take center stage, and your output is just a side effect of your process. But you do need to make finished pieces. We need to set these artificial goals to give our activity purpose, and we dive in, having fun drawing.So I was thinking, how do I combine those two things? How do I just have fun in my sketchbook while also creating output, “finished pieces?” Well, it depends on how you define a “finished piece.”

It’s weird, but if I just fill sketchbook pages, eventually I feel like, what’s the point? The activity needs a goal, even if an artificial one.

I’d imagine a computer game would not be as much fun if it weren’t divided into levels that you can complete and get that shot of endorphins. If these levels were not there, you’d eventually think, what’s the point?

The missing ingredient might be that we need a slightly more difficult challenge each time. And I think that with art creation, we need the same thing.

Filling N sketchbooks a day can be a fulfilling goal, if you make sure you make it slightly more challenging every day.

Interestingly, you need to set yourself goals, but reaching that goal is not the point. You do get that endorphin rush, but shortly after that, you feel restless and directionless. What to do next? It’s all about the journey, about having fun. You do need a goal, but more as a guiding beacon to lead you in a direction-any direction. The point is to have fun making art. The output is almost an unimportant side effect of your process.

My Favorite Drawing Exercises

As a challenge, try to set a goal today, one that is ambitious but doable. Make the goal something you control. You don’t control if things come out okay at the end of the day. What you do control is volume. Filling one, or two, or three, sketchbooks could be such a goal as that is something you can control.

Feel the satisfaction of completing the volume afterward, and try to keep doing it day after day.

And, of course, you should feel happy when the results start to look the way you intended them!

You won!

See that as completing a level in a computer game.

When you start to get bored with it, that’s a sign that it is starting to become too easy. Level up: make it slightly more challenging in some way. Go to the next level! Choose something that you find hard to draw but which you would like to be able to do better, and start filling pages with that. Keep playing that level until you beat the level boss!



Stan Prokopenko and Marshall Vandruff have a great channel, Draftsmen, and in one episode they have a superb interview on the topic of gamifying your art creation process, Study Art Like You are Playing A Video Game - Draftsmen S3E19 .

I like the expression “propulsion loop” which they coin there. It’s a perfect description of what happens when you manage to successfully gamify a creation process: it becomes an addiction and you want to keep going.

I made a YouTube video about gamifying art-making which you can watch here: Art Podcast: Gamify Art-Making! .

In this article, I go into why I am on YouTube: it is a bit like being a child and seeing a toy you want to play with also. But artists can learn a lot from having a YouTube channel also!


Hi Friend!
A quick note from me. Are you contemplating what to do in 2022? I decided that I want to become better at drawing things from any orientation from memory or imagination.

To help with that, I am now doing the Personal Mentorship program with Alexander Steenhorst. He has two Instagram accounts too, artshowalexander and sketchshowalexander go check it out and give it some love!

Also, as you can see, I changed the visual presentation of my website and newsletter again. I saw a site where the text was in color and it worked really well with black and white line art, and a light bulb went off in my head of course. What do you think?

That’s it for the week. Let’s get drawing!

Join Free Friday Newsletter About Drawing
Previous article: #18 - Consider The Sounds That Surround You While You Create Art And Notice How What You Listen To Affects Your Art Creation Process


Sitemap Terms Privacy Cookies | © 2017-2024 practicedrawingthis.com