Showing Up


Micro Challenges

Micro Challenge 1

What is your WHY? Why do you art journal? Why is it important to you and why do you keep coming back to it even when life is full? Write your reason down. 

Micro Challenge 2

Cover a sheet of regular A4 / 8.5 x 11″ paper in paint. And then follow one of two options:

2a. Cut the paper up and glue it into your journal. 

2b. Fold the paper into a zine. For bonus points, join the One Zine in 60+ Minutes hangout today and fill it up. 

Micro Challenge 3

Find an image lying on your desk or in your ephemera folder that represents who you are right now. It can be a photo, magazine clipping, digital ephemera, or even underpaper. Alter the image with dots and dashes (Lesson 3.2 in Messy Marks can help – it’s 05:20 minutes). 

Micro Challenge 4

Use the last art supply you purchased. 

Micro Challenge 5

Use the art supply you’ve had for the longest. If you need to scrape away dry paint or find a way to make it work, do that.

Micro Challenge 6

What makes you a messy artist? If you need some help, check out our Messy Manifesto.

Micro Challenge 7

Swatch your favourite supplies. 

Bonus: instead of leaving them as a swatch grid, turn them into something else. 

Micro Challenge 8

Pull a Hemingway and stop in the middle of it. Create for 10 minutes and then stop, especially if you are rocking it and in flow.

Here is what Hemingway said about his daily routine:

When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there.

You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that.

When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.

Micro Challenge 9

Incorporate your hands into your work – photograph them, cut out their silhouette, photocopy them, or follow a tutorial from Nina or Tiffany.

Micro Challenge 10

Play with tone on tone. Create using tints and shades of just one colour. You may add neutrals, but no additional colours.

Micro Challenge 11

Write lyrics from your favourite song. Bonus points for listening to it while you create.

Micro Challenge 12

Choose one of the Get Messy seasons. Don’t open up the lessons, just choose a theme and create around that.

Micro Challenge 13

Cut a hole in your journal! You can punch or cut a hole in the center, or you can follow this tutorial to create a peek-through page.

Micro Challenge 14

What is the greatest lesson you ever learned? How would you tell it to a friend?

Micro Challenge 15

Add something that was once digital to your journal. This could be digital ephemera, an image online, or a quote from an Instagram caption. 

Micro Challenge 16

Roll the art dice.

Micro Challenge 17

Choose one of these techniques to prepare a background in your journal. Finish the page however you’d like.

Micro Challenge 18

Create your own prompt and follow it. Alternatively, if you enjoy randomness and chaos, create from the first prompt that you land on here.

Micro Challenge 19

Emulate the great maximalist, Iris Apfel, and turn this quote by her into art:

 More is more and less is a bore

Use as many mediums as you can and as many techniques as you can fit onto one spread.

Micro Challenge 20

Fail on purpose.

Micro Challenge 21

Create a page that is a celebration of YOU. 

A reminder of your daily action steps for each micro challenge

  • login to the site (you may want to bookmark this page for the month)
  • refresh the page to see the latest challenge (each micro challenge will arrive at 10am Berlin – that’s afternoon in the east of this earth and early morning in the west)
  • take 10 minutes to complete the challenge
  • snap a quick pic and share it in the Season of Showing Up thread in the forums

Download the Season Sidekick

Save this file to your computer, print it out, and keep it inside your journal to spark journal ideas.