Lauren Hodson | June 2017

Creative Experience: Sketchbook Challenges

Need some new sketchbook ideas?  Try Sketchbook Challenges!  They are perfect for building your students’ creative skills in a low-stakes way that can be a personal collection of their own artistic and academic growth.

What are Sketchbook Challenges?

They are collections of artistic prompts to get your problem-solving creative juices flowing in short exercises while building skill-sets and creating a pattern of “making” every day.  They can easily give your students new sketchbook ideas to run with and eliminate the question of “what do I write/sketch/draw next?”

These challenges typically tackle drawing skills, but they can also include photography, painting, printmaking, etc. So find one, or a collection of challenges, to spark a daily practice! For an example of these, check out my Pinterest board of sketchbook ideas HERE.

28 Sketchbook Challenges and Prompts

The Benefits: Sketchbook Challenges can…

Be Habit-Forming

  • They can hold you accountable for doing something creative every day. This creates a habit of artistic accomplishment and builds confidence in the practice.

Be Time Flexible

  • You can work on a project for as little or as much time as you’d like

Be Experimental

  • If you like pen and ink drawing over painting, the challenges still work for you. Use the medium of your choice or challenge yourself with one that you’ve never tried before.

Be Inspirational

  • These challenges might start out simple and then inspire you to complete a more complete project with more time and detail. I’ve developed some of my most interesting lessons from sketchbook challenge prompts.

Be Customized

  • You can look at a few challenge examples from online resources and pick your favorites. Put them together on your own for a personal challenge that only includes prompts that you are interested in.

“Drawing is putting a line around an idea.” -Henri Matisse

More Sketchbook Ideas

Sketchbook Skool Blog: This site is a fantastic collection of ideas, tips, tricks, and inspiration. If you get really into it, they offer classes as well. Co-founded by Danny Gregory, who brings humor and freedom to those who are creative and those who need more creative confidence.

Education Closet Links

  • Reignite Your Creativity; Challenge Yourself HERE
  • Creative Mindfulness: Using Visual Art to Cultivate Zen in the Classroom HERE
  • 10 Ways to Inspire Creativity with Everyday Things HERE

Challenge yourself and stretch your artistic skills. Try new things! Try new techniques! Have fun with it!

About the Author

Lauren Hodson is a middle school visual and computer art educator in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As a mentor teacher and professional development presenter, Lauren is passionate about creativity and making art accessible for everyone. Her passions in STEAM and Arts Integration are at the root of her goal to collaborate with classroom teachers everywhere.