I Give You The Sketch – The Last 31 Days

Hello December! 

Good morning Summer! 

Who knew that when I decided hundreds and hundreds and HUNDREDS of days ago that I wanted to draw every day in 2016, that I’d actually do it? Not me, that’s for sure. 

Yesterday was day 335 of my #IGYTsketch adventure, and with 31 sketches left to create, I’m pleased as punch (why not Judy?) that I’ve continued to put pen or brush to paper for 11 months straight. Well, almost… I have missed days, and played catch up – which is silly, because actually there are no creativity police out there! 

The point is, I’ve kept going, not because I have to, but because creating has become part of my life. It makes me happy, relaxes and challenges me and puts me in touch with something bigger than myself. Art opens me up. 

I have had great ideas that I couldn’t quite pull off, and drawn more leaves than you could poke a stick at in a deciduous wood. I’ve drawn by the beach, at work, at home, in bed, in cafes, anywhere I’ve found myself. 

It’s all very Jack Dawson a la Titanic – I have air in my lungs, a pencil, a scrap of paper and now I’m here with you fine folks! 

Let’s take a little screenshot trip down memory lane, shall we? I posted all my sketches on Instagram, using the natty hashie #IGYTsketch, which I modified to include the month. 







To kick the year off, I sketched along with one of my now favourite artists and illustrators, Lisa Congdon. 

Lisa taught a month long class online through CreativeBug, and it was a great way to find my feet with the daily habit of creating. Love, love, loved watching her videos and seeing how my brain and hand translated what she drew. 

I think the absolute BEST thing about drawing 335 pictures (so far) and posting them online this year has been the way that’s connected me with other artists. I have met so many sensationally talented, lovely people through creating, it’s really helped me feel like part of something bigger, even though I’ve spent most of this year at home by myself. 

I bang on about people’s generosity and kindness a lot on this blog – I know – but it’s because that’s my experience of life online and off. Whether I’m writing or sharing art, people are overwhelmingly kind and encouraging. That’s RAD. 

Thank you so much people of the interweb. I have needed you this year and you’ve been here for me. 

I hope I’ve returned the kindnesses I’ve received, in some small way. 

Let’s continue our screenshot tour through the past five months, shall we? 






When I look through these snapshots of each month, I remember lots of the days I drew these things – flowers and abstracts, huts and shells and things from the IKEA catalogue, and SO many leaves, and I feel so damn grateful that I signed up for that little online creativity course Inspiration Information, I think back in July 2014. 

I had NO IDEA where that one decision could lead me. No idea whatsoever. I believed wholeheartedly that I could not draw when I started that course. I was wrong! 

Hmmm, seems to me that I need that reminder right now, and maybe you do too. 

We don’t know what’s ahead of us. No matter how much we plan or make New Year’s resolutions or how secure we feel in the world, we just don’t know what’s next. And the limits we put on ourselves, sometimes they’re total bullshit. 

That one decision, to sign up to a course that I think cost me $50, has altered my life. I was going to write, altered my creative life, but I don’t think it’s right to rope it off, to put one aspect of who I am over there, sectioned off from the other parts of me. 

With 31 days left of 2016, I plan to keep giving you the sketch. I hope you’ll see something that makes you smile or triggers a memory or brightens your day. 

I have made myself happy on crap days by picking up a pen and sketch book. I’ve looked up more than I ever have and seen more than I ever knew was around me, and within me this year, thanks to drawing and painting. 

Not bad for a girl who spent 40+ years thinking she wasn’t artistic. 

I wonder what you’re wrong about as far as your talents and capabilities. I know this, you’ll never know until you have a crack. 

Got air in your lungs? Got a pencil and a scrap of paper? 

You know what to do next.  

As Jack said, make it count. 

Much love to you, 

Annette xx 


Here’s my favourite sketch of the year, little me, drawn from one of my first memories. 



12 thoughts on “I Give You The Sketch – The Last 31 Days

  1. a great post thanks Annette!
    I am so happy that you’ve found your creativity!
    I love that last one too hun! just gorgeous and soo poignant!
    keep on going in all sorts of directions hun! … love lateral leaping and tangents!
    I am so happy that I am a creative too! … it helps me work through stuff without me knowing it! … I think everyone is creative, but many don’t allow themselves to partake, or give permission to play and make a mess of things!
    all par for the course!
    if I didn’t do my art I think i’d go nuts! … or be nuttier than I am!
    always “express yourself!”
    much love m:)X


    • My favourite thing about art, the freedom to express whatever I’m feeling. Without that, I’d be way nuttier too!!

      Thank you for being such a fab encourager xxx


  2. I love all your sketching. While I produced anything like the volume you have Annette, I have gone back to the sketch book, which was followed by bucketloads of satisfaction, enjoyment and that elusive feeling of ‘flow’. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a drawing or painting.

    This narrative of creativity being the propeller through tough times is so inspiring. Your commitment is wonderful and just shows that persistence counts – you’ve produced some gorgeous pieces.


    • Flow is where it’s at Collette! Not always easy to reach, but any time spent at my art desk is a good time, even when I draw a blank initially. Ha! Art pun!!

      Keep sketching, it’s so good for the soul.


  3. Love this post Annette and seeing all your sketches collaged together. They start off quite simple, often with no colour, then the intricacy ramps up as the year progresses. Such a great achievement but more than that, the power of letting your creativity lead you and letting it take you on a journey – amazing advice and inspiration for anyone/everyone!


    • Hey Rebecca, thanks so much. I noticed how the colour ramped up throughout the year too. A more dedicated and/or organised person would have kept photos of every sketch meticulously…. that isn’t me though.

      I can see some progress, but I really learn heaps when people with a bit of creative can-do articulate what they see in my little artsy missives. I appreciate it.

      Here’s to a creatively fulfilling 2017 for both up of us. I’m thinking a year of hand lettering perhaps??


  4. Oh I love this post so much and I adore ALL OF the sketches. I’m so glad you found the course too. I love it when decisions work out like that. It’s like a running streak but not!!! But similar! LOVE ❤️❤️❤️


  5. Damn girl, a whole year of drawing every day, so impressive! It is amazing where our self discipline can come from. I bet you have the best collection of pages in your sketchbooks! Did you fill many or one sketchbook?
    Will you carry on next year or are you moving into oil painting or something new?!


    • I filled quite a few sketchbooks Clare, and next year, whatever I do I’ll record it in a more orderly way.

      It’s been a great practice.

      Think I’ll stick with pen and paper mostly – might explore hand lettering or a different thing each month.

      Thanks for all your encouragement xx


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