5 Tips for participating in an art challenge


Art challenges are really hard. Yes they are fun and it’s awesome to participate in something that other creatives are doing - but let’s be honest, they are really hard to complete. Between all the things we already have to do (study, work, cook, exercise), adding another thing on the to-do list is incredibly daunting.

Which makes it a bit funny that I have created an art challenge called Birbfest* for the longest month of the year. (I consider January the longest due to it being just after the holidays and being cold AF).

It is funny because before Birbfest, I had never fully completed a prompt list in the expected time frame. And the only real reason I finished Birbfest was because I was the one hosting it and it was only proper that I also finish it :P

But Birbfest is actually supposed to be less of an art “challenge” and more of a “creative kickstarter'' for the new year. I want creatives to be able to use any medium they want, skip and join in whenever, and just have fun making something.

I don’t want anyone to feel pressured to complete the full list if they don’t want to. I will, however, say that creativity is like a muscle you need to exercise and creating every day makes it a lot easier to be, of course, creative ;D

So if you're interested in joining, or even planning to do all 31 birds, here are some 5 tips participating in an art challenge!

5 tips for art challenges

1. Stick to one medium/style
This might sound counter intuitive to when I said “use any medium,” however if your goal is to finish the whole list, I’ve found that it’s a lot easier when you stick to just one style. For example, using only Posca markers or making only square birds. There is a reason why all my birds last year were done in Procreate and all of a similar size and shape - it made it easier for me to complete the whole list without having to reinvent the wheel each time.

2. Draw the prompt on the date listed
It is easy to quickly fall behind if you miss a day. However, instead of trying to catch up, draw the prompt that is listed for the current date instead of the one you missed. This prevents that “snowball” effect, when you start missing too many days until you completely stop doing it all together.

3. Allow yourself to skip days
Sometimes you just aren’t feeling it - either you aren’t inspired by the prompt, feeling art block or simply just don’t want to do it. On those days, skip it and come back the next day. You can always do the ones you miss later.

4. Draw for yourself
You should be creating for you! So don’t feel like you have to post or share your work if you don’t want to. Sometimes when we draw, it just turns out like poop and that’s okay :P Granted, I am pretty certain that what you’ve made is pretty awesome.

5. Join our community Discord
My new Creator Community on Discord has a Birbfest channel where you can connect with other artists also doing the prompt list and gather inspiration from! My favorite part of these prompt lists is actually seeing a community from all over participate in something together. So come join us :) Noobies to Discord welcome. (Yes this is a bit of a plug to join the Discord, but the community is so creative and diverse. We also have channels for sharing plant and pet photos :O What more could you want? )


So that’s it! I hope you will join for Birbfest even if it’s only for day.

Keep on creating lovely people :)

- Birdie, December 30, 2021


* Birbfest is an art prompt list for to draw/craft/create 31 birds through the month of January. Read more here.

You can access the prompt list from this Google drive link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ccGzDTmpZTwpw2qMYVKOPPc9f-aKbZpV?usp=sharing

And join my Discord by going here:


Birdie Tam is an Asian-American/Swedish artist who specializes in ceramics, illustration and design. Follow her on Instagram @birdietam.art or on YouTube for more.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.