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. 



Travelling Light

Good morning. 

Do you like to travel? 

Last weekend I was away from home, and it was so great. 

Quiet in the clouds


This weekend, I am at home, and that is great too. 

Though I had a sensational time last weekend, I’m definitely a homebody kind of person. I love my place, and my space.  I love being quiet. 

I’ve been reading a few posts this week about the event that plane took me too last weekend, which was a blogging conference. There are so many things to “take away” from big events like that, action plans to implement, changes to make, products to launch, contacts to follow up. 

So many things. 

Here’s what I’ve taken from it – I travelled lighter this year and found that freeing. 

Yes, physically my luggage was much lighter, and smaller, thank goodness, but I also feel like I went with less fear and anxiety and worry about fitting in and networking and being, well, shazam-y. 


This year I worried much less about clothes or fitting in, topics which understandably seemed to create a lot of anxiety for people. I rocked my usual style of being pretty casual. Jeans, or my new and oh-my-God-so-comfy 17 Sundays joggers, throw on a top of some description, and I’m good to go. 

I think that the shift in my attitude allowed me to meet people in a relaxed way. I met some fabulous people, and I hope the seeds of some new friendships were sown. 

The content of the conference was great, it always is, and the sessions I liked best were the ones delivered with passion and enthusiasm. 

Some people are drawn to conferences because of the international “headliners”. Though they’re great at what they do, I couldn’t give two figs about anyone’s global reach or follower count. Last year I’d never heard of the headliners, it was the same this year. 

Darren Rowse

This session alone was worth the price of admission. 

Darren Rowse, Mr ProBlogger, asked us about ourselves, our purpose and how we use our time. 

These things have nothing to do with blogging per se, and they’re the bedrock of it. 

What Darren pointed out was, like everything in life, the stuff we produce on our blogs, comes from who and how we are. 

When we are living well, pursuing the things that light us up, taking care of ourselves, our blogs will show that. 

When we run ourselves ragged, jam too much in, or stop caring, that shows up too. 

That’s why I’m here, typing while the sun comes up this morning. 

I want to write from who I am. I want everything here to be real, and hopefully relatable. 

I’m not selling anything, making money, or plotting becoming the biggest blogger in the world. 

I don’t want those things. 

I just want you. 

I want you to read along with me, to teach me, perhaps to learn from me, or see something from a different perspective. 

I want to make you laugh and think and reflect. 

I really want you to pick up a paint brush or pencil and express your creativity! That stuff is gold. 

Maybe this little blog will never “go” anywhere, maybe it will. That’s not the point of it. 

The point of it is what’s happening right now. 

After I hit publish on this, you’ll be reading these words and I just want to remind you this morning that you matter, that you CAN be the person you want to be and that this is a place where dreamers are welcomed. 


Like Darren, I want to know, how are you? Not in a supermarket check out convo way, but really… how are you? 

What lights you up? What frustrates you? 

If you had one wish for yourself (not your kids or your partner), and one wish for the world, what would they be? 

My answers orbit around these themes – self-acceptance, creativity, and encouragement.  

They are my lofty goals, and little by little, I’m living them out. 

How about you? 


With enthusiasm, 

Annette x 


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