General / 17 July 2021

Top 5 Art Challenges

Hi, I am Zizu / Zita Varga (@zizudraws), a Hungarian artist and graphic designer. In the past few years, I took part in various artistic challenges invented by others. In areas such as developing my technique, drawing inspiration, managing artist block, trying out new techniques, stepping out of my comfort zone, and most importantly finding many talented artist fellows, these challenges have added a lot to my creative work.

You’ve probably heard of some of these art challenges, or you’ve tried them too. Or you want to take part in one of these, you just don’t know which one to start with or where to find them. I would like to share my experiences with my favorite ones so they might inspire you.

1) Character Design Challenge | #CDC #CDChallenge

These were my entries for some of the CDC's themes. Links to them: Tarot, Ghost, Fairy, Fox, LOTR, Elemental.

I think Character Design Challenge (find it on Facebook) is ideal if you want to focus on one single character at a time - or you may add a side character, pet, or mount. Participants usually upload beautiful illustrations and sometimes concepts as well (by the latter I mean when the character is presented in multiple views, gestures, or facial expressions).

What I like the most about this challenge is that there are plenty of great solutions to the same theme! It's so inspiring to see so many different approaches.

2) Draw This In Your Style Challenge | #dtiys

I believe, this challenge is very good if you don't have a particular idea and you'd rather focus on your style and the drawing process. It's also a good occasion for connecting with other artists, especially those who have the artwork you're gonna remake.  And the fact that you are basically allowed to recreate another artist's artwork is awesome in my opinion.

You can also make a DTIYS image to inspire others to create your work in their own style. So what I like best is that it creates an interrelationship between artist and artist through the means of visual communication. It’s like paying homage to each other through a work of art.

Here are the links to the three DTIYS challenges I've made, for example, if you wanna see the originals, or other details: Tiny Enchantment, Lunar Eclipse, and the rainbow girl made for #DA20thBirthday. (For the first two, I gave the titles, they did not have it originally.)

3) Six Fan Arts Challenge | #sixfanarts

I asked people to give me six characters I should draw. That's how I met for example Zoya and or Napstablook. I knew the rest four already and I was very glad to draw them all. If you wanna read more about these characters and the process you can check it here.

I like to think in series, and SixFanArt is a great way to do so. I feel like this project has polished my technique a lot and grounded my thinking in a cartoon-like or comic style. I loved this challenge so much that I am thinking of making new series and I already collect new ideas.

4) Inktober Challenge | #inktober

I think one of the best things about Inktober is that it's during fall. We can draw inspiration from the colorfully falling leaves from the trees, Halloween, the cozy vibe, and similar feelings.

This is an area where you can boldly experiment with each technique, especially when working with traditional tools. The biggest challenge for me was drawing a new picture every day and then publishing it. I realized that (for me) it’s better to just draw sketches in this case, or just make a few elaborate pictures throughout the month - as I did with Witchtober (see point five below).

For me, the biggest result of this challenge is that I’ve laid down some ideas that I can recreate later in a detailed way. Some of them I’ve already done: Blue Jay, Serenity. During the Inktober, I have also made a bunch of Ghibli fan-arts.

5) Witchtober challenge | #witchtober

This series of mine has received a lot of positive feedback, which has made me very happy. ^^ I think I managed to give the most space to my feelings here and dive into the depths by giving me enough time for a picture. Using orange-brown as a single hue was a great idea, so I focused more on the lines, shapes, and lights at the very end. Also, a specific topic like “witches” was much easier to grasp for me than putting down random ideas in the case of Inktober. Plus, I adore witches! ^^

These were my favorite challenges on a list of five, but there are more. For example, Artstation has very good challenges, I had also taken part in one. Did you find this blog helpful? What other challenges would you recommend? Let me know in a comment below and thanks a lot for reading!