Clinton C. Millsap

The Artist You Can Become

Since I can remember I have made marks, all kinds of marks. Utilizing any and every tool to make art.  Crayons, pencils, pens, markers, paint, metal, glass, stone, photographs even written words.  I spent much of my life confused as to what my work was trying to say. Attempting to discover what is it that I am trying so compulsively get out into the world through images. I only just recently discovered what “ it “ is. I simply love the act, of mark making. I appreciate each medium for what it can offer me with each individual image I'm in the mood to construct. I am always happier with the process of mark making, than I am in the result. Once the image is completed the excitement of almost getting to the top of the hill, turns into tumbling down the other side.  I enjoy, watching others see what I have made. Relishing in true reactions, the mark I am making on someone.  Again enjoying watching the process of someone interpreting what they see. I am a mark maker.

How to Start a Sketchbook Challenge

Starting a sketchbook challenge.

This is actually the full first month of art spread out on studio floor...

This is actually the full first month of art spread out on studio floor...



What in heck is that?  Lets start with the why.  The usual suspect of why you would start a sketchbook challenge is artist block.  Now “Artist Block” is multidimensional, ( huge word points to me ) its “ I don’t know what to draw today “ or “ I’m just not feeling it today “ could be “ I have no ideas “ then there’s “ well I always draw teddy bears, I can’t paint a fish.. it’s not my style “ an so many more.  Artist get caught up in self doubt, and set themselves up with there own road blocks.  Attacking our own works, overthinking everything before the pencil even touches the paper.


Ok, so it’s simple a challenge is challenging. It forces you to commit to drawing. If you commit to drawing 1 drawing a day for 31 days.  What you draw daily doesn't matter. It is the simplest act of just making anything.  The challenge is the boundary not the subject matter or style.  Do you paint flowers in oil.  Ok, ever like someones cartoon doodle of a goblin? Ok, so draw one. Draw two, discover a inking method you have never done.  The most important part is making stuff daily. Good, bad, almost there. Something.


I took the challenge on many different levels.  To me it was to escape my everyday life of what I consider I am as an artist. Which at this point, is a husband-father, a business owner, a sometimes commissioned artist.  Sometimes…My income is from my Cabinet Refinishing Company. Not art.  So I rarely have enough time to commit to being an “ artist “ everyday. Making a consistent body of work, worthy of submitting to a gallery for a show seemed to large an endeavor.  The absence of making art was emotionally draining. Which is only something I think other artist can truly empathize with.  So I needed an excuse to remove some of the inherent art roadblocks that have been in my brain for years.  I love to make photo realism, but I love all styles of art making.


STOP be an consumer. STOP watching TV, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM just for the night… at night be the CONTRIBUTOR.  Add Content to your world.


So I started like this.

create notebook


  1. Bought a pretty little not book, that had the word [ create ] embossed on the cover.
  2. Started a list #1 Yoda
  3. Wrote out lists of methods, Charcoal, Inking, Ink with Cross Hatch, Loose Inks, and so on
  4. Wrote out list of a single image done in mixed media styles 
  5. Wrote out ideas for subject matter
  6. Wrote out methods I had never tried before

You can do this to. Start with anything, start with any style. Just keep it going. Draw whats comfortable to get started. Just get started. Make the challenge your own. Maybe its a list of fan art. Make it, draw your way down the list. 

So much came out of my 90 drawings in 90 days. More work that I have ever produced in the way I " imagined " it would be. What will it do for you?

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