Drawing can be therapeutic, exciting, and enjoyable. Whether you are trying to improve your skills or just drawing for fun, adding some creativity into your daily life is never be a bad thing. However, with the hectic lifestyles that many of us lead, it may be hard to squeeze in some time to draw. Still, if you are really keen and are willing to try things out, you will be able to find some time to put drawing into your daily routine.
As an art student, I am grateful for the fact that drawing is something I have to do every day. However, before I was an art student and was studying computing science at University, I struggled to find time to draw as well. I’ve tried different ways to draw more and some worked while some didn’t. However, I was able to draw almost daily despite my busy schedules.
If you are reading this post, that means you’re probably struggling with finding time to draw like I used to. Just like you, I’ve searched the internet for ways to find more time to draw. Here are some ways you can try to find some time in your day to draw, some of which I have tried myself:
1. Wake up earlier
Waking up earlier to draw seems to be a simple solution. But make sure you are not depriving your sleep because of it. Waking up just half an hour earlier will let you get some drawing done. If you usually sleep late at night, try to get into a habit of sleeping earlier so you won’t jeopardise your sleep when you get up earlier to draw.
I tried to wake up an hour earlier to draw when I was studying computing. I tried it out for a few weeks and I find myself getting really tired throughout the rest of the day. So this method didn’t really work out for me. Guess I’m just not a morning person. Still, everyone’s different, some people can handle waking up earlier in the morning and some people may need fewer hours of sleep than others, try this method out for yourself and it might just work for you.
2.Set up your environment
If you are able to set up an environment where drawing can be easily carried out, you wouldn’t think twice about starting to draw when you have some free time.
Setting up your environment where your art materials are within reach can help you start drawing quicker. If you have to search for your sketchbook and pencils every time you decide to draw, the thought of the time and effort of trying to find your art materials and settling down on a table before drawing and putting everything away at the end may put you off. So if you have everything put neatly at an easily reachable place where it’ll only take a few seconds for you to start drawing, you will feel more inclined to do so. It will be even better if you can allocate a specific area where you’ll use just for drawing, this will save you even more time setting up and putting things away.
3. Just 5 minutes is ok
When you have a busy schedule, you may feel that every minute is precious and you wouldn’t want to waste any time and deviate from your plans. You may feel like anytime you spend on drawing will be taking away time from something else you’ve planned to do. However, from my experience, most of the time that’s not the case and you may have more time than you think. You may think that just 5 minutes of drawing is not worth it, but 5 minutes is pretty easy to spare. Once you actually start drawing, you’ll realise that you’ll end up drawing way more than 5 minutes. If you are truly out of time and are really busy and worried about losing track of time when drawing then set a timer to the maximum time you can spare.
4. listen to a podcast or video when drawing
If you watch a lot of TV, you may consider trying to draw when watching the TV, however, it is easy to lose yourself in the visually stimulating TV programmes and forget about the drawing part. You can then try listening to a podcast or a video with mostly commentaries that are not mainly visually based so you won’t lose your attention from drawing. I find this method works well for me and keeps me more concentrated and focused on drawing longer compared to if I’m just drawing without listening to anything. I usually put on a podcast or commentary videos on youtube when I’m drawing, sometimes I get so engrossed in the drawing that I forget to listen to what’s happening in the podcast or the video!
This method may not work well for you if you find yourself being distracted by videos and end up binge-watching a series of something without much progress on your artwork. So just try it out and see if it works for you!
5. Bring a sketchbook with you when outside
You may not realise it, but when we are outside, at work, lectures or others, there are opportunities where we can use to draw for a bit:
- When waiting for lecturers to arrive
- During lunch breaks
- When your friend’s running late for a meetup
- On bus/ train rides (unless you get motion sickness easily )
- Any other time you find free time on your hands
When I went to lectures at University, it is very common for the lecturers to be a bit late or for me to arrive at the lecture theatre a little early. This is a perfect time for some doodling! I also had one or two hours of break between lectures and obviously, I don’t need that much time to eat, so with my remaining time, I’d catch up on some work or draw something.
During long travels on a plane or train, I’d always bring a sketchbook with me to draw or a book to read, it’s a good way to spend your time on long journeys. However, I get motion sickness on buses easily so I don’t draw when I’m on buses.
Next time when you are outside, try to be more conscious of pockets of free time that you get, take note of them and see if you can use the time for some quick drawings.
6. Adding it to your schedules
Allocating a certain amount of time in your day for drawing is a good way to draw every day. By setting a time to draw, drawing becomes a task that you have to do and you will take the activity more seriously, just like the other things that you have to do during the day. If you usually plan your schedule for the next day the night before, you can vary the amount of time for drawing depending on how busy you are on the day. If you plan your schedule weekly, try to plan the drawing time during the part of the day where you have the least amount of things to do.
Once you’ve put drawing into your schedules, try to commit to them like any other task in your schedule.
So these are some ways you can try to add drawing into your daily life more. Not all of them may work for you but some definitely will! When you find something that works for you, keep at it and I’m sure you’ll be able to draw a lot more and enjoy yourself while doing so. If your goal is to improve your drawing skills, check out my post on ways to improve your drawing skills.
I hope you’ve found something useful from this post and are able to draw more in your life.
You may also be interested in:
- Ways to improve your drawing skills
- Different types of painting mediums in art
- Oil painting basics – Tools and materials
- Skull painting in oils – Process
- Copic markers for beginners