Category: Challenges


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I’m a huge Austin Kleon fan and just beforeThe Pause, I started following him on Instagram and signed up for his weekly newsletters. I also ordered all three of his books: Steal Like an Artist, Keep Going and Show Your Work. He rocks my world! Maybe not as much as Barack Obama, but pretty close.

As I had planned and booked a trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for April, I was very interested in developing a daily practice of journaling and sketching. To up the ante, I had taken a sketching class with Ardith Goodwin in January. My goal was to be able to sit in a cafe and quickly capture what was going on around me.

Sometime in February, Austin (I can call him by his first name…we’re buds that way even if he doesn’t know I even exist), started doing daily blind contours of himself. Blind contours also rock my world, way below Barack (also on a first name basis) and Austin, but rocking is rocking. I loved that Austin said that he enjoyed seeing his face rearrange itself each day. Yep. Game on!

What began as a journal to create a daily practice soon became The Plague Journal, but the mostly-daily practice endured. This is the longest EVER I have journaled. I think I can now say, “I have a mostly-daily practice and I’m going to keep going with it.”


Challenge Accepted!


It’s been a crazy, busy, fabulous seven days in the Sim household.

Last Friday, my darling Lizzy left to return home to Hawaii. Saturday and Sunday brought a wonderful trip to Amelia Island, filled with all sorts of crazy adventures with wonderful friends. Tuesday brought us a new friend in the form of a German exchange student who will be with us for the next three weeks. Thursday began very early with a 7:30am appointment for the boy to have his wisdom teeth removed and ended with a gorgeous launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket from Canaveral.

Knowing my schedule for the week, there seemed to be only one option. Sign up for the One Week, 100 People challenge on Facebook.

The thing is, I don’t know how to sketch and I’m most definitely not an urban sketcher. I do figurative abstractions and distortions, and while I certainly could have done those for this challenge, it seemed much better to move outside my wheelhouse and try something new. And do it on a “world stage”. I regularly had to remind myself not to compare my beginning with someone else’s middle in this journey because there was such amazing talent in the group. I am so inspired!

I began using magazine images for my sketches, but quickly realized there was no way I was going to get to 100 people at that rate. I jumped onto the site and did a ton of 60 second sketches. Last night, I took pictures of the people waiting for the rocket launch and crossed the finish line using those. Whew!

So, drum roll please….I present you with the not so good, the bad and the ugly.

I hope this pops up on my feed next year so I can do it all over again!


Until next time.



Categories: Challenges