October Art Dare: Choosing an Idea

by Clara Lieu

Watch the videos above for how to get started brainstorming and sketching our your idea for our October Art Dare:  “Your Future Self.” A mind map and sketches count as submissions!

The third video demonstrates how to explore a second idea, and talks about how to choose the idea for your final drawing.  Selecting your idea is sometimes glaringly obvious, and other times it feels impossible.  In these videos, I discuss choosing between the idea of living alone in the future, and developing arthritis in the future. The image I sketched of living alone had to do with the idea of eating meals by myself at my dining room table at home. I was interested in the arthritis idea because many years ago when I had DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis and had to see a hand surgeon, he told me that he was almost certain that I would eventually develop arthritis after looking at my hands.


After thoroughly sketching out both ideas, I decided to go with the arthritis idea.  This was interesting because I was sure as I sketched the living alone idea that that would be the idea I would use for my final drawing.  Good proof that it’s always worth taking the time to develop more than one idea for a drawing.

To figure out which idea to use, I went back and looked at the thumbnails I sketched out for the living alone idea. (see above)  I decided that the images I had sketched out were far too obvious. I felt that the images didn’t leave much to the viewer to interpret, and the scene I sketched out seem too ordinary and literal. I chose the arthritis idea because I liked the specificity of the idea. The idea wasn’t just the development arthritis, it was also about my fear of not being able to draw some day because of some kind of physical ailment.  I liked the idea of demonstrating the effects of arthritis on me by showing how my drawing style would change. The concept seemed a lot less obvious and was a more unusual depiction than the living alone idea.


Create your own mind map/thumbnail sketches in response to “Your Future Self”, and it counts as a submission for this month’s Art Dare!  More videos to guide you through every step of this Art Dare are coming.  We hope you’ll follow along and complete this month’s Art Dare with us.

Submit your brainstorming/thumbnail sketches on Instagram using #artprofdare and tag us @art.prof!  If you don’t have Instagram, you can post your image on our Facebook page. Get more info on the October Art Dare/prizes/tips here.


Mind map of “Your Future Self” by @humaneyefloater


Mind map of “Your Future Self” by @ellymeeks

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Charcoal Drawing Tutorial:  Tone Thumbnails, Part 5 of 20
Charcoal Drawing Tutorial:  Finishing, Part 20 of 20
Ask the Art Prof Live #4:  Oversaturation, Brainstorming, Beginning a Series
Ask the Art Prof Live #3:  Personal Themes, Never Too Late to Start Drawing
Crit Quickie #13: Figure Drawing on Black Paper

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“How do you develop an idea from a sketch to a finished work?”
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ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.

Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.

ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


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