A year’s worth of drawing exercises

The new year is nearly upon us.

Today people are making resolutions left and right—and most will be broken before January is over.

People tend to make difficult resolutions.

So how about you try one that’s pretty easy, really fun, and has great long-term benefits? One that doesn’t involve food or exercise or pain—just pen and paper. How about just once a week you do a simple drawing exercise that helps build up your visualization and communication skills?

And if you were planning on making 2020 the year of eating better, exercising more, drinking less, or meditating… you should totally do that too.

And hey, Happy New Year! 

    1. You: Draw yourself working on a goal you have for the New Year. 
    2. Things: Draw three objects that start with the same letter as your first name.
    3. Buildings: Draw a city skyline—feel free to use visual reference if you need it!
    4. Business concept: Visualize “rapid progress”.
    5. Action: Draw a picture of something that flies—make sure to show it in flight!
    6. Work: Sketch three people working at a table covered in documents.
    7. Valentine’s Day (February 14): Draw three things that you love, love, love.
    8. Data: Draw a pie chart that shows how you spent, or will spend, your time this week.
    9. You: Draw yourself as a superhero—what’s your superpower?
    10. Business concept: Visualize “too much paperwork”.
    11. Robots: What’s your least favorite chore? Design a robot that can help you!
    12. Spring equinox (March 19): Draw a watering can filled with spring flowers, surrounded by butterflies.
    13. Buildings: Draw a state capitol building. Don’t forget the flag!
    14. Objects: Add wheels to something that definitely should not have wheels.
    15. Food: Draw a birthday cake—make it super fancy!
    16. Business concept: How do you visualize “time is money?”
    17. People: Draw a crowd of people holding signs that say some of the things that are on your mind.
    18. Shapes: Draw a house using only triangles.
    19. Logos: Draw four corporate logos from memory.
    20. Storytelling: Draw a three-panel comic that tells a simple story.
    21. Objects: Draw the last two or three things you purchased, with price tags.
    22. Business concept: How could you visualize “bottleneck?”
    23. Nature: Draw several birds on a tree branch, and one in flight.
    24. How-to: Draw instructions for making your favorite sandwich using only images and labels.
    25. Food: Draw a full table setting of your favorite picnic foods.
    26. Summer solstice (June 22): Draw a scene of you and someone you care about watching the sunset.
    27. U.S. Independence Day (July 4): This week you’re a vexillologist—so design your own personal flag.
    28. Business concept: How do you visualize “data download?”
    29. Nature: Draw six different stylized versions of the sun.
    30. Characters: Draw a happy scene from an unlikely friendship (dog & squirrel, for example).
    31. You: Draw yourself in a memorable moment from a favorite vacation or adventure.
    32. Data: Draw a diagram of your refrigerator with the approximate costs of each item (then add it all up!).
    33. Machines: Draw a scene that contains vehicles for air, ground, water, and human-powered transport.
    34. Business concept: How do you visualize “building relationships?”
    35. Characters: Draw two famous cartoon characters from memory.
    36. Shapes: Draw a landscape using only circles.
    37. Characters: Sketch you and some friends playing a favorite sport or activity.
    38. Fall equinox (September 19): While you’re outside, pick up three different leaves and sketch them.
    39. Art: Google “Great Wave off Kanagawa” and try drawing your own version.
    40. Business concept: How do you visualize “clear goals?”
    41. Objects: Sketch a redesign of the $1 bill.
    42. Buildings: Draw a simple floor plan of your dream home.
    43. How-to: Draw instructions for making coffee or tea—but don’t use any words. 
    44. Halloween (October 31): Draw the fictional monster you loved (or feared) most as a kid.
    45. Data: Draw a chart that shows what leftover (or stolen!) Halloween candy you’ve been eating.
    46. Business concept: How do you visualize the idea “we need to simplify?”
    47. Objects: Draw two or three things you wish you could go out and buy right now!
    48. Thanksgiving (November 26): Make a picture of your favorite Thanksgiving foods—use labels!
    49. You: Design a family crest with three sections and a motto.
    50. Animals: Draw your favorite dinosaur… wearing a hat.
    51. Business concept: How do you visualize “strategic direction?”
    52. Winter solstice (December 21): Draw a mountain scene with a cabin in the snow.
    53. The end of the year: Draw the result of your biggest accomplishment this year (can be work or personal).