Instagram for Artists: Grow Your Following with Daily Drawing Challenges | Stephanie Fizer Coleman | Skillshare

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Instagram for Artists: Grow Your Following with Daily Drawing Challenges

teacher avatar Stephanie Fizer Coleman, children's book illustrator/bird artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. My Instagram Story

    • 3. Setting Goals

    • 4. Choosing a Project

    • 5. Choosing a Time Frame

    • 6. Choosing a Theme

    • 7. Planning Ahead

    • 8. Be Social

    • 9. A Friendly Reminder

    • 10. Put It To Work

    • 11. Bonus: Scrolling Through My Projects

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About This Class



Welcome to Instagram for Artists: Growing Your Following With Daily Drawing Challenges

After a few years of just posting random content on Instagram and seeing growth at a pace a snail could easily outrun, I decided about three years ago to focus on using Instagram to grow my art career. To do that, I needed to grow my following and work on better engagement. A drawing challenge seemed like just the thing!

A focused drawing challenge gave me new content to post, helped me connect with followers, and gain new followers as well. Since that first challenge, I've been working daily drawing challenges into my schedule at least a few times a year and have seen my followers grow from about 5000 to over 46000. Over the last few years I've completed an array of challenges including: 100 Birds, 100 Animals, Procreate 30(2 times), Month of Colour(2 times), 52 Birds, 52 Dogs, and Illo Advent(2 times).

This isn't a quick and easy method for getting new followers and of course, I can't promise you'll get x amount of new followers in y amount of time. This is about organically growing new followers who are genuinely engaged and interested in your work. As far as I'm concerned, 1,000 engaged and interested followers are better than 100,000 followers who are just casual observers.

And of course, as you work through your daily drawing projects, your art will improve, you'll attract the notice of art directors, and you'll gain new freelance gigs.

In this class, I'm walking you through my process for choosing and planning a successful daily drawing challenge on Instagram.

Here's the breakdown:

  • How to choose a challenge that is right for you

  • How to be conscious of having enough time each day to work on your project

  • How to choose a theme that works for you

  • Tips for planning ahead as much as possible

  • Tips for sharing your work beyond your IG feed

  • How to take advantage of the social aspect of drawing challenges

  • You'll also get a PDF planning sheet that will walk you through planning your next daily drawing challenge and a brief list of Instagram drawing challenges to get started.

See you in class!

Steph Fizer Coleman :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Fizer Coleman

children's book illustrator/bird artist

Top Teacher


Hi! I'm Stephanie Fizer Coleman, a picture book illustrator and licensing artist known for creating wildlife illustrations full of layered color and texture. 

One thing I'm passionate about, whether I'm illustrating a children's book or designing a series of greeting cards, is creating digital work so full of lovely detail and texture that it's tough to tell whether it's a digital painting or a "real" painting.  

I work in Photoshop and Procreate and have developed a style of working that blends both digital and traditional elements.  I enjoy playing around with pattern, texture and brilliant colors in my work. Animals are my favorite subjects to illustrate and I'm thrilled to be illustrating the kinds of books I would have loved w... See full profile

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1. Intro: [MUSIC]. Hi guys. I'm Stephanie Pfizer Coleman, a children's book Illustrator and licensed artists. Today I'm going to be chatting with you about building your Instagram following through daily drawing challenges. If you're like me, you feel like you're constantly battling the ever-changing Instagram algorithm, trying to get new followers and engage with current followers. It can be frustrating and there's no perfect solution. Something that's worked for me over the last two or three years has been taking part in daily drawing challenges, something I started doing as a way to explore style and improve my drawing skills but it's also been a way to grow my following organically engaged with followers, attract art directors, and get freelance work. That said it can be a daunting task setting out on a daily drawing challenge. But I'm here to share my experience with you and to help you build a plan for success. In this class, I'll be chatting about my experiences with daily drawing projects on Instagram, and I'll help you get started on yours by taking you through my entire process from choosing a project and a theme to getting down to the planning and working advance one possible. Continue on to the next video and we'll get started.[MUSIC] 2. My Instagram Story: Before we dive into the lessons, I want to share my Instagram story with you. I launched my Instagram account way back in 2012 and I had no idea what to do with it so I mostly posted some studio pics, some snapshots of my life. It was generally pretty random and continued to be that way for about three years or so. By 2015, Instagram was a much bigger thing and I knew I wanted to build my following and really leverage Instagram to promote my art career. A drawing challenge seems like a really good way to do that. My first Instagram drawing project was actually not a daily project. It was a weekly project, 52 Birds. I wanted to choose something that I could succeed at and weekly actually seemed more manageable for me at the time. When I look back on my Instagram feed though, I really wish that it was a daily project instead of a weekly project. Because I feel like with the weekly project, I was posting other things in between my weekly bird drawings and my feed back then doesn't look as nice and curated as it might look now. I definitely wish it had been daily. But even so, it was a simple project for me. The goal was just to draw a bird each week and I wanted to use the project to explore a shift in my style and just to play around with things and to just explore a little bit. I loved it. I loved having a just-for-fun drawing project each week, I loved how I began to understand the direction I wanted my style to go, and most excitingly, my followers were also interested in my project. It led to more comments, more engagement, and more followers. My following very slowly started to grow. That's going to be a theme that you're going to hear a lot in this class; is this isn't ''Get a million followers in two days''. It's about slowly and steadily organically building your Instagram following. That's what has worked for me and that's what I'm hoping to share with you. At the end of my 52 Birds project, a few wonderful things happened. First of all, my engagement with my followers had really increased over the year. I had gained more followers and that's the first thing that I wanted to do, so I was super happy with that. The next thing is that all of my engagement with my followers led me to be really inspired to start teaching online and I created my first Photoshop for Illustrators classes. Then the final exciting thing that happened is that, I felt motivated to convert what I had learned during my drawing project into new work for my illustration portfolio. I made this piece of art and I obviously drew some birds, which I've been practicing for an entire year. I created an environment around the birds and then I sent it off to my illustration agent. She loved it so much she suggested that I create more non-fiction portfolio pieces, which I did, and shortly after, I got my first nonfiction picture book gig and then that snowballed into many non-fiction book illustration jobs that have kept me busy and happy for the last three years. Since then, I've tried to tackle a daily drawing challenge at least once a year. Sometimes it's the 100-day project which I've completed twice, once with 100 birds, and once with 100 animals, and sometimes it's a smaller project like my Procreate 30 Challenge that I started hosting recently. When I did my first round of the 100 day project, which was my 100 bird series, I started with around 5,000 followers. After the 100 days, that had tripled to about 15,000 followers. I may not see that level access on every drawing challenge I do but I'm always adding at least a few 100 new followers, and as of this recording, have about 46,000 followers. Each of my daily drawing projects have helped me improve my art, gained new followers, produce engagement with current followers, and gain new freelance illustration work as well. I love that a focused daily drawing project gives me something to post on Instagram every day. Because otherwise, I'm sometimes at a loss. Especially when you're in a position of being busy with freelance work, you're not always able to share what you're working on. So it's really nice to have a little something that you can use to keep your followers interested each day. That said, I don't have nonstop daily drawing projects going on. These days shorter projects of 30 days or less are working really well for me. I work them into my schedule whenever I can, probably between three and six times a year, depending on what my schedule is. Then in between daily drawing challenges, I'm just doing my regular posting, which will be like sharing works in progress, or sharing new book releases, or new class releases, things like that. Overall, I would say that managing daily drawing challenges as part of my Instagram plan is a lot of work but it's definitely worth it and with a little planning, it's totally doable. 3. Setting Goals: As with any project, you'll want to start out by setting some goals before you begin your daily drawing. Challenge these air your goals so you can make them whatever you want. But in my personal experience, setting more specific ALS will lead to more focused results. Instead of setting and goal of just improving at art and general, maybe you're focusing on a specific material or software or on a specific subject matter for my procreate. 30 challenge. I wanted to improve my skills with the procreate app. Um, for 100 birds. I wanted to refine my style and photo shop in practice, drawing birds. So what you want to do is choose 2 to 3 achievable goals before you begin your project. Achievable is the key word there, and you're 2 to 3 goals should be interwoven. They should complement one another and not war against one another, making your project more difficult to complete. Setting goals of improving at photo shop, improving at procreate and improving at Adobe Illustrator all within 1 30 day challenge is just going to lead to a headache. It's too much at once and will definitely lead to frustration instead, maybe I would set goals to improve at photo shop, improve it, drawing animals and improve it. Working with a limited color palette, those three goals complement one another instead of fighting against one another beside note here, Um, an obvious underlying goal here is to get more followers on Instagram. But I usually don't include that as one of my main project. Goals usually focus my goal setting on technique and practice because making the art should come first and everything else is gonna follow from that. I think that if I just set out to increase followers I would find myself making are that I think Instagram followers might lake instead of making art that I really enjoy making an art that I feel is going to further my career. So for me, it's our goals first and Social Media followers after that. So under the your project section of this class, you'll find this PDF planning sheet that will walk you through setting your goals and planning the other basic aspects of your daily drawing challenge. And you'll also find included with that pdf ah, small list of some drawing challenges that either I have taken part in or just know of or that other people have suggested. It's a pretty small list. It's definitely not exhaustive, but I feel like it's a good place for you to get started. So downloader planing sheet now and work through it as you watch the remaining videos for the class. 4. Choosing a Project: When choosing a project, you'll need to decide if you want to take part in a project hosted by someone else, or if you want to launch your own project. So if you don't have many followers yet, jumping in on someone else's project is the way to go. Something that many people are already taking part in, like The 100 Day Project or Inctober, means that a lot of people are already following those hashtags, and that means that your work is going to have a better chance of being discovered by new followers. Hopefully, our directors and other people who want to buy your work. If you do just want to do your own thing and start your own daily drawing challenge, that's awesome. Feel free to go for it. Before I started my Procreate 30 Challenge earlier in the year, I shared my idea on my I G stories and on my feed, letting followers know the scope of the project and the hashtags to use. By inviting others to draw along with you, you are going to have their followers taking a peek at your work as well and hopefully they'll become your followers too. So, this is my original procreate 30 posts from Instagram, where I invited others to follow along and even included a call to action to invite friends who might be interested. I grew my following through this project and also snagged the notice of the folks at savage interactive, who make procreate, and ended up getting hired to create some promotional art for their IPhone pocket two app. So whether you are going to be joining another project, or starting one of your own, be sure it's something of interest to you. If you are not that interested, it's going to be really tough to get through the time-frame that you selected for your project, and that's what we are going to be talking about next. 5. Choosing a Time Frame: There are two things I want to look at here. How many days will you be doing this project for and how much time do you have to spend on the project each day? After chatting with many fellow artists, the consensus is that a shorter project, somewhere between 7 and 30 days is a good amount of time. I finished the 100 day project twice now and although I'm proud of myself, I'm not sure it's something that fits into my life at the moment. Actually, I started a third round of it in April, but after about three weeks, I realized that my book illustration schedule was just too intense and that I couldn't manage a daily drawing project on top of that. At the time I felt like I was giving up, but I realized it was the right choice for me and to my sanity. I feel like there's a fine line between being persistent and just being mean to yourself. I feel like there's so much to be learned by sticking with a daily drawing project, but there's also a lot to be learned and saying, nope, I shouldn't be doing this right now, this is not the right choice for me. So you have to be really self-aware when you're jumping into a big project like this. Something that several artists that I know have done is instead of doing the 100 day project in 100 days, the actual project I think goes from the beginning of April to the middle of July. So instead of actually doing the 100 paintings during that time frame, they say, "I'm going to paint a 100 birds are a 100 dogs or whatever, but not necessarily within the 100 consecutive days." I think that's a really nice approach and that's a way to relax and to read a little bit. What it really comes down to is just being honest with yourself, choosing a time frame that works for you. So try to check your schedule and see if you'll be free enough to commit to a 30-day time frame or 10 days or whatever you decide you want to do. In my case, I jumped into the 100 day project this third time without really taking a good look at my schedule and then I ended up having to quit halfway through because I just couldn't manage it. This is just where again, a little bit of advanced planning goes a long way and it's really going to help you succeed. You'll also want to try to figure out how much time you can commit to your daily project on a daily basis. So again, be honest with yourself, if you've got 30 minutes, then you'll build your daily drawing project with that in mind. This is all about setting yourself up for success by ensuring that you're not overwhelmed or distracted. For my daily drawing projects, I usually spend an hour or less on them. Knowing that I only have this time frame to finish what I want to share motivates me and helps me focus. You may only have 15 minutes or you may have six hours a day to commit. Either one of those options is totally fine, whatever works for you. You build your daily drawing project around the time you have available and you sign yourself up for success by doing so. 6. Choosing a Theme: When choosing a theme for your daily drawing project, pick something you enjoy, or interested in and can stick with for the given time frame. For me, it's usually something that I'm already interested in and love drawing like birds, or something that I'm interested in improving out, which is what I did for my procreate 30 challenge. When I did the first round of my procreate 30 challenge, I wanted to improve my skills at drawing and procreate. I knew that the best way to do that would be to challenge myself to do it every day for a month and that's why I talk about particular challenge, it was a big motivator. Focus on what you're interested in, maybe you're into hand lettering or drawing comics, or maybe you really like drawing birds, or sea creatures, or people. Maybe you're interested in painting with a specific medium or subject matter, whatever. Maybe you're going to focus on a specific subject matter, or maybe you are going to limit yourself to particular color palette. It's basically the sky is the limit, whatever is good for you is what's going to lead to the most success when you are working on a daily drawing project. So even if you are joining in on something bigger like Inktober, you want to tailor the project to fit your style and interests. Inktober is a challenge where you do an ink drawing every day for 30 days. But that's pretty wide open and some people don't function so well when they just have a wide open challenge like that. So maybe during Inktober you decide that you're going to draw 30 days of witches because Inktober is in October and you love Halloween, or something like that. Definitely choosing something that interests you and something that's a little bit more specific and less broad is going to help you focus and succeed when you're doing a daily drawing project. You also want to consider your intended audience. Obviously, you want to draw what makes you happy first and foremost, but keep your target audience in mind as well. Find that cozy point where you're drawing what makes you happy while drawing what is going to further your career. Those two things actually shouldn't be too far from one another anyway, so there should be an easy one. For me, because I illustrate children's books and products for kids, I'm going to be sharing those types of drawings on Instagram, and I'm going to build my daily drawing projects around that. I look at Instagram as being another portfolio. I want to make sure that it's curated with work that I'm proud of and work that will lead to the illustration gigs that I want to have. I'm not going to do 30 days of drawing bicycles because I don't want to draw a bicycle, I'm just not interested in that. I'm probably not going to finish that challenge and I definitely don't want to get illustration gigs where I have to draw a bunch bicycles. So definitely stick with things that make you happy while also keeping your intended audience and your intended outcome in mind. 7. Planning Ahead: Planning ahead. Again, this is all about setting yourself up for success. I'm the type of artist who works best within some constraints. Be that a time limit, a subject matter, a color palette limit, something like that. Taking time to explore and experiment is a really important part of being an artist and we should all be zooming in all the time, but there's just as much to learn by challenging yourself with constraint. That's something that we're going to talk about in this lesson, which is all about planning ahead. For something like a daily drawing project, I'm most successful when I've done a bit of advanced planning and like a bit of advance constraining. If I have too many options, I'm completely overwhelmed and there is a zero percent chance I'm going to finish my daily drawing. The first thing that I want to clue you in on is basically just the big secret but because someone is posting art every day on Instagram, it doesn't mean that they're making the art on that day. Sometimes they're creating several works out once on one day or over the course of several days and then they're like building up a buffer of art that they're posting on Instagram and they're just posting those drawings over a few days. It looks like they're drawing something everyday, but they're not necessarily doing it, which is completely fine. That is an awesome way to approach a project. I highly recommend it. Now, I usually don't wind up having time to work too far in advance just because of my freelance schedule, and honestly because when I decide I want to do a new daily drawing challenge, I decide like two days before it starts. These are a few of the things that work for me and my last minute Plan A, but these still helped me be really successful. I highly recommend these options. The first thing that I do is I make a list of ideas for my drawings. If I'm drawing 100 animals, I'll make a list of maybe 150 animals to choose from each day. Recently I did another round of my procreate 30 challenge and I wanted to challenge myself to draw 30 animal characters. I had two lists. I had a list of animals and then I had a list of different emotions and each day I would just choose an animal and an emotion and illustrate a character from those two words. I find that having a list to work from just makes it easier for me to tackle my drawing for that day because I've already done the first step and now I just need to do the drawing like I already know, like here are my options of what I'm going to draw, now I just need to draw it. The hard part's already done. Not really. The other thing that I do is I try to rough sketch a few days in advance whenever I can. Again, I'm not super awesome at drawing a lot in advance, like doing final art in advance, but just doing sketches whenever I can definitely helps me out. Again, this just takes the pressure off the daily drawing situation. I'm a really slow sketcher. There's always just a lot of bad drawing and redrawing and scribbling and starting over and like it's whole thing. I find that if I can just work on that in advance and already have two or three sketches done. Having that part finished already gets me excited to work on coloring the illustration because I just get to pick whatever sketch I want to work on, and the hard part is already taken care of and now it's the fun coloring part. Next on the list, I work digitally. There really isn't much prep as far supplies go. But if you need them, make sure you have all the necessary supplies that you'll need for your time frame. If I was doing a 30-day challenge, I would want to make sure that I had 30 canvases or 30 pages of my favorite watercolor paper or enough paints and enough brushes. Whatever you need to be happy and creative and consistent is what you need to have prepped. It's just the whole thing where if you are prepared for something, you're going to be more successful at it. If you're 13 days into your challenge and you ran out of watercolor paper and you can't buy it locally and you have to order it from some place and it takes then you've messed up the whole thing, and then you're frustrated with yourself because you haven't finished your challenge and whatever. Just a little bit of planning, making sure that you have all your supplies ready to go is going to save you a ton of headaches and disappointment, and it's just going to make for a smooth process and we all love it when things go smoothly. The last thing that you need to plan for is how you're going to be sharing your work. Obviously, you're going to be posting your final art in your Instagram feed but think of other ways that you're going to be sharing your work. Are you also going to post-process videos to your Instagram stories or an IG TV. Are you going to do time-lapse videos that you share on YouTube or another platform. I personally have found that my followers love seeing work in progress, but because I prefer to keep my Instagram feed curated these days, I tend to just post final work in my Instagram feed and then I post Work in Progress clips and little time lapses in my Instagram stories. I think that it's fun and I also like that it's less permanent. It's just there for 24 hours people can enjoy it and then it goes away and that's not necessarily cluttering up my Instagram feed. 8. Be Social: I know we all wish we could just set it and forget it with Instagram, but like all social media, you must actively participate to get the best results. The first thing that you can do is take advantage of hashtags. This is where your work is going to be getting discovered by new people who will follow you, buy your artwork, hopefully hire you for freelance jobs. So I usually start with a hashtag for the project and then include variations on that hashtag that are specific to my work. That's where we might use #inktoberwitches if we were drawing inktober witches or anything like that. If a hashtag has more than 500,000 posts, it's probably crammed full of spam. It's probably not going to be helpful to you anyway. So I would say generally skip a hashtag that has that many posts on it. A good example of that is #inktober which has something like seven million posts on it so your work is probably not going to be seen very easily on that hashtag, whereas there will probably be like a #inktober2018 or something like that that's more manageable, and then like I said, you can also tailor that hashtag for your projects. So maybe you would do #inktoberwitches or #inktoberflorals or whatever was more specific to your work. The next thing that you can do to be social and hopefully help grow your following is respond to comments that people are leaving on your Instagram post. I always try to post to Instagram when I know I have time to respond to comments within the first hour after I've posted. Instagram's algorithm is looking for engagement and that has been true no matter how many times Instagram has messed with the algorithm, engagement is always like the basis of what they're looking for. If you don't respond to comments for a few hours or a few days, then you've lost that early engagement boost and your post won't end up being seen by as many people. For me the posts that do the best are the posts where I'm responding to those comments that are coming in during the first hour after I create the post. That works really well for me. Now, in addition to commenting on your own posts, I want you to also start checking the work of other artists who are participating in a project. Browse through the project related hashtags you're using, find all you like and leave constructive comments on the post. By constructive comments, I mean thoughtful comments because these are so important when it comes to organically growing your Instagram following. Others are going to see your comments. They're going to respond to them, and then hopefully they'll take a look at your feed, follow you, and maybe even share your work with others. By thoughtful, constructive comments, I basically just mean something more than just a heart. Something more than just, oh, I really like this or, oh, your work is so nice. Maybe something more specific. Oh, I really love the color palette that you've used on this, or I really like the way that you've inked the trees, or I really love the way that you've drawn this character, something specific so the artist that you're commenting on can comment back to you and you can have some conversation hopefully. I just feel like it feels more thoughtful and more genuine than just saying, hey, I really like this, and I also feel like if you're leaving thoughtful comments, you have more of a chance of people stopping to read your comments and saying, oh, who is this person, I want to check them out. In general, being an active part of the community is a perfect way to network, make new friends, gain new followers, and bring in new illustration gigs, which is obviously what we're all trying to do here. 9. A Friendly Reminder: Sometimes it's easy to forget this very important piece of information I'm going to tell you right now. Your personal and artistic value is not determined by how many followers you have and how many likes you get. You are amazing whether you have a 100 followers or a 100,000 followers. I think for me the key to gaining an active Instagram following has been patience and engagement. My following hasn't grown as quickly as other artists, and I'm actually fine with that. I also don't have as many followers as some other illustrators and I'm fine with that too. I'm not going to let myself feel bad about it. I'm not going to linger over it. I'm happy with what I have and I'm happy with where I'm at. I decided and this isn't the thing that is difficult. I decided long ago to not allow Instagram to determine my feelings about my art. It's super easy to get sucked into the vortex of thinking that just because no one likes a particular piece of art, it's not good. That's not true. If you like it, it's good. That's all that really matters. It often turns out that the illustrations that I love the most and spend the most time on, get the least interaction on Instagram. Then something that literally took me 15 minutes to draw gets more likes and comments that I've ever had before. It is one of life's mysteries. I've given up trying to figure out and just take, and it is what it is approach to it. I'm still going to make illustrations that I love and I'm going to try not to worry about how many likes I think I might get on Instagram because it's really not the most important thing. I'm not saying all of this to frustrate you, but I just want to remind you that social media doesn't define your art or yourself. You're definitely going to be happiest if you're drawing what you love and then try to build your following around that. Don't try to look at Instagram and figure out what Instagram wants you to draw and then draw that, and try to build your following from there because you're not going to be happy. You might end up with a million followers and that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be happy. Just remember, Instagram is not the definition of your worth at all. You're awesome anyway. 10. Put It To Work: Your next step is to put what you've learned in this class to the test by tackling a daily drawing challenge that you'll post on Instagram, you need to decide what's best for you. The rules here up to you to really see growth in your following, I'd recommend at least a 30-day challenge, but do what works best for you at the time you have. Be sure to plan ahead and set yourself up for success by choosing a daily amount of time to work on this project. Under the year projects section on the website, you'll find a planning PDF to guide you through planning your project. Also under the your project section of this class, share what challenge you're doing, the main hashtags your using and the first piece of art you're posting. Also share your Instagram handle if you'd like, so other students can follow your work, have fun and be creative. 11. Bonus: Scrolling Through My Projects: This is the Instagram for artists bonus video. With this class, I'm getting requests from a lot of you to see more examples of my drawing projects that I've done on Instagram. I'm going to flip through my Instagram account with you and talk about some of the projects that I have done. We're going to start all the way back with my 52 birds project, which was in January of 2015. That was almost four years ago when I started doing this project. As I mentioned in the class, this was a weekly drawing project, it wasn't a daily drawing project. You notice that I'm still posting other things. I'm posting other illustrations. I'm posting pictures of my dogs and things from around my house and my studio. Then I am peppering it in with bird illustrations as I go through here. I'm not necessarily a fan of this setup any longer just because they don't feel like it looks really cohesive. I think my entire Instagram feed looks really random. I'm posting all sorts of stuff, I'm posting the weird weather forecasts and everything else. I'm not a huge fan of this weekly project setup. I think that if I did another weekly project, I would probably post three times a week and I would show progress photos or videos of my projects. Maybe if I was working on this goose illustration on Monday I would post my sketch. Maybe on Wednesday I would post a process video and then on Friday I would post the finished illustration. I would have a nice little grid of three illustrations or sketches or whatever that went together and that inform each other, because you can tell that this looks pretty random. I just don't think that it looks really cohesive. It just looks just junkie and clunky. Let's take a look at the next project. I'm just going to finish scroll in through these real quick. Then we'll take a look at my next drawing project. As I'm scrolling through here, I've noticed something else that I want to share with you. While I was doing my 52 birds project, I decided in October of that year that I wanted to illustrate cute Halloween things for 30 days. I was already doing a weekly bird illustration and then I decided on top of that, that I wanted to do a daily Halloween illustration for the 30 days leading up to Halloween, which was a ridiculous idea. I already had one project going on and then here I'm like, "Let's stick another project on top of that." You'll see as I scroll through here, I started off pretty well working on my Halloween illustrations and then you see they disappear. Then maybe you just see one here and there peppered in. Now we're into November at this point, because I'm starting in on Autumn illustrations. I didn't finish my 30 days of Halloween illustration because I have work to do on top of this. I had booked deadlines and licensing projects I was working on. I was working on illustrating a coloring book at that time. It was crazy of me to say, "I've got a 52 birds project going already, let's also do a 30 day Halloween project on top of that." That's what I'm talking about in the class, when I'm talking about planning and doing what you were able to do and being realistic about it instead of trying to take on too much. Then funnily enough you'll notice here that we are in December at this point, we are at the end of November by this point in my first year of daily drawing projects and I've obviously decided to take on some Christmas project as well. Probably the ELO advent project would be my guess. You see I'm still peppering in and my bird illustrations, but I've also started to work on this Christmas project. Again, it doesn't look very cohesive because I've just got a lot of different stuff going on. I've got my birds peppered them with my Christmas illustrations. I think if I was doing something like that now, I would definitely plan to just, if I wanted to do Christmas illustrations, I would try to work out my entire daily drawing projects schedule, so that I was free the month of December to do an illustration advent instead of having other projects peppered in there also, but that's just me, that's just my preference. You have to do what works for you. I'm still flipping through here and you can see this is the last illustration. It looks like probably in my illustration advent I probably gave up towards the end. This is the beginning of 2016 and this is another weekly project that I did. This was called 52 greetings. I was working on my licensing portfolio at the time. I really wanted to work on some greeting card designs. I'm not sure what's going on with Instagram here guys, I can't make the photos bigger, I'm really sorry. Anyways, I really wanted to work on my licensing portfolio. I started doing a weekly greeting card illustration, and this was when periscope was a big thing. I was also doing a weekly live drawing whenever I was working on these greeting cards. You see here's the first one and then the second one. You can see as we scroll through here, again, we're looking at a lot of the same things where I was doing a weekly project and I was just posting my weekly stuff with a bunch of other stuff, a bunch of random things. I've got patterns, I've got some art from a class I was taking, I've got some nature illustrations that I was working on. Then we've got more greeting cards that are peppered in through here. Then a couple of birds, because I just can't stop drawing birds. That's more greeting cards. At this point, I picked up the 100 day project for the first time. Let's see if we can find the first 100 day project. Here it is. This is where I am jumping in on the 100 day project for the first time and mind you, I'm still doing my 52 greetings project as well. This is going to leave me with two projects going on, a weekly drawing project and a daily drawing project. Not the smartest thing ever. I definitely could have used a little bit more planning. Again, that's something to think about. You guys can learn from my mistakes. You can learn from taking on too many things. For this first 100 day project, I was drawing a 100 animals, which was a good idea, because it's a pretty broad topic. I basically just did some themes. I drew foxes for a few days and then I drew rabbits, and then I drew finches. Then I did some Australian animals peppered in here. Then I started with some hummingbirds. You can see I just broke it down into groups for this particular project. Then you'll also see I still have some greeting cards that I'm peppering in here, because I am still doing my 52 greetings as well. I went into butterflies and moths towards the end here, still more greeting cards, still more greeting cards. Then I've got moths started here. Then I think this is the last of that first. This is Christmas of 2016 where I've decided to do another illustrated advent, where I'm just doing a daily drawing all the way up to Christmas. Again, because I was still working on my 52 Greetings project, a lot of these focused on like greeting cards designs. Actually a lot of these were later licensed for greeting cards. Just scroll through these real quick. I was practicing some hand lettering and working that end with my bird drawings. Then here we are in 2017. In 2017, I actually did not have a daily drawing project going on until we got to the 100 day project again, and that was in April of 2017. For this 100-day project, and this one was my favorite, I feel like this one really changed my career, really changed the style that I worked in, the way that I approached my arts. This project is really special to me. This is the first bird in my 100 birds projects, and you'll see here, because I'm mostly just working on birds at this point, I'm mostly focusing on the 100 day project because it's a daily project. Everything is looking a little bit more cohesive. I'm mostly just sharing my bird drawings and also some bird videos so you can see some of my process, and I've got a couple of things here where I had class as launch that we're posting up. But I really love how cohesive this looks. I just think that it's really pleasing to flip through. I really enjoy it. I've got a couple of portraits that I did in my pets and the middle of it. But I definitely feel like this is the way that I would like to go in the future, and it's the way that I suggest that you go as well, is try to keep your project looking as cohesive as possible. If it's seven days or 30 days or 100 days or an entire year, I just love when Instagram feeds look really nice and cohesive like this, and you can see what's going on and it doesn't look completely random, so that's always nice. Let's just keep scrolling through the rest of my bird illustrations, and I had a book launch in the middle of my bird illustration, so I did have a little six grid here of some other illustrations. I should say I think I forgot to mention that my 100 birds daily drawing project was in 2017. That was last year as of this recording. Next up, I've got my first Procreate 30 Challenge, and I showed you guys this in the class. Here is the little graphic that I posted to invite other people to draw along with me because I was just learning Procreate and I wanted to get a whole lot better at it, and I knew the best way to get better at it was just to start drawing. This is where my Procreate 30 Challenge started. I was drawing in Procreate on my iPad Pro, every day for 30 days and sharing on Instagram, and I actually did a couple of themes with us. So the first nine days I was doing animals reading, which I thought was super cute, and then I switched over to birds and flowers for the rest of the project. I got a couple of other cute characters in here, this little mouse character, so cute, and then like this little tiger character at the end, and then I started on the 100-day project again. That was this year in April and this is the one that I ended up stopping. So I made it to I want to say maybe here, is probably the last one that I did or maybe it was this one. Yeah. This is the one where I like publicly announced that I wasn't going to finish this one and made it about a month into this 100 day project. But at the time I was working on illustrating several books. I had other projects going on, I was working on some classes for Skillshare, and it was just a whole lot for me to manage the 100-day project on top of everything else. So I just admitted defeat, which is fine, and moved on and give myself a little bit of a break from the pressure of the 100-day project, and then deliriously enough, started another project about a month later. In June, Este McLeod's started doing her juicy June daily color challenge and she actually post monthly challenges now, depending on her schedule, that every day of the month, you've got a different color to inspire your illustration and then you share it on Instagram. So I found this one to be really fun because it was just a daily color and I didn't have to stick with a certain subject matter. You can see I switched around. I started with birds and then I was doing some children's illustrations or birds, bear character, a couple of other characters as we went through here. So I thought that was a really fun project and then she ended up continuing the project into July. She did another little color inspiration project. It was called drinkable colors, I think, and I went ahead and took part in that as well and just did some more simple illustrations, and I don't think I finished the entire month, but it was fun anyway. So even if you're not finishing out the entire month, I think that you can see from the part of my Instagram account that we've gone through so far, I mean we've looked through almost four years of my illustrations on Instagram, you can see that taking on these daily and weekly drawing projects has really helped me grow as an artist, and I think that's the really important thing. This point we're up to almost August of 2018, and this is where I did my next Procreate 30 Challenge. Again, this is just 30 days of Procreate illustrations, and this time I was doing 30 days of animal characters. So you see, I've got my little like Nancy Drew mouse here with this cute little fox characters, squirrels, sneaky sea gull. Had to sneak a couple of birds in there all the way up to I think these birds are the last couple that were in. Yeah this is day 30. This little chickadee right here is day 30 of my Procreate 30 challenge that I finished recently, and beyond that, that is not the last one. The last illustration project that I've done in 2018 is I did birdtober with Sarah Allen illustration, and I chose to draw a bird from my home state of West Virginia every day for 30 days. Some days the birds had pretty backgrounds. Some days the birds just had pretty white backgrounds and it was really simple, and I kept that up for 30 days. Like I say during the class, I really loved having a short project, like a 30-day project feels like a good amount of time for me now because of how busy I am with book illustrations and things outside of work and all that stuff. I find that a daily project that lasts the entire year or last 100 days or whatever can sometimes be a lot to manage though, I feel like a 30-day project is a lot better. So that brings us completely up to date on my Instagram account. So that took us from the beginning of 2015 up all the way until now, it's almost the beginning of 2019. So that's four years of drawing projects. Some of them were very successful for me. Some of them I didn't finish, and I feel like as long as I learned something from the process, I feel like it's fine that I didn't complete some of them. I became a better artist. I grew my following. I got more art directors following me. I found an illustration agent through my Instagram accounts, and I've gotten all book jobs and licensing jobs and everything else through my drawing projects and just through having my presence on Instagram. So I hope that this has helped you guys out with just seeing some examples from my own Instagram account of the daily drawing projects and weekly drawing projects that I've worked on over the years I hope you find it really inspiring and hopeful and I hope you enjoyed it.