Did you ever know there’s such a thing as Letter Writing Week? I found out recently and was thrilled! The only problem: it’s the second week of January. And apparently someone else calculated that to be NEXT week, so I’m just celebrating a week early. Whaaaatevah, right? 

My real point in this video, however, isn’t Letter Writing Day nearly as much as addressing how we, as artists, use art challenges. I think people see them as helping to improve their drawing by being forced to draw some object on a prompt. But the real challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to stretch your creativity instead. Let’s talk about that!

Art Challenges & Creativity  

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Push your creative thinking

Instead of being literal when meeting an online art challenge, just drawing what’s in the prompt, see what the poem contains that applies to YOU.

  • How does it make you feel?
  • What does it make you think of?
  • Do you smell anything? Taste anything? Feel a temperature?
  • What mood are you in?

There are unlimited questions that can guide you to find your personal interpretation. 

 Wind and Window Flower

by Robert Frost

Lovers, forget your love,
And list to the love of these,
She a window flower,
And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil
Was melted down at noon,
And the cagèd yellow bird
Hung over her in tune,

He marked her through the pane,
He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by,
To come again at dark.

He was a winter wind,
Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
And little of love could know.

But he sighed upon the sill,
He gave the sash a shake,
As witness all within
Who lay that night awake.

Perchance he half prevailed
To win her for the flight
From the firelit looking-glass
And warm stove-window light.

But the flower leaned aside
And thought of naught to say,
And morning found the breeze
A hundred miles away.

This poem is in the public domain.

Ignore prompt lists if necessary

Don’t stop at seeing “spider” on an Inktober list. If the prompt doesn’t move you – go draw something that does. The point of a month-long challenge is to just do something each day; not to do THAT thing. Sure it’s interesting to see how 745 peopld draw that spider. But how many of the drawings tell you how they feel about a spider? 

You are fully allowed to go off track. If anyone questions you about why you’re drawing a tree when the prompt is house, just tell them houses are made from the wood of trees. Or send them to me, I’ll give them the what-for!

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My painting

My flower painting is headed to my poetrypal. Along with a handwritten letter to tell her, in as best prose as I can muster, how grateful I am for her texts. Even if it takes me time to reply, because I need to read the verses aloud a few times to let it resonate! 


Fave poem?

If you’ve got a suggestion for a poem I can send her a little of, drop it in a comment. I’d love some help in paying her back for the joy she brings me!


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