Drawing Ideas

The best way to hone your artistic skill is to practice it, but what happens when you run out of ideas? What do I draw? What should I paint?

It Began with #InkTober

You’ve probably heard of #inktober. This hashtag started popping on Twitter back in 2009 alongside posts of ink sketches people had made, and later also on Instagram. It’s an online challenge started by Jake Parker where each day of October, you’re supposed to create an ink drawing, and post it online with the hashtag #inktober. The subject matter used to be the artist’s choice, but since 2016, there are official prompt lists.

That’s where it all started, but that’s not where it ends. There’s now art challenge ideas for every month of the year. Most of these challenges have art prompts with a different idea for each day of the month (and the prompts usually change every year).

Most social prompts encourage you to do one creation per day, but in reality, most people don’t have time for that, so don’t feel obliged. You are more than welcome to do 1 every other day, 1 every week, 1 for the whole month, or just choose any of the prompts you like and do them in your own time.

Unless you’re getting paid, art should never become a point of stress.

List of Current Social Media Art Challenges

I try to keep this list current, so check back monthly or join my Discord for monthly announcements.

Here’s a list of all the challenges I know about. Where possible, I’ve posted a link to the official art prompt list for every day of that month for the current year. There are some unofficial and self prompts that artists publish as well, so if you don’t like the official prompt list, look around for alternatives, though keep in mind that some challenges have prizes associated with them, so you will need to follow the rules in order to qualify.



  • #Faebruary – Draw, sculpt or paint a Faerie.
  • #MonthOfLove – Do a weekly art piece around the subject of love
    Official art prompts here: https://monthofloveart.com/





  • #Mermay – Draw, sculpt or paint a mermaid / mer-person
    Official art prompts here: https://www.mermay.com/
  • #MaySketchaDay – Do one sketch of your choice everyday of the month.


  • #Kaijune – Draw, sculpt or paint a kaiju (big monster)
  • #Junicorn – Draw, sculpt or paint a unicorn
  • #JuneBug – Draw, sculpt or paint an insect
  • #JuneStudyJam – Hosted by Noah Bradley. Do an art study every day of the month. Sometimes there is an official prompt list: https://noahbradley.com/junestudyjam/. In 2022, there was free sign up on Gumroad where reference was provided.


  • #Julycanthropy – Draw, sculpt or paint a werewolf


  • #Smaugust – Draw, sculpt or paint a dragon
  • #Pawgust – Draw, sculpt or paint anything with paws
  • #Doggust – Draw, sculpt or paint dogs


  • #Sketchtember – Sketch (not finished/polished drawings) something everyday




  • #Drawcember – Draw something daily
    Official art prompt here: https://twitter.com/realdrawcember
  • #Decemburtonartchallenge – draw, sculpt or paint something in the typical style of Tim Burton
  • #Decembird – Draw, sculpt or paint a bird

Art Community Challenges and Competitions

DeviantArt Challenges

DeviantArt routinely runs art challenges which you’ll find out about if you’re on their mailing list. Most are just for fun and will simply net you a badge for your profile. I’ve seen people post scribbles with the challenge hash tag just to get the badge for participating. That’s a bit sad. Occasionally they also host competitions where you can win something, but win or not, it’ll give you an idea of what to create.

ArtStation Contests

ArtStation’s contests are a lot more serious. Often the judges are industry professionals, even from AAA game studios. The prizes are definitely worth competing for, but the competition is stiff.

Corel Competitions

Corel often run small competitions where they give away brush packs as prizes. Be sure to read their terms and conditions, because even if you don’t win, they still have rights over your artwork. I’d suggest signing up for the Corel Discovery newsletter to be kept informed of competitions.


If you’ve not heard of it, Proko.com is an absolute goldmine for art lessons, both free and paid. Stan Prokopenko hosts a #ProkoChallenge regularly for a wide range of art disciplines. One time, it will be anatomy, another time book illustration, another time character design, etc. Prizes are pretty decent. The last one I saw had a Wacom One as the first prize. Probably a good idea to sign up for the newsletter.

Create a Series

Another source of inspiration is your own work. Look at something you’ve created that you’re proud of and consider making a series out of it. One benefit is that sets apparently sell better than single works of art. I remember reading that tip from a print on demand service that sells art prints. They recommended sets of 8 incidentally.

For a successful set, you will want to keep the artwork style consistent, but the subject matter, orientation hues, etc, could potentially be quite different, and hopefully that will inspire you to put stylus to tablet.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful, and please don’t hesitate to hit up the comments if you know of some art challenge or competition that should be listed here, or other ways you find inspiration.