Participating in art challenges is a super easy way to stay motivated and design regularly, especially since there’s so many great monthly challenges on Instagram nowadays.
And the best part about them is that the art prompts they provide take the guesswork out of what to draw (because if you’re like me, you can get stumped easily staring at a blank piece of paper).
Like the Daily Sketch Challenge I ran on Instagram for two years, where I shared almost 700 unique drawing prompts.
But these types of art challenges, while really fun, have one large flaw when it comes to creating artwork as a surface designer: the art prompts may not always be relevant to your portfolio.
Don’t get me wrong, sketching a vulture or ukelele may help improve your drawing skills, but it’s probably not worth developing those drawings into completed designs for your surface design portfolio – there’s just not a big enough market for certain motifs.
And that’s why Jena and I put our heads together and built a brand new challenge that was totally in service to helping you building a well-rounded portfolio.
Introducing the Portfolio Power-Ups Challenge
This new monthly challenge features industry-relevant themes to help you build a stronger surface design portfolio with timeless artwork that buyers will want season after season – those of you who are familiar with our beloved 3×3 Challenge will absolutely love it!
Our goal with the PPU Challenge is to help you grow your portfolio in a way that’s sustainable (so you don’t have the stress of creating something daily). You can design a single piece for each monthly prompt or a whole large collection. And even if you do only design 1 new piece for each prompt, you’ll have at least 12 market-focused designs by the end of the year that you can be proud of.
Inside each month’s prompt PDF you’ll find:
A themed mood board
List of motifs & phrases to design with
Link to the challenge Pinterest board for more inspiration
And a resource list to support you
This challenge was also specifically designed to be useful for both new AND existing surface designers, so…
If you’ve already got a portfolio started, this challenge will strengthen it.
And if you’re starting your portfolio from scratch, it’ll give you a solid foundation and help you build your portfolio strategically — which means you can start sending out your art to companies later this year.
The Portfolio Power-Ups Challenge is sent out at the beginning of every month to our email list of over 5k designers, so it’s also completely free to join.
And if you’d like some more advice on how to build a market-ready surface design portfolio, here’s a few more blog posts I think you’d like:
UPDATE: This challenge ended in December 2022. If you’d like a sample prompt, we’ll be happy to add you to our newsletter list and send you the PDF — just drop us a comment below.