What To Do After An Art Challenge

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Art challenges provide a wonderful burst of inspiration, accountability, and community. But they all end eventually, and to really dig into your own art practice, you can’t always be responding to a challenge. So what do you do when the art challenge is over?

To answer this, I want to back up a bit and talk about why I create art challenges for my students, and small art challenges in particular.

If you did the prep class for the Inchie Challenge, A Little Art Every Day, (which for a limited time you can still get here) you might remember that I spoke about the purposeful journey that I was creating for you. I want to talk about that again for a minute:

The whole reason I made The Inchie Challenge is because I understand how many roadblocks stand between you and your daily art practice. It’s really hard. It’s my job to make art, and even I struggle sometimes. But I have the benefit of having a lot of tools. So I wanted to share them with you!

I created a challenge and a prep class that would help you to prepare for and practice making art daily. I made it short, easy, and fun, because we have to eliminate those barriers, right? Of course I love that you create with me during the 12-day challenge, but my goal is for you to keep creating every day.

Let’s review the structure that you set up for yourself:

  • Pre-cut a BIG stack of 2 x 2 inch watercolor squares
  • Use the Idea Generation worksheet to come up with your own word prompts
  • Show up and create each day for 12 days.

You did it, and now you can keep this going!

Here’s some ideas for you to keep making art every day:

  • Create an art prompt jar. Revisit your Idea Generation Worksheet and create a BIG list of words for art prompts. Don’t overthink this. Just write. Cut these into little papers and keep them in a jar on your desk. Each day, sit down, pick a random paper, and create an inchie based on that prompt.
  • Pre-prep materials. Cut another GIANT stack of 2 x 2 inch watercolor papers. (Like 50 – 100. YES!)
  • Keep your portable art kit on hand. Keep some inchies, a waterproof pen, and perhaps a portable watercolor set and brush in a zip pouch and carry it in your bag. Sketching, not scrolling, right? (I have to remind myself too!)
  • Create many inchies based on the same prompt. You’ll improve your skills, and refine your ideas.
  • Collage with your inchies. You can cut them up and combine them in surprising ways.
  • Create backgrounds with watercolor washes on some inchies so you don’t face a blank canvas.

If that still doesn’t feel structured enough, you might love to check out the ​BIG ART class,​ as I lead you step by step through 12 beautiful inchie projects that build to big art pieces.

I’d love to hear about your experience since the challenge in the comments.

Creatively Yours,



  1. Linda Higham

    Amy I have yet been able to get my Watercolour backgrounds to work like yours do I’m not sure what I am doing wrong?

    • Amy Maricle

      Hi Linda:

      I hear this a lot, so you are not alone! Sometimes it’s a supply issue with poor quality paper, brushes, or paint, and often it’s an issue of playing enough with how much water you put on the paper before adding paint. Different colors have different densities and will move differently too. I will definitely run Watercolor Wonder again, so I hope you join when I do next spring! xo

  2. Cornelia Maddern

    Amy, thanks for sharing!! I loved the inchie challenge and have been trying to continue……. setting up the materials today.
    As a textile artist I’m also applying the practice into fabric, yay I think I know how I’m going to continue. Thinking small to see the bigger picture:).

    • Amy Maricle

      Hi Cornelia:

      It sounds like you are really getting the BIG picture with BIG ART. YAY. I’m excited to see how things blossom with it with your textiles too. xo

  3. Sharon

    I really enjoyed your Inchie challenge. I usually create with fabrics or paper. I have dabbled in water colours because I love them. This challenge is perfect for travelling. I really got into it and played with my painting. I really like the idea of a mini journal…thank you Amy. .

    • Amy Maricle

      HI Sharon: I’m so glad you enjoyed the challenge and realized how perfect inchies are for art on the go! Happy creating and finding the connections with your textiles.


  4. Lynn Salmon-Easter

    Hello Amy !
    It has been simply wonderful finding you and your art practice.. It is resonating with ME on so many levels:
    I have a BFA and when I was in college, I happened to be the ONLY student in my painting class that LOVED the small crosshatch painting project we had to complete. That project really taught me something about myself. But after college, I sadly stopped making art for the sake of making art — I don’t recommend this.

    During the pandemic, I discovered slow stitching and it changed my life. Since then, I have been making art weekly for my mental health, self-care and well being. Your approach is so accessible and I have wanted to know more about creating beautiful handmade greeting cards. I adore collage, so your methods are perfect for me with the simple repetitive acts of cutting paper, creating backgrounds and slow drawing.

    Please know, I am having so much FUN and getting results I have dreamed about for years — but was honestly never able to achieve. Did I mention how much FUN I am having. In the past, drawing and painting were a frustration for me. I could never quite express what was inside of me. The collaging and multi -step approach you teach is coming alongside me and taking me on a new and heartfelt art journey.

    THAnk YOU so much !!!!

    • Amy Maricle

      Hi Lynn:

      YAY – I am so very happy to read this. What a pleasure that you are connecting the slow practices and their joy. I’m guessing you are already aware of this, but just in case, I have a great class that teaches all of my ways to create collages, doors, pockets, windows and pop ups. You can see more in The Little Book of Wonder.


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