January Drawing Challenges

by Jessica Johannesen

I struggle with things that are silly and frivolous. Art included. My therapist tells me this is a result of being a parentified child. I’ll not go into details but the very short version is I was responsible for caring for all of my siblings and my 90-year-old grandmother.

Because of this, as a survival and coping mechanism everything I did needed to be justified. There had to be a reason. It often felt like if I relaxed, even a little, my world would fall apart. I never realized how much this impacted every facet of my life until recently.

Where art is concerned this expresses itself in the biggest case of self-flagellation. Logically I can tell that while I still need to improve, I am not a terrible artist. Emotionally? That’s a different story. I can’t see my skill or even imagine why anyone would want to pay me to do anything.

2021 is all about breaking through barriers. And I want to be able to incorporate painting as a regular part of my creative process. Maybe even bring it into my life as an income stream. But I can never get there if I don’t start somewhere.

The Drawing Challenges

January Drawing Challenge by Ohn Mar Win

The Instagram accounts from They Draw and Cook, They Draw and Garden, and artist Ohn Mar Win are all hosting January drawing challenges. One prompt a day for 21 and 30 days respectively. I’m not going to even attempt to draw something for every prompt. But I do very much like the idea of one small drawing a day for a month.

I’m going to be posting my illustrations on my art Instagram account which is @_.jessicajoh, and sharing them to the stories on my @jessicajohmakes account which covers all the rest of my creations. At the end of the month I’ll post a wrap up here with my favorite illustrations and hopefully I’ll be able to speak about the confidence I built through out the month.

Follow Along

If you’d like to follow along I combined all 3 prompt lists into one calendar and have a PDF for you to download. For the days that have three prompts to choose from they are listed with the Ohn Mar Win prompt on top, cooking in the middle, and gardening on the bottom. But the last week is just prompts from Ohn Mar because she did a whole 30 days, as opposed to 21.

If you want to try this with me and are brave enough to share you work on Instagram, tag me in your comments @jessicajohmakes or @_.jessicajoh and I’ll check out your art and be your cheering section.

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