Three things we’ve learned about drawing

A look back at the first three months at YDays

Peter Cho
Peter Cho
Jan 5 · 4 min read

We launched YDays in October: it’s a site where friends, colleagues, family members, and even strangers can draw together and explore unique prompts and drawing tools. Since then, we’ve seen thousands of people try it out. The new year is a natural time to look back, so we wanted to share three things we’ve learned about drawing from our community over the past few months.

🌻 [1] Even when the constraints seem limiting, people find ways to express themselves creatively.

In the YDays holiday community challenge, day 3 was a snowflake-making prompt. We heard from several people that it was their favorite drawing of the week. Even though the brush was limited in what you could do, we were surprised at how different the responses were, from more “snowflake” like:

To something more out there:

This constraints of the tool and the drawing prompt came together in our first community challenge as well. Day 2 asked everyone to come up with a sports-related drawing, but the brush only let you make alternating black-outlined shapes. Here are a selection of our favorites:

We were blown with the range of dynamic drawings — it’s as if the limitations of the tool were helpful in unlocking creativity. We continue to be impressed by how people can take these little doodles to unexpected places.

🌈 [2] Drawings are a way to get to know each other.

So much of the time we spend on our phones and computers, especially in the past year, is about consuming news and social media. The cycle of doom scrolling never ends! We’ve enjoyed playing YDays with new and old friends as a bit of an antidote — and it’s been a way to get to know each other better too.

It’s also been a treat to meet some of you through your drawings!

For instance, the holiday challenge asked you to draw something you always wanted as a kid, whether you got it or not. Some of you wanted a lovely cat or dog:

Or a game console:

Or something else entirely:

We’re excited about the potential to make new connections with each other by sharing our creations!

🎨 [3] Drawing is for kids of all ages

If you’re like a lot of people, you stopped drawing when you were a kid. Maybe you didn’t think of yourself as “artistic” any more, so you put your markers away. It’s been wonderful to hear from people who haven’t drawn in decades, rediscovering the joy in drawing through the puzzle-like brushes.

YDays has also been a way for different generations to play together — we’ve heard about moms, dads, kids, and grandparents all drawing together.

We believe that there’s value in taking a moment for yourself to discover and play and making something each day. It’s a time to relax and to get outside of yourself for just a few minutes in your day.

🎉 A new year

In 2021, we hope to foster a community of inspiring, generous, and supportive people who want to help each other be more creative. Are you on board? Here are some ways you can help out:

  • Try out the YDays Daily Play. Starting today! Check it out on your YDays homepage.
  • Follow us on Instagram: @ydays_
  • Share your thoughts. Do you have a favorite drawing tool? One you hate? Ideas for making YDays better? Want to pitch us on where we should go next? Write us at: feedback@ydays.com.

YDays

Behind the scenes at YDays, creative drawing challenges with friends