New Challenge – Let’s Sketch

So you may have noticed that in the past year I have posted VERY LITTLE of my own work. There is a fairly good reason for that. One year ago today, I was sicker than a dog and doing nothing more than holding down the couch and attempting to hold down my lunch. HAHA! I had a very difficult pregnancy which led to a very premature baby and a long NICU stay. After bringing my darling baby home, we found out that she is just as much trouble outside the womb as she was in. Talk about HIGH MAINTENANCE!!!!! GOOD GLORY!  And that is being polite.

With that said, when I do have an hour to steal away into the studio (as if!) I find that I am creatively stumped. I can’t get anything to look remotely decent, I have no ideas flowing, there just isn’t anything. When I took a couple of classes at the University of Akron a few years back, our instructor had us keep a sketch book. We were to draw at least 12 sketches per night. Now, you might recall that all this artistic stuff is new to me. It is amazing that I can create jewelry the way I do, but I am HORRIBLE at drawing. I wish I could draw the piece I make, but I can’t. At least not at this time. I am not being modest either. I will show you what I mean shortly.

At any rate, I did find that the more I “Sketched” the more ideas I had. One idea spawned another and that led to another and yet another. It is kind of fun to look back through the drawings I was making at that time and see the pieces that have turned into something. Several of the finished pieces have been published and one was even turned into a magazine article. So you never know where these simple ideas will take you.

I posted on my Facebook page about an idea that I had to do a sketching challenge. I invite you all to join with me. Several people have already started and it is so fun to see how others think too. I am going to extend this to my blog, so if you would like to participate but aren’t on Facebook, you can just send me a picture of your sketches via email and I will post them here (we don’t have to use your name) but I am putting my bad drawings out there in all their awful glory. hahaha

Here is a page out of one of my sketchbooks (I think I have 4 or 5.) See what I mean about very simple? Fun thing about this page, there are at least 5 pieces that were actually made.


Okay, so here is the challenge. Take your sketch book/paper/napkin/ whatever. Draw a grid of 9-21+ squares (see pictures below) and draw at least one thing in the box. I will provide a weekly theme (please send suggestions) and then we will all sketch based on that theme. Don’t worry if you don’t stick with the theme, heaven knows my mind wanders and once you get started, let it go!

You have 7 days (Actually only 4 for this one as we started it on Monday) to take a picture of your page and either post it on my facebook wall ( or email it to me at and I will get it posted for you.

The idea is to take this challenge one step further and choose an item from our sketches and turn it into a finished piece.  If you can do one a week, that is great. I know I sometimes don’t step foot into my studio in a week’s time, so do what you can.

So please join in and let’s help each other get creative.

Who can join? EVERYONE! You don’t have to be a jewelry artist. So if you paint, sew, hit metal, bead, whatever, jump on in and let’s see what happens!

Here are my drawings so far for this week. My personal goal is to have at least 20 sketches per week. As you can see, I have far exceeded that this week… and that is a VERY good thing. Set your own goal or match my 20. Do what you can, but do something.

Week 1 – Theme: Dots

I did this at the hotel room just before turning off the lamp to go to sleep. Not my most creative day…..

I did this page last night (8/3/11) while watching a movie with my girls.


Featured Artist Friday

I need some artists. I am all out. Do you want to be featured? Yes? Please send me an email and I will send you the questions and information. jewelry @ melissamuir . com (remove spaces of course)

9 thoughts on “New Challenge – Let’s Sketch

  1. Melissa Boos

    I know I won’t take part in this challenge…too much on my hands with almost 7 month old twin boys, but I wanted tocomment. I know you’ve seen this post before, but reposting because it is relevent to your article…and particularly to you! 🙂


    I obviously made the piece I sketched…and I even made the little purple sketch too.

    I accidentally misplaced this piece for almost 2 years. I was heartsick I had accidentally thrown it out after all that work. I found it when I REALLY cleaned my quilt/jewelry studio (instead of moving stuff around). It had gotten mixed into some quilt fabric scraps I had set aside carelessly. When I found it again I was overjoyed!

    Great article and a great way to get the creative juices flowing again!


  2. Anita Hearn

    I will see what I can do, Melissa! Great idea. I can’t draw (or write) without it looking like a scribbly mess, but I’ll give it a shot when I can! Didn’t know you were on FB, so will be liking your page, too! FYI – I wear my beautiful heart and ruby pendant OFTEN!! I love it as much as the day I got it and think of you often. So glad you and your family are well and you are getting back into the swing of things! Blessings, Anita

  3. Melissa Muir

    Ooooh, I do remember that post. CONGRATS on the twins. Looks like you had your boys just a month after I had my baby, so I feel your pain…. sort of. I am so glad I don’t have two right now. Kiari is a HANDFUL! I am so glad you found it. I think I may have tossed a Fretz hammer. Even with all of the packing that I have been doing for our upcoming move, I haven’t found it. Now that makes me heartsick. ACK!

    Good luck with your boys and staying creative. I am glad you liked the article. Hope to see some pieces from you again soon.


  4. Melissa Muir

    Oh Anita, you have already seen that i can’t draw. I hate that my drawings are so simple. But my ideas are so simple at this stage too. I want to make them more complex, less boxed or confined. I need to find a way to get it all opened up a little more too. Thanks for liking my page. I am so glad you liked that piece. It turned out so pretty. I had other offers to buy it when it was finished. I was so proud to say that it was a commission for someone I really like.


  5. Catherine Franz

    Melissa, I know you wrote this back in 2011 and it’s now 2013. I hope the baby is now being more delight. I for one like to sketch out my ideas. I would never show them to anyone because the drawings are what I called “childish”. Thank you for sharing. Now I see we are all child-like in our play. LOL I enjoyed reading this. I hope you write a post more updated soon. Blessings!

  6. Melissa Muir

    Oh Catherine, how I wish I could say that my baby is a delight, but she is so far from it it isn’t even funny. But we love her anyway. Let’s just say I am so grateful for a great preschool/daycare that she goes to.  

    I can’t really draw to save my life. I have great ideas and am able to make them into an amazing piece of jewelry, but don’t ask me to sketch it and have it look like anything nice, because that just won’t happen. But I do find that the sketch will help me remember the idea sometimes.  
  7. Catherine Franz

    After many children myself, I’ve found the most difficult in childhood are the most loving as adults.

    Your drawing is much better than mine. At least now I feel better about showing my students after seeing yours. Thank you for sharing.


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