FDC Year in Review – 2021

In the beginning of 2021, four creative minds ( @Jen_Jemieson, @SandraLynnEide, @creativebrenda, and @yaomacha ) wanted to boost their sketchbooks and character design skills.  We got together and created an Instagram art challenge called: Friday Doodle Club. What we didn't realize is that so many people (almost 6,000 Instagramers) would also join the fun, follow along, and participate! Some of the fun included 45 artist spotlights (interviews) on our website, a Live Doodle Chat on Zoom with the FDC community, a prompt competition, AND a giveaway! After a full year of weekly doodle prompts (53 to be exact), we came together to reflect on the year...


What is your favorite thing about FDC?


Jen:

Friday Doodle Club has been such a brilliant way to feel connected to lots of wonderful artists and doodlers all over the world. It's been such a difficult year and Friday Doodle Club has helped us escape from the news and real life problems and allowed us to think about things like flying strawberries and haunted food trucks instead!


Sandra:

I think we’re all for one reason or another trying to draw more and sometimes when you set a goal or prompt for yourself it can feel daunting, but when you have a community cheering you on and coming up with their own versions, it really makes it more fun and like you have friends doing it with you. It was also super fun coming up with prompts every week with Jen, Macha, and Brenda. I also loved when we did a community post asking for prompt ideas from everyone and I really want to do that again because there were loads of fun ideas.


Brenda:
It was great fun working on the prompts themselves, but I really cherished the time spent with the other hosts (Jen, Sandra and Macha) – as we came up with prompts and ways of supporting this amazing community of artists. Speaking of the FDC community, I just love how everyone cheers each other on and shares each other's work. It's so nice to see! I love the friendships that have grown from this.


Macha:

As many of us are independent illustrators, or artists who have another day job, it is super nice to get this online community to feel like we have our tribe who gets us and work towards the same goals. I met so many awesome people through FDC, starting with my three fab co-hosts friends <3


What is your favorite prompt this year?


Jen:

I have had so many favourite prompts, especially the ones I used to create a #notabook book cover as it really pushed me to think of characters and a narrative. I have chosen my prompt for SMELLY HUGGING DINOSAUR as my favourite as it inspired a story I have now written IN FULL and may one day see on bookshelves... who knows! 


Sandra:

There were sooo many amazing prompts this year. I love drawing animals and anything with flowers so “CLEVER GARDENING ASTRONAUT” was probably my favorite because I got to throw in lots of things I love to draw.


Brenda:

Ooooh! It's really hard to pick a favorite prompt! I chose the BODY POSITIVE YOGA BUNNY prompt because it was a turning point for me while I was exploring my illustration style. Something clicked here. I realized that I really like creating a mood, a story, and feeling like I'm peeking in on my characters in a real moment.


Macha:

So hard to choose!!!
I loved so many of them but one of the prompts became a real friend! 
It’s the RAD CHILLING SAUSAGE DOG 🙂
I’ve initially drawn the prompt as two black and white vignettes but then it got a great response on Insta and I decided to make some make some stickers for my Etsy shop of the dog, so I coloured it and printed it wearing a fancy glittery hoodie. Now he is called « Gaspard », has his own story, and I’ve made tee-shirts and enamel pins of him! He became part of my brand identity I think 🙂


What did you  learn this year?


Jen:

I learned that being an illustrator can be lonely and the imposter syndrome is real, so finding a community of people that understand is vital.


Sandra:

When I started the year I was still really dabbling in different mediums and wasn’t settled on how I would draw every prompt. It was fun to experiment with watercolors, pencils, crayons, and digital and by the end of the year I’ve settled into a groove that’s helped me feel more confident in how I like to create artwork! I still really wish I had finished more prompts but am also glad that all the past prompts are available on the website and now I have loads to choose from whenever I need some inspiration.


Brenda:
At the beginning of 2021 I was still fairly new to digital illustration. I really had the main goal of just drawing more and honing my style. Well, needless to say, I did all those things and found so much more! I learned so much about my art style and perspective just by consistently doing the FDC prompts. I think the fact that they were so fun and random really relieved me of pressure. I started to see a pattern and learned that I really love setting the mood in my illustrations by exploring lighting and different angles. It also became really clear that summer and holidays were a tough time for me to do the FDC prompts, but I'm happy with what I was able to complete!


Macha:

I made good progress colour wise. I used to be a bit all over the place and used 100 different colours in a piece. Now I stick to a more limited palette and the result is so much better! I’m really happy cause I feel it helps me getting closer to a style I like and I can stick to. Not 100% there yet but I see progress!


What is your hope/plan for 2022?


Jen:

Friday Doodle Club will still bring you fun weekly prompts in 2022 and you never know, there may be even more goodness to follow!


Sandra:

In the next year I really want to develop more dynamic scenes with fun unique characters. I feel like I needed this year to experiment and now I want to delve into using what I’ve learned and just make as much art as I can now. I hope the Friday Doodle Club community continues to grow and is just an awesome resource and safe place for artists to come and get inspiration and share their art!


Brenda:
In 2022, I hope to do more doodle prompts of course and hopefully we can have more Doodle Chats with the community! For myself, I want to round out my portfolio with more editorial art and pattern designs. I hope to have an agent by the end of 2022!


Macha:

Most of all I hope we can all see our families living abroad! 🙂 Illustration wise, I have so many goals (too many maybe ha!) but my top dream number one awesome kick-ass goal would be to get an agent who would make it easier for me to get published in children books and magazines. For FDC, I hope we can continue to grow and get closer to each other. Some meet ups would be fab!


Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for joining us on this journey! We plan on continuing the fun into 2022 and hopefully adding more Doodle Chats, competitions, resources and giveaways! This really is such a lovely community! We appreciate you and it's great to see all of us growing in our art. If you're new to the group, don't be shy. We are so happy you're here! Jump right in with a new prompt or any of the old prompts! We can't wait to see all the amazing art we'll make in 2022! 


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