Lines365 is a 365 drawing project of designer and illustrator Alicia Bridgewater.

About the Lines 365 Project

At the start of 2010, I was having a hard time finding a creative job. It had been one year after I had graduated from college and I was feeling like a lost little puppy. I was starting to miss the “good old days”–the nurturing, structured environment of school–and was wondering where I had gone wrong. Then a thought came to me… instead of beating myself up over a “missed turn”, I should focus on improving a skill. Drawing was always something I had enjoyed and wanted to be better at, so I decided to start a year long drawing project. It would push me to be productive, dedicated, and inspired, especially when things weren’t so inspiring.

As it got farther into my 365 drawing project, I started to pay attention to the strangely beautiful, tiny details around me: a cluster of dried raindrops on a windshield after a rainy day, the colors of a desert landscape, and the shadows on a friend’s face. All these details inspired me to be continually drawing, which led to drawings overlapping drawings. This overlap was particularly interesting to me because it created a collage of moments and wove relationships between objects that previously had none. These moments and relationships ended up creating stories about life and death, our place in nature, family, and the funny things humans do. These juxtapositions were also evidence of a scene or the trace of a movement–beautiful, fleeting moments–and without this exploration, I never would have seen the beauty of the world around me.

My 365 project has been an amazing journey of exploration and I feel like I’ve accomplished all the goals I had set for myself: strengthening my weaknesses, building a strong foundation of observation, and improving my recall through dedicated practice. I’ve seen an improvement in my drawings, especially with the rendering of 3D space, the proportions of the human figure, and the execution of techniques. My 365 drawing project has shown me what I’m capable of, who I am as a person, and that I will always be a student… It’s made me a better artist and a happier person.

With the success I’ve achieved from my own 365 drawing project, I would highly recommend for anyone to start their own 365 project. No matter what you do or what interests you, whether it’s photography or hand lettering, a 365 project is a wonderful way to improve what you love doing and exploring who you are as a person.

About the Website: So why create a website? Instead of letting my drawings sit in a deep dark cabinet, never to be seen by anyone ever again, I created this site as a way to document my yearlong progress. I’ve always been interested in the behind the scenes sketches and processes of other artists, so I thought that perhaps my progress might be interesting to others.


About Alicia Bridgewater

I’m a designer and artist currently living and working in the dirt stained, neon jungle of Las Vegas. I like old photographs, books, and creating handmade items. I’m into patterns, the gritty tactile nature of life, the unpredictable, and the little ephemeral details of life, and often times I’ll inject these themes into my illustrations. I live trying to master perfect imperfection. I’m always experimenting, always learning, and always branching out to new ideas. It’s nice to meet you.

When not drawing, I can be found being entertained by the internet, indulging in sweets, and running around with fluffy puppies. For more information, please visit my portfolio and blog, which are both updated regularly.

Tips for Completing Your Own 365 Drawing Project

Interested in doing your own 365 drawing project? Well, here are a number of things you should keep in mind.

Plan out your 365 drawing project
Figure out what you want from your 365 project. Most people start a 365 project wanting to learn how to do something they’ve always wanted to do or something they’ve always wanted to get better at. It’s a quest for self-improvement. For some, it’ll get boring drawing the same subject for the entirety of the year, but you can always play off the variations or break the project down into more manageable chunks. To keep it fresh, you can have different themes for each month, change up the medium every couple of months, or other such examples. It largely depends on what you want to get out of your project. Do you want to draw better overall? Do you want to draw the human figure better? Figure out what you want to do and plan it out.
A reason you should plan out your 365 project, instead of letting the project take you wherever, is because eventually you’ll become overwhelmed with the amount of possibilities you could draw. You’ll waste time searching for fun new things to draw that you’ll eventually give up. “Oh, I didn’t know what to draw anymore,” is what people end up saying a month or two into their project. If you plan out, even if it’s a vague plan, it’s a good way to overcome this obstacle.
For me, my first 365 drawing project was created to improve the way I saw the world around me by drawing from my surroundings–magazines, my family, my environment. It helped me see shadows I never knew existed, allowed me to explore what I found interesting, improve things I needed work on, and made me a better artist. For my second 365 project, I knew I was still weak at drawing the human figure, so I dedicated my second 365 project exclusively to that subject–a full year of just the human figure.
Figure out what medium you want to work in
You can’t be a master of a medium within a couple days or even weeks, so expect to put in a lot of practice. I’d recommend spending the entire project on one medium, so you can get comfortable, learn the ins and outs, and sharpen your technique. Instead of stumbling around learning different techniques for different mediums, you’ll be more focused and see an improvement faster.
Dedicate a block of time for your 365 drawing project
Drawing takes a lot longer than taking a photo, so don’t be deterred by the amount of time it’ll take, especially if you’re looking to produce quality work. Some days you might only have time for a doodle, but no matter how quick or small your drawing is, it’s always better than nothing. I set about 1 hour a day to drawing–sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. If you can spend time watching TV or browsing Facebook, you can find some time to draw.
Experiment! Get out of your comfort zone
It’s good to experiment when doing a 365 drawing project. This project is a path of exploration to see what works and what doesn’t, and you won’t be able to improve if you continue to draw the same thing over and over. Sure you’ll get really good at drawing that one thing, but you won’t develop as an artist. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone because it develops your way of observing the world by building a solid foundation for you to stand on. You’ll be able to notice details you never saw before or gain an understanding of how light affects an object in certain environments. In fact, exploring will show you ideas or subjects you never knew you were interested in, and that’s half the fun.
Know that all your drawings won’t be gems
Not all of your drawings will be gems. It’s tough to let that go, especially for a perfectionist (like myself), but remember that a 365 project is all about improvement. Without the bad sketches, you won’t understand what makes a drawing successful and be able to apply that to future drawings. It’s all about taking the good with the bad. A 365 drawing project isn’t about your best drawing pieces, it’s about the journey to get there.
Always look back
You should always look back at your previous drawings to see your progress. Doing so can really motivate you, especially if you’re feeling discouraged. The difference your drawings can take in a month can be inspiring and push you into the future. “Just imagine what a whole year could do,” should be the mantra of your 365 project.
Make it public
Publishing your drawings on the internet is a good way to push yourself into completing a 365 project. It’ll keep you accountable and on track. Plus with this outlet, you can get more exposure, comments, and helpful critiques you never would have had access to before. There are a number of ways you can publish your 365 project for the internet. You can create a blog (blogspot, tumblr, wordpress), create a website, or join a number of 365 communities. If you have a 365 project you’d like to share, send it my way. I’d love to see it!